Tooth Bleaching (Whitening) Treatment Considerations

In the past few decades, the popularity of tooth bleaching, or tooth whitening, as
some people call the treatment has grown into one of the most popular dental
treatments. Tooth bleaching has developed into three main categories:
1. In-office (professionally applied)
2. Home-use (prescribed and dispensed by
dentist) and
3. Over-the-counter (OTC) consumer purchased produds.

The OTC marketplace has seen the evolution of gels, strips, rinses and chewing
gum. The OTC products have produced oral health concerns resulting from
undiagnosed or underlying oral health problems. Faders such as dental
restorations, extremely dark stains, tooth sensitivity, non-uniform single tooth
color difference, cavities, periodontal (gum) problems, exposed tooth root
surfaces, prior root canals. and antibiotic influenced internal colors have all
contributed to the varying success of the expended whitening results. The
incidence and varying degrees of tooth sensitivity may depend on the bleaching
material quality, operator, and applied techniques. Since consumers rarely report
adverse problems to the FDA, the American Dental Association advises patients
interested in bleaching to consult with their dentist prior to bleaching to help
determine the most appropriate method of bleaching, based on desired results
and safety.


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