Professional teeth whitening is usually an efficient, safe and effective option to make your smile brighter.But there are many factors that need to be considered, including cost, your living habits, and comprehensive office treatment or a customized take-home tray is a better choice.
The two main products used for tooth whitening are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.Unlike whitening toothpastes that use abrasive ingredients to mechanically remove surface stains, the oxygen molecules in these whitening agents weaken tooth stains at the molecular level.
Many over-the-counter (OTC) whitening strips, kits, and pens also use peroxide.The difference between these and professional teeth whitening is the chemical concentration.
“In the office, we use a very high percentage of hydrogen peroxide because we have the ability to isolate teeth,” said Joseph Michael Brofsky, head of pediatric dentistry at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York.”We use special rubber dams to protect the patient’s gums, because if peroxide gets into the gums, it will burn them.”
Like home whitening products, professional teeth whitening methods are also diverse.Professional whitening in the office is a faster but more expensive way to dilute your pearl white.At the same time, in terms of treatment time and cost, the customized take-home tray is somewhere between professional whitening in the office and over-the-counter whitening agents.
Professional whitening treatments in the office are usually completed after a few short appointments, but it depends on your unique needs.The whitening agent should be used continuously for 15 to 30 minutes, and the entire appointment time should not exceed one and a half hours.
According to a study published in the Journal of Conservative Dentistry in 2016, halogen light and laser light can improve the brightness of teeth more than hydrogen peroxide alone.Three weeks later, the study participants in the halogen lamp and laser lamp groups maintained their white teeth during the treatment, while the non-light lamp group showed a “shadow rebound” after only two weeks—the teeth that were initially bright white. Darkened.
However, some studies have shown that there is no benefit in using light tools such as lasers or lights on a separate whitening gel.
In addition to effectiveness, is light safe for your smile?A study by Materials in 2020 found that after the use of LED light acceleration technology, tooth cells recovered well, and concluded that most side effects are “temporary and temporary.”
Even if you stick to the dentist’s recommended refusal of bright food, coffee, and wine, your teeth may appear darker after a few days of whitening.But don’t be discouraged.The dehydration caused by tooth whitening makes you look bright immediately after the operation.After a week, if your teeth are not the color you like, discuss with your dentist whether it is possible to use household products or more office visits to make them lighter.
Although whitening in the office is fast, a customized tray to take home requires some effort from the patient.If your dentist thinks that your smile will soon reappear with new stains, they may be the only treatment or follow-up treatment for whitening in your office.
Using a professional take-home tray, your dentist will impress your teeth with a customized tray.Since this tray can perfectly fit your mouth shape, it can usually provide you with a more comprehensive whitening effect than an OTC tray.You will most likely get a carbamide peroxide-based gel instead of a hydrogen peroxide-based gel, placed in a tray and used at home.Although it does not whiten as quickly as hydrogen peroxide-based gels, if you accidentally get it on your gums, cheeks or tongue, you are less likely to feel sensitive.
According to the American Dental Association, your dentist provides a gel concentration range of 10% to 38% carbamide peroxide for your custom tray.The duration of your treatment will also vary, ranging from wearing the tray for 2 to 10 hours per day to up to 28 days.Over-the-counter trays have similar percentages of urea.The difference in quality lies in the fit.The custom tray will fit directly on your teeth, leaving almost no room for the gel to slide onto your gums or miss gaps that are hard to reach for whitening.
Although whitening at home and whitening in the office are both effective under the supervision of a dentist, there are some major differences.
Customized take-home trays are more affordable than office whitening, but still more expensive than over-the-counter trays and other home whitening products.Their prices are usually between US$300 and US$600.At the same time, Brofsky said, the cost of office whitening ranges from US$800 to US$1,000.
What about dental insurance?Since teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment, it is not covered by dental insurance.
Your dentist can usually complete an in-office whitening treatment in one or two appointments, depending on the severity of your stain and your dentist’s idea of how many shades your teeth can whiten.Each session usually lasts at most 60 to 90 minutes.At the same time, you need to wear your customized take-home tray for several hours a day for up to a month.In order to get the desired results, your dentist may recommend a customized tray that can be retouched even after whitening in the office.
No teeth whitening treatment can last forever.But you still want to make every effort to keep your pearl white bright in the coming months and years.Experts recommend continuing strict oral care procedures, eating less brightly colored foods, coffee, red wine and soda, and using over-the-counter makeup products.
When it comes to which treatment will last longer, there is no clear answer, although for custom trays, frequency is the key.You can wear the tray regularly at home for up to three to five years, while an office visit may take one or two to complete.This means that the bright color of your teeth may last longer when you use the tray, because you can order a professional whitening agent from your dentist to repair with reusable trays at home.
Want to know if you are an ideal candidate for professional teeth whitening?Brofsky says that if you want to lighten at least two shades and don’t want to try OTC treatments — or have tried them without much success — then professional treatments may be right for you.
There are several factors that will affect whether your whitening effect matches the bright smile you imagined.First, whitening substances cannot penetrate dental plaque and deposits.Whitening teeth with cavities or exposed roots may cause discomfort and sensitivity.Inspection and professional cleaning must be carried out before whitening in the office.
Finally, your dentist can examine any areas of the teeth that may not be penetrated by the whitening agent, including:
Zocdoc can help you find and book top doctors on demand.Visit them in their office or video chat with them at home.Check with a dentist in your area.
Bhutani N, Shome V, Patil P, Singh V, Jyotsna V and Jain A.Evaluation of the efficacy of 37.5% hydrogen peroxide on human tooth bleaching using different activation modes A: An in vitro study.Journal of Conservative Dentistry.2016;19(3):259-263.
Marto M, Laranjo M. The cytotoxic effect of Zoom® whitening products on human fibroblasts.Material.2020; 13(7): 1491.
Teeth whitening in the office: professional advantages, costs and options.Dental consumer’s guide.Visited on March 15, 2021.
The information provided by Forbes Health is for educational purposes only.Your health is unique, and the products and services we review may not be suitable for your situation.We do not provide personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment plans.For personal advice, please consult a medical professional.
Forbes Health adheres to strict editorial integrity standards.As far as we know, all content is accurate on the date of publication, but the offers contained herein may no longer be available.The opinions expressed are only the author’s own, and have not been provided, approved or otherwise recognized by our advertisers.
Emily Shinde is a health writer and content strategist with a master’s degree in public health.With her experience in hospital communication and medical public relations, she is passionate about health literacy and believes that letting people live a healthy life begins with thoughtful communication.She has produced content for consumer brands such as Colgate and healthcare systems such as the New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Post time: Jan-04-2022