Tooth whitening or bleaching is a process to reduce tooth discolouration to a lighter shade. It removes the staining agent through chemical means, and is a safe procedure when carried out under professional supervision.
Teeth can discolour for various reasons. Some teeth are more yellow than others, while others yellow with ageing. Some of the factors that can affect natural tooth colours are:
Treatment results usually depend on
the severity of the discolouration.
Both vital (i.e. live) and non-vital
teeth (e.g. root canal treated) can be
bleached and may take several visits to
Bleaching or tooth whitening is not
effective on dental restorations such
as amalgam or tooth-coloured fillings,
metal or porcelain crowns, etc. People
with worn tooth enamel, receding
gums, sensitive teeth, untreated
cavities, and heavily restored teeth
should consult a dentist before
undergoing any teeth whitening
Your dentist will be able to
recommend the most ideal method
of teeth whitening treatment after
an in-office examination, when
the cause and nature of your tooth
discolouration can be established. Your
dentist will also provide you with more
information on the various types of
whitening procedures available, their
duration and frequency of treatment.
Whitening methods include:
A tooth can discolour after
root canal treatment has been
performed on the tooth and
it usually has a much darker
appearance as compared with
Non-vital bleaching involves
placing the bleaching agent into
the pulp chamber of the root
canal treated tooth. This can help
to lighten the colour of the tooth
in some cases. Root canal treated
teeth with larger restorations or
severe discolouration that cannot
be corrected by non-vital bleaching
are better crowned.
The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.
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