External tooth whitening

The external tooth whitening is now one of the aesthetic resources simpler and conservatives. Although it is called external, what you are trying to bleach is dentin. The crown of the tooth in its structure is formed by enamel (outermost part), dentin (intermediate layer) and dental pulp (internal structure). The enamel has no color, it is translucent like glass. The dentin is what really gives us tooth color.


We must know that the internal intrinsic color of the dentin is determined genetically, it is therefore an innate characteristic of each of us, as is the color of our skin. They can have an infinite variety of color range within the target (orange-yellow, gray-greenish, gray-pink or reddish-brown) and within each of these groups, different gradations of intensity. The professional will have to determine that base color, since it is not modified by any whitening, what can be achieved is a clarification to a greater or lesser extent of that base color.

To explain it in a simple way, we are always talking about whitening the base color that is located inside the tooth, since external stains, such as those of tobacco or other stains on the surface of the tooth, can be easily eliminated with a oral cleaning together with tartar and plaque. Do not confuse enamel stains by external agents with the intrinsic coloration of the tooth, which is why oral cleansing and whitening are two different dental procedures.


Before initiating a treatment of this type, the case should be studied so as not to give false expectations. To say also that the intensity of the whitening will depend on each patient and their age (being younger, better response) and that in general they respond well to almost all teeth, even in many cases the tetracycline’s (with brown or gray stripes). in these last ones the mentioned bands do not disappear, but they will only be clarified. Never with a whitening will disappear. Bleaching is not like “clear” or painting a wall.

The external teeth whitening will be done without anesthesia to be able to perceive the sensitivities, since it is in fact the tooth that is going to indicate to us where we can whiten, it is worthless to have a white tooth if we remain hypersensitive. If during the procedure the sensitivities are many, we will have to stop and continue in another session, or stop there definitely the treatment because the tooth does not allow us to go further.

At the end of the treatment and the next day the teeth can and do tend to be slightly sensitive as well as the surrounding gum, sometimes even requiring the taking of painkillers on the day of treatment, but we have to say that these discomforts, if any, will be transient and of low intensity if the correct protocols are followed.


Once the whitening is done, in a few days the teeth will continue to bleach and the final color obtained will remain that way for about 2 to 7 years, depending on each patient. Even if it loses intensity after these years, the color will never be like that of the beginning. In the event that you recidivism a little, it will be enough to make a reminder session shorter than the initial one. In the indicated cases a whitening paste can be used as reinforcement during a season. Always under professional control.


Current whitening techniques are based on the use of two products, carbide peroxide (ambulatory tics) and hydrogen peroxide (in clinic). These products are capable (by activation by heat and / or special light) of releasing O2 molecules that can be “filtered” through the enamel of the teeth (surface tissue) to reach the dentinal tubules. There are approximately 15,000 dentinal tubules / mm2. Thus, the tissue underneath the enamel (dentin) that gives color to the teeth undergoes whitening, giving the impression that the enamel is whiter.