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Tooth Whitening

Bleaching (Whitening of a tooth)

Tooth colour varies from person to person. Just as some people has lighter skin colour than others and different colours of the eye, tooth colour is also an individual characteristic.


There are many factors that cause discoloration of a teeth, such as tetracycline, too much systemic fluoride, trauma to the teeth, nerve degeneration, bleeding of the pulp, discoloration due to restorative material such as amalgam and gold, genetics, age, external pigmentation with coffee, tea and tobacco products.


There are many techniques used to whiten a tooth that has changed colour.

Internal Bleaching

Internal bleaching is normally performed on a tooth where the change in coloration is due to some problem with the dental pulp and endodontic treatment had to be done.


It is important that such a tooth is still strong enough and that the supportive tissues surrounding the tooth are in good shape.


The discoloured tooth structure must be removed from the back of the tooth before   the active bleaching material can be put inside the tooth. It is closed up with a temporary filling. Follow up visits with new bleach is necessary until the required colour has been reached. All bleaching material are removed and a permanent filling may be placed in position.

External Bleaching (Whitening of all the teeth)

Tooth whitening Wonderboom before image
Tooth whitening Pretoria after photo

When teeth still remain their vitality, or the change in colour is generalized, the bleaching is carried out on the external surface.  Substances based on peroxides are usually used for this purpose; on stimulation by light or heat, these substances release nascent oxygen. External bleaching starts off in the surgery with very high concentrations of peroxides, and is continued with home products.


Dr. Reiners is very careful when performing tooth whitening procedures. Before he recommends any bleaching procedure always points out the consequences that may occur after bleaching:


  • 58-65 % of all cases experience tooth sensitivity, therefore if you already experience any sensitivity on your teeth it is not recommendable to bleach your teeth

  • 20-25 % of all cases experience gum sensitivity

  • 18 % of all cases experience both tooth and gum sensitivity

  • Porous tooth surface because of the effect of peroxide

  • Decalcification of the tooth surface, making the teeth weaker

  • Damage to the gum if the products, either in the surgery or at home, touches the gum

  • Once you have bleached, you will have to bleach every 18-24 months

  • Change in tooth colour can only be reached within the same colour group, i.e. for example from an A4 colour to an A1. You can never achieve a change from one group to another, for example from a B - C,  or D group to an A-group




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