At-Home and In-Office Teeth Whitening
What are the popular ways to whiten teeth?
There are three popular ways to whiten teeth:
At home using over-the-counter whitening kits and products
At home using products prescribed by your dentist
Professionally done at your dentist's office
Which teeth whitening options does Bridgton Dental Associates recommend?
Your decision on what to use for teeth whitening depends on the type of stain you’re trying to overcome, your general oral health and the results you expect. There are two types of teeth stains:
Extrinsic Stains: Which are stains on the tooth's surface, and intrinsic, which are stains deep within the tooth.
Extrinsic Stains: Which are the most common, and are often the easiest types of stains to remove -- usually nothing more than some bleach and some patience is needed to lift them. At-home, over-the counter bleaching kits, often work well for this type of stain removal, and many dentists recommend them for people who have healthy teeth and gums and no dental restorations (important because your restorations won't bleach).
For some people, over-the-counter products to whiten teeth or simple made-at-home smile boosters such as baking soda and a toothbrush may be efficient and effective for brightening teeth, but some smiles whiten best when in the hands of a professional.
Which option is the most popular?
Professional, in-office teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the world today.
There are currently two types of professional teeth whitening treatments: One is an at-home whitening option prescribed by your dentist, and the other is a light-activated whitening option performed by your dentist during an office visit. Both use bleach to whiten teeth.
What would an at-home product to whiten teeth kit look like?
Professionally prescribed at-home whitening options are similar to over the counter at-home bleaching kits in that you use a bleaching gel and mouth trays daily for a specific period of time, usually a few weeks to a month. The major difference is that over the counter kits have one-size-fits-all trays, and your dentist will custom fit the tray to make sure more bleaching gel gets on the surfaces of your teeth.
Why would I want to get my teeth whitened with Bridgton Dental Associates?
For more powerful teeth whitening action you'll need to make an office visit. In-office whitening treatments –- chair-side whitening -- use higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, typically between 15 and 38 percent. But the secret ingredient is actually light. During an in-office whitening treatment, a bleaching gel is brushed onto the teeth and a special light, such as a diode laser, light-emitting diode or plasma arc, is placed in front of your open mouth to activate the bleaching agent. You can expect two or three whitening sessions during one hour-long treatment, depending on the whitening system and the amount of whitening to be done.
Should I expect any sensitivity following a treatment?
Temporary tooth sensitivity during and after the treatment is a common complaint. When it comes to deciding if professional teeth whitening is right for you, it's important to consider your individual whitening needs and wants, along with the effectiveness, safety, and cost of the treatment options.
Out of all the options available, which teeth whitening option is the best?
With the three options in mind, having a professional whiten teeth is the best because he/she can help minimize risks or side effects. One of the most common side effects of bleach-based teeth whitening is tooth and gum sensitivity. Incorrect use (especially overuse) of over the counter at-home teeth bleaching products has been shown to cause tooth sensitivity and pain along the gum line.
What are the benefits of custom-fitted trays?
The custom-fitted trays of professionally-prescribed at-home kits help minimize the amount of bleach that comes in contact with the gum tissue, lessening the sensitivity that can happen at the gum line. During an in-office treatment, gums are protected from bleach, light and heat with a rubber shield or protective gel.