When you want to whiten your smile, there are typically two options: drugstore kits or professional treatments. While some opt for the former as a quick and less expensive fix, the latter delivers more profound, lasting results.
Of course, not all professional whitening treatments are alike. There are two primary types to consider.
Option #1: Teeth Whitening Completed by Your Dentist
If you want powerful results, a professional teeth whitening treatment by your dentist is the best way to go. Your dentist has access to bleaching materials that are stronger than those available over-the-counter. This results in superior outcomes for your smile. When whitening your teeth, keep in mind that the results will vary from patient-to-patient and are dependent on the natural dentin color of your teeth.
While in-office whitening is known by several names—including power bleaching, power whitening, and chair side whitening—each approach offers similar advantages and disadvantages:
- Advantages – In-office whitening is the safest and quickest treatment, producing results in just 60 to 90 minutes. Today, there are thicker peroxide gels available, which reduces the risks of gum and tooth sensitivity commonly associated with in-office whitening.
- Disadvantages – While peroxide gels have improved, some individuals may still experience sensitivity or irritation of the teeth or gums. These symptoms usually dissipate within 24 hours of the treatment, but, in some cases, could last longer.
- Pricing – Pricing varies depending on the length of treatment. Basic treatments may take just 1 hour and average around $650, whereas more advanced treatments that require more time at the dentist office can cost upwards of $1,200.
Option #2: Home Teeth Whitening Supervised by Your Dentist
To take advantage of professional level treatment at a lower cost and in the comfort of your own home, an at home teeth whitening treatment is a great option.
This involves a customized mouthpiece, which your dentist will create. You’ll put the teeth whitening gel in the mouthpiece and wear it for a few hours each day to maximize contact between your teeth and the gel.
There are several advantages and disadvantages worth noting:
- Advantages – An at-home solution is not only more convenient (because you can whiten on your own time), but it’s also more cost-effective.
- Disadvantages – While effective, at-home solutions produce results more slowly than in-office treatments because the whitening gel is less powerful. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to achieve results. Additionally, patients have to visit the dentist approximately every week to ensure the mouthpiece fits properly and to check on the treatment progression.
- Pricing – At-home treatments cost substantially less than in-office treatments, averaging between $300 and $500, including all materials and dental appointments.
Which Treatment Option is Right for You?
There are both advantages and disadvantages of each professional teeth-whitening approach. While the speed and cost of treatment will vary, both deliver great results. Choose which works best for your needs, schedule and budget and prepare to be impressed by your new and improved smile!