Soong-Ryong Jung (David) , DDS, MS, PhD
Should You Get Professional Tooth Whitening Treatment?
Every person desires a radiant smile, and it can be achieved with teeth whitening. The options for this can be overwhelming at times, but it may help to know that there are only two types of teeth whitening solutions: professional, in-office whitening, or at-home treatments. Peroxide-based bleaching chemicals will be involved in any teeth-whitening option you choose. However, professional, in-office treatment solutions comprise 15 to 43 percent peroxide, while at-home remedies comprise 3 to 20% carbamide or hydrogen peroxide.
This guide will help you better understand the benefits of professional teeth whitening if you‘re contemplating your choices and trying to determine whether to undertake tooth whitening at home or get it done professionally by a dentist.
While some people can achieve a satisfactory result with at-home whitening products, the benefits of professional teeth whitening are immense, and there are some significant health hazards associated with utilizing at-home whitening products.
How Professional Whitening Works
Before you decide between at-home solutions and professional whitening, you may want to know how the latter works. It will help you to make an informed decision about getting professional whitening.
Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are the two most used tooth whitening agents. The oxygen molecules in these bleaching chemicals weaken your tooth discoloration on a molecular level, unlike whitening toothpaste that utilizes an abrasive substance to remove surface-level stains forcefully.
Peroxide is also used in several over-the-counter (OTC) whitening strips, packs, and pens. The chemical content is the difference between these and professional tooth whitening.
Professional teeth whitening procedures, like at-home whitening kits, come in a variety of options. Professional whitening in the office is a faster but more expensive option to brighten your pearly whites. In terms of treatment duration and expense, custom take-home trays lie midway between in-office professional whitening and over-the-counter whitening.
The In-Office Whitening Procedure
Professional whitening treatments in the office are usually conducted in a sequence of brief appointments, although this depends on your specific needs. A whitening chemical is applied for 15 to 30 minutes at a time with the complete procedure taking no more than an hour and a half.
There are a few different types of whitening procedures available in the office:
· A syringe is used to apply a high concentration hydrogen peroxide gel
· A high-intensity light, such as halogen, UV, or LED, coupled with hydrogen peroxide. A lamp or laser device that lies immediately outside of your mouth emits the light
According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Conservative Dentistry, halogen and laser light enhanced tooth lightening more than hydrogen peroxide alone. After 3 weeks, research participants in the halogen and laser light groups retained the white teeth color attained during treatment, whereas those in the non-light group experienced “shade rebound” after only two weeks—their previously brightened teeth had darkened.
However, some research demonstrates that employing a light tool like a laser or lamp instead of a whitening gel alone has little benefit.
Also, you should know if exposure to light is safe for your smile. A study published in the journal Materials in 2020 revealed that tooth cells recovered well after being exposed to LED light-accelerated technology, concluding that most adverse effects are "temporary and fleeting."
What Gives Professional Tooth Whitening the Edge Over At-Home Solutions
Prescription gels, over-the-counter creams, and professional whitening procedures can restore the luster to your smile. According to the American Dental Association, these whitening treatments contain various peroxide components (ADA). The difference in the active chemicals present in the bleaching agent is what makes professional whitening cost a little extra.
However, this is acceptable when you consider the following advantages that professional teeth whitening has over at-home solutions.
1. Dental Supervision
Your dentist will undertake a dental checkup before the whitening operation to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for the treatment. This checkup will also help you decide if any implants or overlays will not be whitened.
2. Stronger Whitening Agents
Professional in-office whitening methods are more closely supervised and use a stronger whitening gel. This may lead to temporary sensitivity in some people. So, the dentist may apply a gel to the gum tissue to protect the soft tissues of the mouth from the whitening gel.
3. Faster Results
Since the amount of a whitening gel applied by a professional is higher than that of whitening treatments performed at home, results might be seen right away rather than weeks later.
It is critical to understand that teeth discoloration can be caused by an underlying disease or condition that necessitates dental treatment. So, before deciding on a procedure to brighten your smile, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
The good news is that most people with their tooth structure intact and good oral health can benefit from professional teeth whitening. If you do not have sensitivity in your gums or receding gums, you might be less vulnerable to the chemicals used in teeth whitening. Furthermore, it is effective for persons with resistant yellowish stains, although it does not always whiten brownish and greyish stains.
If you cannot get professional whitening for any number of reasons, don‘t fret; there are many other options available to help you improve your smile.
However, whitening procedures are a fantastic option for people who haven‘t had previous work performed on their front teeth. You can always talk to a dentist at Jung Dental Implants to determine whether you are a good candidate and learn about other teeth whitening solutions.