In cosmetic dentistry, tooth whitening is an extremely common and important procedure gaining more and more exposure over the years. As people today are getting more conscious about their looks, discolored teeth stand out sorely on their path to the perfect smile. Discoloration may occur due to a number of reasons like stains from food, caffeine, red wine, tobacco, antibiotics, betel nuts, bacterial pigments, or even with age due to degrading enamel porosity. Thus, to combat this and bring back teeth to its original white color dentists often depend upon teeth whitening products which primarily contain Carbamide Peroxide.
Carbamide peroxide is widely used for tooth whitening in a lot of ways ranging from being present in ‘do-it-yourself’ kits available in the market, to being used in professional whitening procedures at a dental clinic. The basic difference in both lies in the relative strength of this chemical used in the two processes. Dental bleaching uses a far more concentrated version of CH6N2O3 under specific conditions governed by the dentist.
Professional dental whitening includes using custom or mouth trays which are filled with CH6N2O3 in a gel form. These trays are then fitted to the teeth for a short period of time to allow gradual breakdown of the gel. Chemically known as Urea Hydrogen Peroxide, this chemical on reaction with water breaks down into its constituent components of hydrogen peroxide and urea. The peroxide acts as an oxidizing agent and enters the pores of the enamel where the stains have accumulated, only to bleach it and yield whiter teeth. In some cases, the gel may cause a sense of burning to the gums if the concentration of Carbamide peroxide is large. A dentist is usually adept in handling such sensitivity issues by using protective chemicals or a mouth guard before the procedure. Power Bleaching is an off shoot of the above process of whitening, where exposure to bright light is used to enhance the results.
But beauty does not come without its share of risks. The various risks involved include overusing Carbamide peroxide in two ways, either too frequently or in a very high concentration which can cause serious damage to the enamel making it wear out. Sensitivity is another major concern. CH6N2O3 bleaching may cause a burning sensation, and the occurrence of white spots for those with an extremely sensitive gums and teeth. Therefore whitening is a good idea for those who are ready to walk that extra mile to ensure a dazzling smile.