Would you like to improve the color of your teeth? Teeth whitening is the number one elective dental procedure in the United States, with millions of Americans choosing to lighten and brighten the color of their teeth every single year. The reason for this is simple. People who have whiter teeth are thought of as being healthier, more attractive, and more successful in their lives – and who doesn’t want to emulate that for themselves?
When it comes to teeth whitening, patients have two different options. Firstly, they can opt for professional teeth whitening, which takes place in your dentist’s office and is carried out by them. Alternatively, you can choose to whiten your teeth yourself at home. So, what’s the difference? Here’s what you need to know about professional vs. at-home teeth whitening and the benefits of each option.
What Is Professional Teeth Whitening And Why Choose It?
As its name suggests, professional teeth whitening is a procedure that takes place in your dentist’s office and every aspect of the whitening process will be taken care of by professionals. There are various different in-office whitening products, and your dentist will talk you through which is available, and which would be right for you. The exact number of sessions you will need will depend on the starting color of your teeth, the shade you hope to achieve, and how well your teeth respond to the treatment.
There are several notable differences to having your teeth whitened in-office. Firstly, your cosmetic dentist will be able to use much higher-strength whitening gels that can be bought over the counter. The strongest bleaching products are only approved for use in-office since getting them onto the soft tissue of the gums can cause problems. This brings us nicely on to the second main difference – your dentist will use special shields to protect your gums, lips, and tongue from the bleach. This is important for reducing sensitivity and complications.
The key benefits that are associated with professional teeth whitening are as follows:
Use of the highest strength bleach, which produces better results more quickly
Consistent results since the whitening gel is applied by a professional with a clear view and access to your mouth and teeth
Reduced risk of complications
What About Whitening Your Teeth At Home?
Don’t get us wrong, there are countless products that are available over the counter. These are readily available from drug stores, grocery stores, and online and come with instructions on how to use them. They can also take many different forms, from toothpaste to gels that you apply a special light to. The main thing to consider is that at-home whitening products aren’t allowed to be sold with high-strength bleach. This inevitably means that it takes a longer time to achieve the results, and they may never be as good as you could get if you opted for in-office whitening.
That’s not to say that there are no benefits of whitening your teeth at home. Unsurprisingly, it’s a lot more convenient since you don’t need to travel anywhere or give up a regular period of time for treatment. Over-the-counter whitening treatments are nearly always a lot cheaper too, making it a great option for people who are on a budget. Nevertheless, you can expect to be waiting a much longer time to get the megawatt smile you were hoping for.
Which Is Right For Me?
Which teeth whitening treatment is right for you really depends on how quickly you want to see results and how much you can afford to spend on treatment. It’s worth bearing in mind that there is a compromise between in-office and at-home whitening – take-home trays. They aren’t offered by all whitening providers, but some do provide custom-designed trays that can be filled with high-strength whitening agent, and the treatment performed at home. These usually offer excellent results but are less expensive than having the treatment carried out in-office.
If you would like more information about teeth whitening, or if you would like help in deciding which whitening technique is right for you, contact Stephanie R. Ricks Family Dentistry in McComb, MS at (601) 258-8230 to schedule a consultation.