Whiter Teeth – Two Paths to a Great Smile
Dental whitening is an ideal solution for healthy, un-restored teeth with yellow discoloration. Many over-the-counter products are available for home use including whitening toothpastes for mild stains and whitening strips or gels for moderate discoloration. Tray-based peroxide bleaching systems are available for purchase in stores or through a dentist. In-office or chairside professional bleaching is the fastest and most effective way to get dramatic whitening results. This technique uses powerful teeth bleaching whitening agents and sometimes laser or heat treatment to lighten teeth up to eight shades.
At-Home vs. Professional Dental Whitening Treatments
- Patients should consider the differences between in-office and at-home methods before deciding on a type of teeth bleaching whitening treatment.
- Over-the-counter teeth bleaching whitening 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.
- At-home bleaching agents are applied every day for up to two hours or overnight and must be used for about a month. In-office dentist teeth whitening produces results in an hour or less. It may require several appointments to obtain dramatic results if teeth are deeply stained.
- At-home dental whitening doesn’t include professional assistance and intervention if a problem occurs. Your dentist in Fredericksburg 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.
- Unlike over-the-counter treatments, professional dental 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.
Is Teeth Whitening Right for Everyone?
Generally, the use of dental whitening agents is not recommended for:
- Patients with worn tooth enamel, cavities, restorations, or gum disease
- Patients with very sensitive teeth
- People who are allergic to peroxide
- Patients with discoloration caused by tetracycline use
- People with dark tooth stains
- Pregnant or lactating women
- Children under the age of 16
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Fredericksburg, call Dental One Associates of Fredericksburg today at (540) 765-4655 or make an appointment.