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Blog Dr. Alex Llanos

How white do you want your teeth?

Nowadays, any biomedical procedure with aesthetic purposes is performed in conjunction with teeth whitening, which makes this procedure very common in dental offices.

Typically, as patients, we attach great importance to teeth whitening because an aesthetic treatment, for example, facial, does not seem complete to us with stained teeth.

In fact, recovery procedures like root canals, crown replacements, and aesthetic procedures like veneer placement are generally complemented with teeth whitening to achieve color uniformity across all dental pieces.

To whiten your teeth, there are many alternatives, from over-the-counter kits to professional in-office whitening treatments. The difference in effectiveness is significant, and from a clinical perspective, it's important to note that the concentration of whitening agents is crucial in achieving your desired color. Over-the-counter kits have very low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, which are the safest and most commonly used substances in this type of procedure.

These substances transform into radicals that break down the color molecules on the tooth's surface and are typically activated by irradiated light on the tooth. In a dental office, you will find treatments with higher concentrations than those in a kit, which are safe in terms of toxicity and capable of achieving whitening results in a short time. In fact, it's these substances that can cause tooth sensitivity. The small-sized hydrogen peroxide molecule can reach the tubules that connect the external surface with the inside of the tooth, and upon contact with the nerve endings contained there, it can generate acute pain.

To avoid acute pain during your next whitening treatment, we will use desensitizing agents that block the passage of whitening agents into the dentinal tubules. Additionally, these agents reduce the ability to feel pain in the area where they are applied because they increase the pain threshold in the sensory nerve endings. This way, we are confident that you will have a more comfortable experience while your teeth regain their original color.

Now that you know about whitening agents and their effect, let's talk about how white your teeth can become in a dental visit. Is pure white the ideal? While the color tone of dental tissue is unique, teeth whitening will not lead to a completely white color.

Remember that the whitening agents used only degrade the color molecules adhered to the tooth's surface. A change of 2 or 3 shades in tooth color is quite noticeable and aesthetically appropriate. In fact, teeth whitening or depigmentation can last up to 5 years if you have proper cleaning and dietary habits.

Cigarettes, coffee, and some fruits cause rapid pigmentation and reduce the duration of the whitening effect.

Being a relatively simple, fast, and highly effective procedure, what are you waiting for to see your teeth whiter? What color do you want to achieve, pure white, or a natural white? Tell us about your experiences with previous whitening treatments; did you still experience pain despite the desensitization precautions?

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