On 14 September 2018 I attended a course at the Gipuzkoa Dental Association on Tooth Whitening given by Dr José Amengual Lorenzo, a professor at the University of Valencia. My interest in the course lay in the fact that Dr Amengual gives classes and conferences on Tooth Whitening both nationally and internationally. He also widely researches different whitening products and procedures, and is the author of several books on the subject. I wasn’t disappointed. Dr Amengual told us about the latest features in the following areas:

  • Types of tooth discolouration, cause diagnosis, and the corresponding treatment. The aesthetic whitening of all teeth, where action is taken from the surface, is known as external or vital whitening, since it is not necessary to have done a root canal treatment on the teeth. It would be more accurate to call this technique “Tooth lightening”. If the patient wants the all of their teeth to have a uniform white colour, perhaps a more adequate solution would be porcelain veneers. Internal whitening however is carried out when one or several teeth from which the roots have been removed have darkened in colour; here the idea is to whiten them from the inside.
  • Types of whitening agents (hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, sodium perborate), and the different concentrations in which they are used, depending on the tooth type and its decolouring.
  • Tooth health prior to whitening: there must be neither caries without fillings, nor active gingivitis or periodontitis. We cannot proceed to whiten the teeth if the patient’s gums bleed when brushed.
  • The colour must be gauged with different guides, pictures, videos and electronic colour measuring devices.
  • Whitening may cause discomfort, such as sensitivity to cold and heat or swelling of the gums. We were told how to reduce or avoid these issues.
  • Different kinds of external and internal whitening techniques.

A very interesting course.