Tooth Whitening

Posted on July 15, 2013

The natural colour of our teeth varies as we are all unique individuals. Most people have teeth that are slightly yellow in colour, but in today’s society we see whiter teeth as more beautiful. Our teeth also do become more yellow or darker shade as we age. A root canal treated teeth or teeth with dead nerve will appear darker.


Bleaching, or whitening as it is commonly known as, is the process of chemically bleaching the dentin layer of the teeth to make it look whiter. It is a relatively safe treatment that has been done in one form or another since 100 years ago.

There are generally 2 types of bleaching treatments, the in-office treatment and the take home treatment. The in-office treatment will require about 1-2 hours at the dental clinic to complete usually the result can be seen immediately. The take home treatment require you to bring the bleaching materials home and use it everyday for the recommended period, the full result can be seen only after using for that period of time.

Of course there are more and more off the counter products available, but they are usually never as effective as prescribed bleaching by the dentist.


The pre-bleaching appointment is important for assessment of the teeth before any treatment is done. So it is not advisable to go to a non-professional for bleaching treatment as the condition of your teeth is not examined.


The teeth needs to clean and all surface staining (coffee, tea, smoking, red wine) removed to assess the actual colour of your teeth. If any tooth requires root canal treatment, it has to been done first before the bleaching. Some fillings may have to change after the bleaching treatment to match the new colour of your teeth. It is important to note that the bleaching treatment only works on natural tooth structure.


Bleaching will not remove fluorosis and tetracycline internal staining caused by too much fluoride in the diet as a child/infant and tetracycline antibiotics during infancy respectively.

Bleaching will also not remove dark areas due to decay and metal fillings.


After bleaching your teeth will be temporary sensitive, the intensity of the sensitivity depends on individual. The sensitivity usually goes away after a few days after stopping the treatment.


The colour change will vary from each individual and the colour change may not be permanent.


Please do consult your dentist for more information and advice.


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