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  • Writer's picturejedho.dmd

can whitening solutions really whiten my teeth?

short answer: relatively, yes!

it all depends on your existing shade

vita dental shade guide

we usually use the Vita classical shade guide for referencing tooth color. there are 16 shades in this system. the picture above has the 16 shades arranged according to brightness.

the most common tooth color is usually A3, shown in the middle of the lot.

(visit this short presentation if you want to learn about dental shade selection -

so for me, my rule is, the darker your existing shade is, the better the whitening results will be.


internal bleaching tooth whitening pre-op shade C4
internal bleaching tooth whitening post-op shade C1

The case above was done using the walking bleach technique. Only one tooth was treated for this technique. Patient returned around 5-8 times for solution replenishment. Solution was changed every 2 weeks or earlier if the temporary filling fell off.

(Sodium Perborate powder mixed with Hydrogen Peroxide or Distilled water to form a slurry, filled inside the teeth. Tooth to be treated must be root canal treated already as the case above is.)

Even without using the shade guide, a huge improvement in color is noted. Initial shade- C4, post treatment shade - C1, around 10 shades lighter. (see shade tab above)


conventional bleaching tooth whitening pre-op shade A3
conventional bleaching tooth whitening post-op shade A2

This case was treated with conventional in-office tooth whitening. (all teeth are treated with the whitening solution - 35% Hydrogen Peroxide)

Second picture taken 2 weeks post-op.

Here, the patient's initial shade was the common shade A3. There is very little improvement. Only 4 shades lighter to A2.


so in summary, here's my rule of thumb for patients asking for whitening treatment

- The more they think they need whitening, the less they need whitening treatment.

- Why? Because generally, vain people are never satisfied with what they have :D

other rule of thumbs i'd like to share

- consult your dentist for dental things, no matter how smart you think you are, unless you are a dentist yourself

- do not think you can be as smart-ass as your dentist who studied 6+ years vs you who studied dental procedures on Youtube for 6+ minutes. that's you DIY bracers!

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