Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Teeth Bleaching: Take Home vs. In Office

            More than ever before, people want to know if they can whiten their teeth and what is the best way to go about doing so. Should you try over the counter or professional whitening? Should you bleach at home over a longer period of time or try to do it in one appointment at the dentist? We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

            A few years ago, Zoom! whitening came into the market and everyone was excited about same day bleaching. While there are definitely some success stories, I believe Zoom! and other in office bleaching techniques are less predictable and are more likely to lead to sensitivity. The concentration of bleach is much higher in these procedures, thus a higher chance of sensitivity. Also, the in office procedure provides us with little to no opportunity to customize the bleaching process to each person and forces you to remain seated with you mouth open for a long period of time. Bottom line, it can be effective but there are a lot more challenges and limiting factors.

            The professionally made ‘take-home’ bleaching trays are my personal favorite. This allows us to customize a specific plan to your daily schedule and comfort level. We can use different concentrations and different intervals to provide optimal results with limited sensitivity. If you don’t get sensitive teeth and have the time to wear the trays, you can bleach as often as 4 or 5 times each day. This can help you achieve the results you are looking for in a shorter period of time. However, if your teeth are more sensitive, we can help by scaling back how often, how long, and how strong how strong the bleach is that you use.

            Finally, you may run into bleaching kiosks at the mall or some other areas that are not run by certified dental professionals. I would be very wary of using these stations to bleach your teeth. While you may be able to achieve some results, there are still risks to bleaching your teeth that they may not be capable of diagnosing or treating. Just to be safe, definitely consult with your dentist or dental hygienist before any type of bleaching, including over the counter.

            Even though there are times where in office bleaching can be done for certain patients, usually our first recommendation is the take home bleaching. Talk with us about your goals and concerns with bleaching, and we can help create a plan to give you the best results for your situation.

For more information, please visit www.brownandkupper.com

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS

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