If you are deciding whether to get your teeth whitened at home or at the dentist, it's important to consider the differences between the two options. While at-home teeth whitening costs less than in-office whitening, the results that can be achieved with professional teeth whitening are far superior and involve less risk than what you can get with over-the-counter or at-home methods.
1. Fast Results in 1 Hour
Regardless of the method you choose, both at-home and in-office solutions will have hydrogen peroxide, which is the bleaching agent. In-office systems contain 15% to 43% peroxide, while at-home methods contain 3% to 20% peroxide. The higher peroxide content of the bleaching agent that is used at the dentist whitens your teeth better and in a shorter amount of time.
In addition to a high peroxide content, dentists also use heat or light to further speed up the whitening process and intensify the whitening results. So, while at-home methods typically take weeks or even months to see any significant results, with professional teeth whitening, you can achieve a brighter smile that is 2 to 8 shades lighter within just one hour.
2. Longer-Lasting, Brighter Smile
One of the most significant advantages of getting your teeth whitened at the dentist is the treatment oversight before and during treatment to guarantee good results that you cannot get with at-home methods.
First, at the dentist, prior to teeth whitening, the dental professional will examine your teeth to make sure you are a good candidate for teeth whitening. If you have any visible restorations, they will not get bleached and may leave your teeth looking discolored or stained. The dental professional will be able to examine your teeth thoroughly and determine whether bleaching is right for you. This can avoid any potential less-than-perfect results.
In addition, the dental professional will clean your teeth and remove any plaque or tartar prior to applying the bleaching agent to optimize results. During treatment, the dental professional will also monitor the whitening procedure to make sure nothing goes wrong and the treatment is as painless as possible, with minimal tooth sensitivity and gum irritation following treatment.
Unlike most at-home whitening methods (i.e. whitening toothpastes, baking soda, etc.), which remove plaque and discoloration on the surface of the teeth, in-office professional whitening penetrates teeth from within, where age and medication-related discoloration occurs. This results in far more dramatic and longer-lasting results than with at-home systems. (It is important to note that, depending on your individual case, your teeth may require more than one session to see dramatic results.)
3. Less Risk of Tooth Sensitivity and Damage
Tooth sensitivity and gum irritation following teeth whitening is a common side effect. When the whitening gel is left on the teeth for too long, it dehydrates the teeth and causes sensitivity. If the peroxide agent gets on your gums, it can irritate them and cause pain when eating certain foods. It's much more likely that the patient will misuse the at-home whitening systems that will lead to sensitivity and pain, and less-than-desirable results. On the contrary, at the dentist, the dental professional will prepare your mouth, teeth and gums before applying the bleaching agent to protect them from harm. A dental professional performing whitening knows how to avoid damaging the teeth in the process and how to yield the best outcome.
In summary, considering the health risks associated with at-home whitening methods and the numerous advantages of professional teeth whitening, the latter is undoubtedly the better option.
Are you interested in professional teeth whitening? Call our office (925) 705-7093 or request a teeth whitening consultation by clicking the button below and filling out your information. We hope to see you in soon!