Our patient Tammy was generally pretty pleased with her smile. As a teenager she had braces, so her smile was straight and her teeth were proportional, but she still felt that her smile wasn’t as a vibrant as it could be. No matter what she tried she found that she couldn’t keep her smile as white as it was in her youth.
Luckily for Tammy our Glendale cosmetic dentists provide a variety of cosmetic dentistry options, including teeth whitening treatments. Tammy was interested in learning more about cosmetic teeth bleaching, but she wondered, what was the difference between our in-office treatment and the over the counter strips she had been using for months?
Here are some ways that professional teeth whitening treatments generally differ from at-home applications:
Formulation of the whitening agent
One of the biggest differences between in-office and at-home whitening kits is that the formulations of professional whitening treatments contain a greater concentration of active whitening ingredients. Teeth bleaching treatments utilize carbamide or hydrogen peroxide to bleach dental enamel beyond its natural shade of whiteness. Professional formulations have a higher concentration of peroxide, meaning that patients see results faster than working with at-home whitening products.
Method of application
Self-administered whitening treatments are generally applied as strips or as gels in mouth guards. Consequently, it can be difficult for the patient to control the evenness of application from tooth to tooth. Professional applications are applied by a dentist, so the results are easier to predict and control. Your dentist will apply professional bleaching products to suit your whitening needs and dental sensitivities.
Extent of whitening
The primary consideration for most patients when they’re debating what kind of whitening to use is the level of whitening they want to achieve. Professional whitening treatments utilize strong and efficient bleaching formulations, so most patients see results after only one or two appointments. Professional treatments have the ability to whiten teeth several shades. Over the counter treatments generally take months to show results, and patients may see their teeth whitened only a shade or two. If you have deep persistent stains, or if you’re whitening for a specific event such as a wedding or reunion, professional whitening may be the way to go.
If you’ve been considering teeth bleaching, take the time to explore your options before committing to treatment. Our Glendale cosmetic dental office can help you decide what kind of whitening treatment is right for you. As always feel free to give us a call for more information or to schedule an appointment!