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Teeth Whitening – Home vs Professional

Dental procedures, whether essential, or done for cosmetic reasons, can be very expensive. Whilst A-list movie stars and entertainers can afford cosmetic dentistry running into thousands of pounds, other people have to explore more cost-effective ways of making the best of the teeth they have. This is why, over the last decade, there has been an explosion in the demand for teeth whitening and teeth whitening products. But how do the different options available compare?

Home Treatments

There is a range of teeth whitening products that can be used at home without dental supervision. These include, whitening rinses, whitening toothpaste and gel strips, all of which bring results only after prolonged use. More expensive kits, such as whitening trays, mirror techniques used by dentists. The trays are filled with whitening solution and attached to the teeth. The trays have to be worn for a specified period each day for several weeks and are reported to give good results.

Dentist Supervised Treatment

Treatments used by dentists are based on whitening trays, however, unlike those for home use, a mould is made of the persons teeth so that the trays fit comfortably without the irritation and chaffing sometimes associated with do-it-yourself kits. The whitening chemical used by dentists (carbon peroxide or hydrogen based peroxide) is stronger than in solutions designed for home use. The treatment is usually carried out over one to four visits lasting a couple of hours each before teeth are lighter by 4-8 shades.

Accelerated Treatment

For the fastest results the teeth are exposed to halogen light during the whitening process. This is the most expensive option, but depending on the severity and type of staining, an 8 shade improvement is achievable in only one or two treatments lasting an hour each.

The Advantage Of Using A Dentist

Teeth whitening is not as straightforward as it might seem. The chemical used is effectively a type of bleach and should be used with caution, particularly where there is gum sensitivity. Teeth can become stained for many reasons and a dentist will advise on how best to remove the staining, carry out treatment while protecting gums and other dental work, like crowns and implants, and make sure treatment is not taken too far. Using the services of a dentist is much quicker than applying home methods, is safer and less messy.