What Is Professional Teeth Whitening?

If you aren’t happy with your smile, and are looking to improve it quickly, easily and painlessly – teeth whitening may be the perfect option for you! Teeth whitening can be done in one of two ways. There are home treatments and in-office treatments.

Home Whitening Kits Vs In-office Whitening

While home treatments are usually less expensive, the in-office treatments are much safer and efficient. If left on too long, overused, or if used incorrectly, home whitening systems can lead to burned or temporarily bleached gums, lips and mouth. Professional in-office whitening is recommended over home whitening systems due to the use of stronger whitening gels. The more concentrated a whitening gel is the less time it is recommended to be worn due to the sensitivity it causes in the inside of your mouth and on your gums. When a professional whitens your teeth, a buffer gel is applied to protect the gums and the tooth enamel from any damage. This is the most efficient way to whiten your teeth. Home kits on average only improve on color by one shade with multiple applications, while a professional’s help, you can get 3 to 10 shades whiter in just an hour!

Sensitivity Concerns?

If you are concerned about teeth sensitivity, you may want to speak to your dentist before beginning a teeth whitening session. Depending on the strength of the whitening gel’s main active ingredient — hydrogen peroxide — and the duration of application time, teeth may become temporarily sensitive to the teeth whitening process. Not everyone experiences pain after a teeth whitening session, but for those who do, sensitivity pains usually subside within 24 hours.

There are simple solutions to minimize your chances of sensitivity. Your dentist may ask you to take Advil immediately before your session as well as four to six hours after your teeth whitening session. If within approximately ten hours your teeth still feel sensitivity pain, your dentist can administer a moderate narcotic to alleviate the pain.

Worth The Cost?

While over-the-counter in-home whitening systems are on average much cheaper than on in-office whitening visit, the results vary dramatically. Deciding on whether cost is worth the treatment really depends on what your personal preference is. In-home systems usually only whiten at most about one to two shades and take multiple applications over the average duration of 2-4 weeks. The plus side is that the in-home treatment is very affordable (ranging from $5 – $50), the downside is they might not give you the look you desire and may contain dangerous levels of peroxide.

With an in-office whitening session done by your dentist, you can achieve the desired look over the period of one to two hours! Cost can range from $150 – $500. A major benefit to getting teeth whitened in-office is that you can feel safe knowing your gums and tooth enamel will be protected. Your dentist will make ensure your gums don’t burn, your enamel isn’t damaged and that any sensitivity afterwards will be addressed.

Be sure to speak to your dentist and discuss which whitening method is best for you.

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