Whitening Options for Dental Patients

Everyone wants a beautiful, white smile, but many people have dull or stained teeth due to illness, consumption of certain foods or drinks or simply the natural process of aging. There are many ways to whiten teeth, although some are more effective than others.


Home-Based Whitening


Many of the simplest whitening systems can be used at home, but these systems rarely produce professional results. These methods include whitening toothpaste, which uses mild abrasives and polishing agents to remove surface stains; whitening solutions that contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide; whitening strips and gels; and whitening rinses. These products may offer temporary results but rarely whiten teeth to the degree that a dentist’s procedures can provide.


Professional Whitening Methods


The whitening methods used by a dentist usually offer much better results than over-the-counter teeth whitening. There are several methods of whitening used by dentists, including:


  • Tray-based tooth whitening systems. These systems involve filling a tray with a peroxide bleaching solution which is then worn for a period of time. These systems offer good long-term results but are somewhat inconvenient for patients, who must take the trays home and use them regularly.
  • In-office whitening. When patients come in to the office and the dentist applies the whitening product directly to the teeth, the results are usually much better than with at-home systems. In-office whitening may involve heat, light or a laser to get the best results. With several treatments, patients can see truly dramatic results.


No matter what type of whitening treatment the patient uses, the results will not be permanent. Avoiding staining food and beverages may help lengthen the amount of time tooth whitening lasts.

Why Should I Go To The Dentist’s Office To Have My Teeth Whitened?

Over-the-counter whitening systems typically advertise stunning results, but in many ways a dentist may be able to provide better outcomes for teeth whitening. Professional teeth whitening has several advantages, including:

  • Stronger bleaching agents. Over-the-counter products typically average about three percent hydrogen peroxide, while professional bleaching agents can contain as much as 43 percent concentration.
  • Customized trays. If you choose at-home bleaching with trays, your dentist will make a custom tray that fits your mouth much better than those supplied in over-the-counter systems.
  • Protection for gums. In-office whitening allows your dentist to shield your gums from the treatment solution with a rubber shield or gel.
  • Professional supervision. Your dentist will monitor every aspect of your teeth whitening process. This is particularly important if you have any sensitivities, allergies or possible gum disease or oral health issues.
  • Better results. Patients who go to a dentist for teeth whitening typically see an improvement of between three and eight shades of lightening, while those who use over-the-counter products typically see results only one shade lighter than their original hue.

Is There Anyone Who Should Not Have Teeth Whitening Done?

Teeth whitening is not a medically necessary procedure. Therefore, some patients may choose not have teeth whitening or at least to wait for a better time. For example, expectant mothers may choose to wait to have teeth whitening done after their pregnancies due to the possibility of health problems. Some older patients or those with compromised immune systems may also find that teeth whitening is not advisable, and those with active dental health issues such as tooth decay should have these problems addressed before attempting any whitening procedure.

The professionals at Door Creek Dental are ready to work with you to determine the best teeth whitening treatment for your needs. Call us today to see how we can give you a beautiful, white smile!