How does bleaching work?
Teeth whitening involves the removal of discoloration and staining caused by dyes and pigments that penetrate the enamel of teeth. Two commonly used methods for removing stains are physical removal and chemical bleaching.
Physical removal is an abrasive method that targets surface stains caused by daily exposure.
Chemical bleaching, however, is a more effective and commonly used method that can remove both surface and deeply ingrained stains that are embedded in tooth enamel.
So, how does chemical whitening remove stains from teeth?
Chemical bleaching is effective in removing stains from teeth by oxidizing the stains and altering the molecules that cause color retention. The bleaching agents penetrate the enamel of teeth and break down these molecules into smaller and simpler forms. The smaller the molecule, the lighter the color, resulting in a whiter overall appearance for the tooth. Hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, and PAP+ are commonly used bleaching agents that work effectively in removing stains from teeth.
What is the difference between HP/CP and PAP?
The primary difference between PAP and peroxide-based teeth whitening procedures (HP/CP) is that both methods use an oxidizing effect to eliminate stains and enhance the appearance of teeth.
Peroxide-based whitening procedures release free radicals during the bleaching process which can effectively attack organic molecules to reduce discoloration, but may also cause increased tooth sensitivity. This type of whitening is generally more potent, with noticeable results achieved in just a few sessions.
PAP+, on the other hand, operates on a similar principle but without releasing free radicals. Instead, it safely breaks down the molecules responsible for color change, without any risk of sensitivity, pain, or damage. PAP+ whitening is considered more gentle and is ideal for those who are prone to tooth hypersensitivity.