In-office vs At-home Teeth WhiteningProfessional teeth whitening offers a safe and highly effective way to restore teeth to their naturally bright luster. Time and staining agents such as tea, coffee, red wine, tobacco, and certain foods and medications can all cause teeth to lose their radiance and become noticeably darker in color.
While there are many products on the shelves that claim to be able to remove these stains and leave teeth looking impressively white, most of these are minimally effective at best and potentially harmful at worst. Ultimately, only professional teeth whitening administered by an experienced cosmetic dentist can be trusted to deliver excellent results, safely and quickly.
At the practice of Clint Newman, D.D.S., in Nashville, teeth whitening is available as both an in-office and a take-home treatment. The type of teeth whitening that is best suited to your case depends on several factors, including your lifestyle and your schedule. Whatever you choose, you can be assured that your treatment will yield the best possible results.
In-office Teeth WhiteningIn-office teeth whitening treatments are popular not simply because they are safe and effective - which they certainly are - but also because they are extremely fast. In fact, teeth whitening has become a common “lunchtime” procedure, with many patients stopping by our office during their lunch breaks and leaving after about an hour with whiter, healthier-looking teeth.
The in-office procedure begins with the isolation of the teeth from the gums to prevent any damage to the periodontal tissues. A hydrogen-peroxide-based whitening gel is then applied to the surfaces of the teeth and exposed to a special light. This light activates the bleaching properties of the gel so that it penetrates the enamel and tackles stains at their source. The gel is removed and reapplied twice more during the session, which takes between 45 minutes and an hour overall. Patients emerge from treatment with teeth that are multiple shades whiter, results that can last for five years or longer with proper oral hygiene. Touch-up whitening treatments can be performed as necessary.
At-home Teeth WhiteningThe primary difference between in-office and take-home teeth whitening in terms of how they work lies in the concentration of the whitening gel. The gel in the take-home whitening kit features a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide so that it is safer for use outside of our office. As a result, it takes longer to achieve the same results with take-home whitening than are possible with in-office whitening.
The advantages of at-home whitening include:
- You can whiten your teeth in the privacy of your own home and according to your own schedule.
- The whitening will occur more gradually than with in-office whitening, making it less apparent that you underwent a dental treatment.
- It may be possible to remove deep intrinsic stains that could not be removed after a single in-office whitening session through a carefully monitored at-home treatment regimen.