Whether there is a big occasion coming up, or you are just wanting to freshen up the esthetics of your smile, teeth whitening can be a great option for you.
We will discuss several different options to whiten your teeth in this blog.
The most well-known are whitening strips, that can be bought over the counter. These typically have a lower strength of Hydrogen Peroxide, which is the active ingredient, than whitening options used professional by dentists. The greatest benefit to this option is the ease of purchasing. Most grocery stores sell these types of strips in the dental care section. However, a major downfall to the strips is the one-size-fits all model. People have very different sizes and shapes of teeth and with an over-the-counter strip, you are not getting a custom fit of the strip, thus may not achieve optimal results.
A second option is In-Office Whitening, where you schedule an appointment at our office to have your teeth whitened in approximately 2-3 hours. Most of the time during the appointment, you are relaxed and reclined in the dental chair and can be watching our TVs over head to pass the time! The benefits to In-Office Whitening are an all-at-once result and no further steps or time are needed at home. This is a great option prior to a big event, such as wedding, or for the super busy person that just doesn't have time to put towards whitening at home. One downfall to the in-office whitening, is an increased chance of post-operative sensitivity. Since In-Office Whitening uses a higher percentage of hydrogen peroxide, you may experience more sensitivity. However, we always offer our patients that are completing In-Office Whitening, custom fluoride trays to use for sensitivity afterwards. In most cases, the sensitivity goes away within a couple days. The fluoride trays, can also then be used for custom at-home whitening in the future!
A third option is At-Home Whitening with custom trays made by our office. We offer this option *AT NO CHARGE* to all of our patients after they have completed their recommended dental treatment. In addition, we give one tube of whitening gel to our patients at their cleaning visits, so they can maintain the shade of their smile. This option is nice, as you, the patient have control over the final shade achieved and have more control over post-operative sensitivity. If you have achieved your desired shade, you can simply stop using the gel and save it for another time. Also, if you begin to have sensitivity, you can take a few days off, until it subsides and then try again. The biggest downfall to this option, however, is the amount of time it takes. Depending on the percentage of whitening gel you are using, the whitening session can take anywhere between 30 minutes to over night. In addition, two dental appointments are needed (approximately 15 minutes each) to first, take impressions for the custom trays and second, to deliver the custom trays and ensure proper fit.
We never recommend whitening with any of these methods if you have active dental decay, as this can increase your chance of sensitivity, and can progress the decay at a quicker rate.
We would love to see you at the office soon, for either In-Office Whitening or impressions for At-Home Whitening with custom trays!