One of the most asked questions is what type of gel get used in tooth whitening and here we try and answer the question without getting too complicated.
Teeth whitening has seen a dramatic increase over the last few years as the rise of the makeover shows and celebs talking about teeth whitening has made people look at whitening the teeth. Previously it was seen as a very specialist business and quite expensive and this reduced the interest.
Now when people have had their teeth whitened the results are noticeable and this will create curiosity amongst friends and family and then they want the treatment to make their smile white again.
How teeth whitening works is really straightforward as it effectively reverses the process that food and drink does on a day to day basis. So the tooth has lots of micro pores which absorb and release the staining in the mouth and consequently over a period of time hold the staining in the pores which changes the colour. The teeth remain porous forever but what teeth does is like a deep cleansing of the enamel to open the pores and release the staining.
There are three types of gels used typically in teeth whitening and they are hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide and chrlorine dioxide.
Hydrogen peroxide - this can come in two formats, either pre-mixed or component format.
For bleaching trays the dentist offer then HP is typically pre mixed in a tube or syringe and comes in the following percentage. 15,22 or 35% HP is most common but because of the fact it is in a tube the actual strength is a lot lower than the quoted figure. For example 35% is more likely to be 22% etc. This is because no matter how you try and avoid the gel coming in to contact with oxygen it just happens and this lowers the strength.
The component format is what most zoom and power whitening treatments will use because they will apply the gel straight away whilst the customer is waiting in the chair. This then gets the strength of the HP to 35% which is the strongest of all the whitening gels and this is why such good results are reported from zoom and power whitening treatments.
Carbamide peroxide - this will come in just pre-mixed syringes or placed directly on the products like the crest whitening strips as an example of CP. The typical strengths range from 3% to 35% with the higher working more effectively.
Chlorine Dioxide - this is used as an alternative to HP but really only works for external staining that smokers or coffee drinkers will accumulate in the teeth. Most people have really deep staining and this can only be tackled by HP really.
In the future I am positive other whitening gels will be introduced in to the market as many large companies will want to tap in to this huge growing market and want a piece of the cake. I hope this has explained a little more to you.