At-home vs. Professional Teeth Whitening
For great smiles, it's important that they look their absolutely brightest and whitest. Many people cannot get such bright and white smiles without meeting with a skilled cosmetic dentist, however. Professional teeth whitening options have been able to give people the beautiful and white smiles that they have always wanted.
There are a number of over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments out there as well, however, which have been effective for many consumers. So how do these products stack up against professional care? Let's take a look.
About Teeth Whitening Treatments
Whether it's a pro treatment or an over-the-counter dental bleaching kit, the principles of teeth whitening are basically the same. A special whitening agent is applied to the teeth in order to bleach the stains and leave the tooth material looking pristine again.
What to Expect from Professional Teeth Whitening
During a professional teeth whitening treatment, a dentist will first clean the teeth. The bleaching agent will be carefully applied to the teeth. Most systems that dentists use are activated through the use of proprietary laser light. Once the bleaching agent is exposed to this laser light, the process is repeated once or twice more to maximize the results. (This process obviously differs depending on the technique or technology used.)
What to Expect from At-home Teeth Whitening
At-home teeth whitening kits come in different forms (e.g., toothpastes, rinses, strips, tray systems). The most effective of these at-home kits are the tray systems. Patients will wear dental trays with bleaching agent inside for a specified amount of time. Certain systems are meant to be used overnight while others are only meant for short durations. Be sure to follow the directions on the kit to the letter.
Which one is better?
By and large, the professional treatments used by cosmetic and restorative dentists are more effective than the over-the-counter teeth whitening kits. Optimal results are achieved much faster with the professional whitening treatment, and in many ways the results are much better given the nature of the bleaching agents that are used.
A Word on Professional Take-Home Teeth Whitening
In addition to professional whitening at a dental care center, there are also professional-grade take-home kits that you can get from your dentist. This take-home can either be used as its own treatment or as a supplement to professional in-office treatments.
In many cases, these professional at-home kits operate much like over-the-counter tray systems, though often times the trays are customized to the patient's teeth. Patients are asked to follow the treatment instructions to the letter to prevent undue tooth sensitivity, a common side effect of all dental bleaching procedures.
Teeth Whitening Alternatives and Weighing All Options
In some cases, teeth whitening treatment may not be the best option for you. In fact, there are many times that an alternative treatment such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers may be more ideal. Similarly, some patients would prefer to use a professional take-home kit rather than undergo in-office whitening treatment.
During the consultation process, we will be sure to go over all of these matters in greater detail so that you can make the best possible decision for your needs.
Learn More About Advanced Teeth Whitening Treatment
For more information about all of your options for smile makeover treatment, be sure to contact our Astoria dental care practice today. The entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible dental care results.