Teeth whitening: I want to, but… can I?

That seems to be the million dollar question in dentistry, since not all teeth are whitened. And then, what criteria does the dentist use to recommend this treatment?

“We don’t whiten teeth, we remove yellow and orange pigments from the walls of the enamel prisms. Pigments and dyes that have been deposited on these crystals for years.”

Only large teeth are whitened. It depends entirely on the thickness of the enamel layer. North American teeth are larger, and of a higher density than Spanish teeth, so they whiten more and with more effect.

Do we whiten where there are white fillings? If there are cavities, tooth neck defects, or old restorations, these problems must be converted to health before any treatment. No exceptions.

Do you whiten more with laser? It does not have to, the whitening gel is the same, the laser is a light source (light = heat) that activates the product faster and also produces more sensitivity. If we use a gel for home use and follow the dentist’s guidelines, we will have the same result. More time, same result, less sensitivity.

Can the patient lead a normal life? Yes, we must have normal habits. What is the point of whitening teeth if I can not eat or drink? Whitening works or not, no half measures. You should always start with the upper arch and, if it works, continue with the lower arch.

Should the patient brush the same way? Yes, with white toothpaste, without mouthwash, and we will only brush without toothpaste before applying the daily night whitening gel.

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Is sensitivity a negative factor? If the patient has teeth sensitive to cold we do not recommend it. If it appears during, appointments are lengthened and the percentage of active product is reduced. In the United States it is typical to use the lower percentage and for a longer period of time. In the EU, percentages higher than 18% carbamide peroxide have been banned.

Is it long lasting? Yes, although the food dyes we use in Spain mean that after two years we need a refreshing dose. In most cases, it is enough to keep on having the smile we dream of.