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What is Tooth Whitening? And Its Types

Who wouldn’t love a bright smile?

What is Tooth Whitening?

Tooth Whitening is the process of lightening your teeth which helps in removing stains and preventing discolouration. Whitening is always an integral part in cosmetic dentistry.  To be precise, tooth whitening is the removal of stains and enhancing your teeth’s natural colour for a confident smile.


Note: Whitening is not an onetime procedure. It needs regular visits to maintain the colour of your tooth.


Enamel and Tooth Whitening

Healthy Enamel VS Damaged Enamel

The enamel that covers the tooth protects your tooth from effects of chewing, gnashing, trauma and acid attacks caused by sugar. Over the years, the enamel is worn down, making it thinner and thereby allowing the yellow colour of the dentin visible.

Every day, a thin coating called pellicle forms on the enamel and picks up stains. Tooth enamel also contains pores that can hold stains.

Common reasons for yellow or stained teeth:

  • Using tobacco products
  • Drinking dark-coloured liquids such as coffee, cola, tea and red wine
  • No proper dental hygiene
  • Ageing is also one of the factors, as the enamel gets thinner and making the yellow colour of the dentin visible

Tooth Stains – Types

  1. Extrinsic stains (External Factors)
  2. Intrinsic stains (Internal Factors)

Extrinsic Stains – Are those caused by external factors like drinking dark coloured beverages, smoking, chewing tobacco and not to forget food.

Intrinsic Stains – Are caused by internal factors like trauma, ageing, exposure to minerals, and excessive ingestion of fluoride.

Tooth Whitening Types

There are two types of tooth whitening: Vital and Non-vital

Vital Tooth WhiteningNon-vital Tooth Whitening
Performed on teeth that has live nervesPerformed on teeth that do not have  live nerves (A patient who had root canal treatment)
May not improve visual aspect as it is performed on the tooth’s surfaceImproves visual aspect as it is performed inside
Whitening agents are generally used on the outerWhitening agents are used inside a root canal treated teeth

Vilva Dental Clinic, with more than 10 years of experience in Cosmetic Dentistry, provides you the best possible dental solutions.

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