Over the Counter Teeth Whitening vs. Professional Services
No matter how much care you give to your teeth, you will eventually have to whiten them. The daily toll of drinking and eating and old age dulls their once brilliance. There is help for you.
There are many Do It Yourself (DIY ) and over the counter products that claim to be able to whiten your teeth. Some of these procedures and products do a good job, but none of them can compare to professional teeth whitening from your dentist.
Professional in-office teeth whitening, also known as power whitening, chairside whitening, or power bleaching, is a cosmetic dental procedure that has gained immense popularity.
While home whitening uses low-dose bleaching agents, in-office whitening uses higher quality whitening ages under the careful supervision of a dentist. It is entirely safe and pain-free.
A Few Advantages to In-Office Teeth Whitening:
- The dentist uses a high concentration of bleaching gel.
- The results can be instant.
- The thicker peroxide gels do not soak into the teeth.
- The dentist uses desensitizers for gum and teeth discomfort.
- Professional quality lasers add to the teeth whitening procedure.
Teeth Whitening at the Dentist – a Step-by-Step Guide
- The teeth cleaning step: Before the whitening process begins, the teeth are polished to get rid of stains on the teeth surface, debris, and any accumulated tartar.
- The teeth Isolation step: The peroxide whiteners used for teeth whitening are caustic and can cause irritation or even damage to the soft oral tissues. To avoid this, the teeth that are being bleached/whitened, are isolated by placing a “dental dam,” a
- Protection of the lips and eyes step: The peroxide bleaching compounds are caustic, dentists take precautions to ensure the patient’s eyes and lips are protected. Some petroleum jelly product is applied to the lips and gums to keep them moist and ensure the laser does not burn those areas. Even if the gums do get irritated for some reason, this sensitivity and irritation are short-lived.
- The application of Peroxide whitening gel step: After the cleaning, the patient’s teeth are dried and then peroxide whitening gel is applied. Each tooth has the thick teeth whiteners gels brushed on them.
- The laser activation step: Laser or a specific type of bleaching light is used to activate the whitener and increases the effectiveness of the whitener. The whitener consists of a compound that is triggered when the laser light is focused on it, making it more effective. The length of exposure to this light depends on the type of stains and their severity.
- The cleanup step: Once the procedure is complete, the whitening gel applied to the teeth is washed off. Then all other protective material is removed.
The prognosis is very good for in-office teeth whitening. The patient needs to follow the aftercare instructions. Gum irritation or sensitivity may occur after the procedure, but it will soon subside. Your dentist will advise you not to consume foods of extreme temperatures: either too hot or too cold. All the foods that caused these teeth staining and discoloration in the first place should be avoided, which can include caffeine products. You may not want to hear this, but smoking is a big no.
It’s time you started taking care of your teeth and enjoyed that bright smile again.