When you decide to whiten or bleach your teeth, you can either do it at home or let a dentist do it. In addition to the expense being one difference between the two, there are some other differences.
– The strength of the bleaching/whitening solution – The bleach/whitening home kits normally contains a milder strength of solution. Most are ten percent carbamide peroxide up to twenty-two percent carbamide peroxide. If you have it done in the dentist office, their teeth whitening solutions have hydrogen peroxide in concentration form. This concentration can range from fifteen to forty-three percent.
– Mouthpiece trays – If you go to a dentist they will first make a teeth impression. With that impression the mouthpiece tray is custom fitted. By customizing the mouthpiece tray, you will get the best contact between the tray and your teeth. The whitening solution is put on the tray and not your teeth. If you use a home whitening kit, the mouthpiece tray is “one-size-fits-all”. It will not fit your mouth exactly, which can cause irritation to the soft tissue and gums. The irritation can come from the ill fitting tray allowing more of the solution to get onto these particular tissues.
– More protective measures – At the dentist office they will use a rubber shield or apply a gel to the tissue of the gums before the treatment is done for protection. Using an over-the-counter kit does not give you these extra measures.
– How fast the bleaching process takes – Home kits need to be applied daily for one to two hours. It can also be done overnight instead. With either procedure it needs to be done for approximately four weeks. Going to a dentist for the procedure will provide you with the most effective and quickest way to get your teeth bleached or whitened. When you have it done by a professional, the products are used with a light and/or laser and heat. By using the heat and/or light can accelerate the process. You can see results in only one, thirty to sixty minute treatment. For best results it may take several treatments. If the dentist uses laser-enhanced bleaching or whitening, you can see dramatic results in one treatment.
– Costs – Home kits can range from twenty to one hundred fifty dollars. Going to the dentist for the procedures can cost from two hundred to five hundred dollars per lower or upper set of teeth.
Weigh out the pros and cons of home teeth whitening kits and going to the dentist before having the procedure done.