When it comes to whitening your teeth, there are two options: at-home treatments and professional treatments. Both methods use chemical whitening agents to remove stains and discoloration from your teeth, but there are some key differences in the process and results.
At-home treatments are typically less expensive and can be done in the comfort of your own home. They come in the form of whitening strips, gels, or trays that are applied to your teeth for a certain amount of time each day. These treatments usually contain a lower concentration of whitening agents, such as hydrogen peroxide, than professional treatments.
Professional treatments are done in a dental office and use a higher concentration of the whitening agent. The process usually involves applying the whitening gel to your teeth and using a special light or laser to activate the gel and speed up the whitening process.
Here’s a closer look at the process of chemical whitening and how professional treatments differ from at-home treatments:
Step 1: Evaluation
Before starting any whitening treatment, your dentist will evaluate your teeth and gums to determine if you are a good candidate for whitening. You must seek treatment before starting the whitening process if you have any underlying dental problems.
Step 2: Preparation
If you have a professional whitening treatment, your dentist will prepare your teeth for the whitening gel by covering your gums with a protective barrier. This will prevent the whitening gel from irritating your gums.
Step 3: Application
Your dentist applies the whitening gel to your teeth. With at-home treatments, you’ll apply the gel to the trays and then place the trays in your mouth for a certain amount of time. With professional treatments, your dentist will apply the gel directly to your teeth and use a special light or laser to activate the gel.
Step 4: Monitoring
During the whitening process, your dentist or hygienist will monitor your progress to ensure that the treatment goes smoothly. They do this to make sure your teeth are not becoming overly sensitive.
Step 5: Aftercare
After the whitening treatment, your dentist will provide aftercare instructions to ensure that your teeth stay bright and healthy. This may include avoiding certain foods and drinks that can stain your teeth. Additionally, you may need to use special toothpaste or mouthwash to maintain the treatment results.
Why a Professional Treatment?
While at-home treatments can be effective for some people, there are several advantages to professional whitening treatments:
Faster results: Professional treatments use a higher concentration of the whitening agent. Luckily, this means you’ll see results faster than with at-home treatments.
Professional supervision: With professional treatments, you’ll have a dentist or hygienist monitoring your progress. This ensures that the treatment is safe and effective.
Long-lasting results: Professional treatments can provide longer-lasting results than at-home treatments. The higher concentration of the whitening agent can penetrate deeper into the teeth and remove more stubborn stains.
It’s important to note that chemical whitening may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with sensitive teeth or underlying dental problems. It’s always best to consult with your dentist before starting any whitening treatment to determine if it’s right for you.