Professional vs. Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening
At the cosmetic dentistry practice of Drs. Charles A. Robertson and N. Perry Orchard, patients can undergo professional teeth whitening treatment to minimize dental stains and brighten the smile. Professional teeth whitening offers dramatic results in a short period of time. However, some may question why they should pay for professional teeth whitening when there are so many over-the-counter teeth whitening products.
While both professional and over-the-counter whitening can brighten the smile, there are some key differences between the two types of treatment. Here our Corpus Christi, TX, patients can learn more about professional vs. over-the counter teeth whitening, and the results they can expect from treatment.
Professional Teeth Whitening Techniques
Professional teeth whitening treatment is typically offered in two ways, as an in-office treatment or a take-home treatment. In either case, a professional-grade bleaching formula is used to remove dental stains and whiten the teeth.
In-office teeth whitening treatment takes just under an hour. During this procedure, one of our dentists will carefully apply a bleaching agent to the surface of the teeth. After the agent has been applied, a special light is placed over the teeth. The light activates bleaching agents so they get to work improving tooth color. In just under an hour, treatment is complete.
At-home professional teeth whitening typically takes place over a couple of weeks. We will provide our Corpus Christi patients with custom-fit mouthguards and a professional-strength whitening gel. Patients will be provided explicit instructions, but they typically will fill the trays with the whitening formula and then wear them over the teeth for 30 minutes at a time. Within two to four weeks, treatment will be complete.
Over-the-counter Teeth Whitening Techniques
Over-the-counter teeth whitening techniques vary. Patients can find a wide variety of whitening products, including toothpastes, mouthwashes, whitening strips, and whitening gels and trays. Each of these products contain their own instructions, but most are used for several weeks at a time, or even indefinitely.
While over-the-counter products do contain bleaching agents that may be found in professional teeth whitening products, such as hydrogen peroxide, the strength of the bleaching agents is significantly weaker in over-the-counter products.
Professional Teeth Whitening Results
Professional teeth whitening treatment significantly improves tooth color. When patients undergo in-office treatment, they can expect the teeth to brighten by up to eight shades. These results can be achieved after just one in-office session that takes about an hour.
At-home professional teeth whitening offers similar results. Because a professional-strength whitening gel is used, it is common for tooth color to improve by six to eight shades. It does take slightly longer for patients to achieve maximum results, but within a couple of weeks, the smile will be significantly whiter and brighter.
Over-the-counter Teeth Whitening Results
Over-the-counter teeth whitening results are limited because the bleaching agents used are not as concentrated. In most cases, patients who use an over-the-counter whitening product as directed can improve the color of their teeth by one or two shades within about four to six weeks. While these products do offer noticeable results, they are better suited for maintenance treatment or touch-ups in between professional teeth whitening.
If you would like to find out if professional teeth whitening can give you the bright, white smile you desire, contact us at your earliest convenience. Drs. Charles A. Robertson and N. Perry Orchard would be happy to answer any questions you may have about our professional teeth whitening services. To learn more, call (361) 992-3011.