Posted on: December 9, 2014
Choosing Between At-Home and Professional Teeth Whitening
People with healthy teeth and gums who want a brighter, whiter smile can benefit from teeth whitening or bleaching products. The best candidates for whitening are those with yellow discoloration and no tooth restorations on their front teeth. Over-the-counter products such as whitening toothpastes, whitening strips or gels, and tray-based systems can help with mild to moderate staining. In-office dentist teeth whitening treatments are stronger and work much faster than at-home options, and they are able to produce dramatic results for patients needing more intensive whitening.
Is Dental Whitening Appropriate for Everyone?
Use of teeth whitening agents is generally not recommended for the following types of patients:
- Pregnant or lactating women
- Children under the age of 16
- Patients allergic to peroxide
- People with extremely sensitive teeth
- Patients with gum disease, worn tooth enamel, cavities, or restorations
- Dark tooth stains
- Discoloration caused by tetracycline use
Teeth Bleaching Whitening Systems: At-Home vs. Professional Treatments
Before deciding on a type of teeth whitening treatment, patients should consider the differences between in-office and at-home methods.
- Over-the-counter bleaching agents are much weaker than in-office products. Professional systems use peroxide in concentrations of up to 43 percent; typical at-home systems use solutions containing only 22 percent at most.
- At-home tray-based whiteners contain pre-formed trays. Professional trays are custom-made from tooth impressions for an exact fit and maximum contact with tooth surfaces.
- Unlike over-the-counter treatments, professional dentist teeth whitening includes protective measures to prevent the bleaching agents from burning sensitive gum tissues. Dentists can apply a protective gel to gums, or place a rubber shield over them to keep them safe.
- At-home agents are applied every day for up to two hours or overnight and must be used for about a month. In-office bleaching produces results in an hour or less. It may require several appointments to obtain dramatic results if teeth are deeply stained.
- At-home teeth whitening doesn’t include professional assistance and intervention if a problem occurs. A dentist can determine underlying causes of discoloration, and choose the best options for treatment. Having professional supervision also helps diminish or manage any side effects associated with whitening treatments such as tooth and gum sensitivity.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Virginia, call Dental One Associates of Virginia today at or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Virginia. With 6 affiliated practices throughout Virginia, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Virginia, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Virginia.