Dupont Dental - Your Washington DC Dentist

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Man with white teeth from having his teeth whitened by a dentist

Professional Teeth Whitening vs At Home

Continuing advancements in cosmetic dentistry mean that straight, white, beautiful smiles aren’t just for celebrities and other public figures. Having your teeth whitened is safer and more affordable than in the past, which means you can achieve a brighter smile easily with a trip to the dentist. A whiter, healthier smile makes you feel more confident about yourself and has a positive impact on your social and professional life.

Dental Whitening vs. store bought whitening kits

Although there are numerous whitening toothpastes, rinses, and kits, the safest teeth whitening treatment is the one that your dentist supervises and performs in office. He or she may also give you a take-home whitening system to improve and maintain your office-whitened smile, but the best results come from the specialized procedure your dentist uses during whitening. The differences between professional dental whitening treatments and store bought treatments include:

  • Bleaching agent – The bleaching agent in store bought treatments has the equivalent of approximately 3% hydrogen peroxide while in-office dental whitening products have 15-40+% hydrogen peroxide concentrations.
  • Trays – The trays that come in store-bought bleaching treatments are usually one size fits all and can be uncomfortable if your mouth isn’t that “one size.” Trays that don’t fit can irritate soft tissue and gums and allow the whitening gel to seep into those areas. In-office dental whitening treatments feature trays that your dentist had customized for your exact mouth and teeth shape by using an impression of your teeth. This means that your teeth receive maximum contact with the whitening gel applied in the mouthpiece trays and that your gums are better protected from the gel.
  • Protection – Store-bought whitening products don’t offer any protection to your gum tissue and oral cavities, which can lead to sensitivity. During a dental treatment, the dentist uses a rubber shield or gel before the procedure to protect sensitive areas from the effects of the product.
  • Experience – When you’re using a store-bought whitening treatment, you’re on your own figuring out how to use it properly. With a dentist supervised in-office treatment, your dentist first examines your mouth to make sure that bleaching is the best treatment for your cosmetic concerns. For an in-office treatment, the dentist supervises the procedure to achieve maximum results, and if he or she provides an at-home kit, they follow up with you to ensure that everything is working correctly and that there aren’t signs of irritation.

Evolution of dental whitening treatments

Along with the traditional gel and tray whitening treatments, dentists today have several whitening options for their patients. Most in-office whitening systems whiten teeth several shades in a single visit and with the ZOOM system, your smile can be an amazing 6-8 shades brighter in about an hour. These faster dental whitening treatments are ideal for people on the go who want fast results without the mess and discomfort of trying to use store bought kits at home.

With in-office dental teeth whitening, you and your dentist work together to achieve the exact results you want. The procedure is safer on your gums and oral tissues, more comfortable and faster than store bought kits. Find out about ZOOM in-office whitening and Opalescence at-home whitening system from Dupont Dental by contacting our offices today.