Dental Care

Teeth Whitening Procedures - Choosing Between Home and Dental Office


Teeth whitening procedures: An earlier article in this series was dedicated to giving you some basic information.

This article will give you more details about using Chair Side (dental office) procedures as opposed to ones that you can do in your own home.

As a general rule of thumb, you will have to weigh the risks and benefits of each procedure in order to determine which method you believe will help you most.


Avoiding Gum Burns and Other Injuries

Consider a situation where you decided to purchase a home teeth whitening kit. In most cases, you will need to apply the whitening agent to your teeth.

Even though you still do not have access to gum guards, you will still need to be able to apply the whitening agent to each individual tooth.

While you may be accustomed to looking at your face in the mirror, or even shaving, it can be very hard to manage your teeth using a reflection.

When you work with a conventional dentist, he/she will use protective shielding to make sure that damage to your gums does not occur. In order to be on the safe side, you will also be asked to return in a few days to make sure that your gums are still in good condition.


Effectiveness and Reliability of Teeth Whitening Procedures

Typically, chair side teeth whitening procedures ensure that you teeth remain bright for 1 - 3 years.

Depending on changes to your diet and lifestyle, this duration may be even longer.

That said, many people that go for teeth whitening notice an increased level of tooth and gum sensitivity. Even though this will only last for a few days after each procedure, you may find it a bit distressing.


Costs Associated With Teeth Whitening Procedures

Many people believe that chair side teeth whitening costs more than home based procedures. Generally, it will cost from $300 - $1000.

On the other hand, it will take fewer treatments to achieve your goal. When you use home based procedures, it may take twice as long.

By the time you complete the process, it may not cost much less than chair side whitening.


Saving Money on Teeth Whitening Procedures

As you may be aware, the upper front teeth are usually the ones most visible when you smile.

Therefore, you may only want to have these teeth treated, as opposed to including the bottom ones. You will also have a chance to see how the teeth whitening process alters the color of your teeth.

If you find that you want your lower teeth to match the upper ones, you can always go back and have them done.


Things to Know About Over the Counter Whitening Gel Systems

Basically, home based kits include a gum guard and a tooth whitening gel that contains a peroxide solution. Unfortunately, the gum guard may not always fit properly over the areas that need to be protected. This can lead to burns and abrasions that can get infected.

Typically, when you use a home based teeth whitening system, you will leave the peroxide agent in place for several hours. This will occur every day for 5 - 14 days.

Since the Hydrogen Peroxide concentration of home based systems is lower, you will have a reduced chance of developing severe burns. Unfortunately, this benefit is easily counterbalanced by the fact that mouth guards may leave critical gum areas exposed.

Depending on the kit that you buy, it may be possible to obtain a custom fit gum guard. Even though it can take up to a week for the custom appliance to arrive, it may be to your advantage to wait for it.

At the very least, you can minimize burns and sensitivity development. Without a question, if you already have sensitive teeth, a custom made mouth guard may provide you with more benefit than a universal one.

If you are interested in buying an OTC whitening gel system, it will cost between $10 and $100. The peroxide concentration is often a key consideration in pricing. Unfortunately, if your teeth are extremely yellow, an OTC teeth whitening system may not be of much help to you.

Individuals that have already failed to achieve satisfactory results with home based systems will need to make use of chair based teeth whitening methods.

The next article in this series is dedicated to providing more details about these procedures.

Regardless of the option you choose, chances are you can have your teeth whitened without having to get crowns installed.



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