Dentist Smile Blog

In Office versus At Home Whitening

Posted by Janice Spada, D.M.D. on Fri, Nov 2, 2018 @ 02:40 PM

Teeth whitening is the new rage of the 21st century.
The desire for white teeth actually goes back 4,000 years to the ancient Egyptians, who mixed ground pumice stone and wine vinegar to create a teeth whitening paste. Throughout history, white teeth have been popular because they are thought represent wealth -- and good looks.

What you should know about in office whitening your teeth:

  • There are several ways to whiten your teeth: Two types of Office Whitening from a dental professional or Home Whitening using an over-the-counter product.
  • Teeth whitening is a minimally invasive and comparatively inexpensive.
  • Having your teeth whitened by trained dental professionals (In Office Whitening) ensures safe, customized bleaching results, plus significantly improved teeth color. This is because dentists use a higher concentration of bleaching gels. Over-the-counter options (At Home Whitening) cannot compare to the quality of teeth whitening from a dentist.
  • Teeth whitening may not be a permanent solution for tooth discoloration. Whitening from a dentist’s office can be immediate and can last from several months up to several years. Over the counter products can last from a few days to several months. After whitening, you may want to be more aware of the impact of cigarettes, red wine, coffee and teas, which can cause teeth discoloration.

In Office Whitening

A our dental office, we use ZOOM! Chair side whitening, a safe and effective procedure that will make your teeth dramatically whiter in only one hour!

The Preparation
During your consultation, we will conduct a thorough oral health. It is important to clear away plaque and debris prior to treatment and to ensure that there are no underlying conditions such as tooth decay or gum disease. Hydrogen peroxide is the active ingredient in the Zoom whitening gel.

The Procedure
The teeth whitening procedure begins with protecting your soft tissue by covering your lips and gums, leaving only your teeth exposed. Our clinician then applies the ZOOM! Whitening gel, which is designed to be used with a specially designed light. The ZOOM! Light and gel work together to gently penetrate your teeth, breaking up stains and discoloration.

In-office bleaching provides the quickest way to whiten teeth. It allows the bleaching product to be applied directly to the teeth. With in-office bleaching, dramatic results can be seen after the first treatment. Spada’s ZOOM procedure has three cycles of 15 minutes each totaling to 45 minutes to complete the procedure.

In Office vs At Home Whitening

Professional Custom Take Home Kit

Note: Our custom tray teeth fit the teeth exactly to keep the gel in place. They will last many years and can be used over and over. Plus – with this option - you can touchup whiten your teeth whenever and wherever it’s most convenient from you.After your procedure, you will be given a tray that is made from custom molds of your teeth and whitening gel made of hydrogen peroxide. Our patients usually wears the trays and gel for approximately thirty minutes two times per day until their teeth have reached the desired shade.

Spada Dental also offers a special touchup kit that you may want to purchase for a nominal fee.


At Home Whitening-Professional Home Kit

Professional Custom Take Home Kit
After considering your budget and preferences you may select a professional Home Whitening Kit. You will be given a tray that is made from custom molds of your teeth and whitening gel selected for your specific color change requirements. Our patients usually wear their trays and gel for approximately sixty minutes for nine days, or until their teeth have reached the desired shade

Over The Counter Whitening

There are wide ranges of at-home whitening options, which typically cost less than professional solutions. However, at-home whitening products have lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, meaning they may not offer the same degree of shade changes that you get from professional whiteners. There is no customized tray so the fit of the product is not as comfortable and as effective.

Special Note: If you suffer from oral health issues, you could cause yourself serious pain and damage to your teeth and gums. For the best results, any home whitening should be administered after a thorough in-office dental cleaning.

Most of these products may be purchased at pharmacies, grocery stores and on line. Prices can vary between vendors so it pays to shop around.

Options for Whitening Your Teeth At Home

  • Whitening Toothpastes: Whitening toothpastes, which contain abrasives or polishing agents, do not contain bleach and can only remove surface stains. They lighten the tooth's color very little. They can abrade the enamel.
  • Whitening Strips: Whitening strips are thin invisible strips that are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. They can be a bit challenging to apply – and keep in place for the recommended period of time.
  • Whitening Gels: Whitening gels are clear, peroxide-based gels, which are applied directly to the surface of your teeth with a brush.
  • Whitening Rinses: These rinses are a fairly new product on the market. They include ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide. Some experts feel that rinses may not be as effective as other over-the-counter whitening products.
  • Tray-Based Tooth Whiteners: Tray-based tooth whitening systems, purchased over-the-counter involve filling a mouth guard-like tray with a gel whitening solution, which contains a peroxide-bleaching agent. These are not the same as the custom trays that your dentist can proved.

Pros and cons of In Office versus At Home Teeth Whitening

Do-it-yourself methods are not as effective as getting your teeth whitened by a professional. You'll want to consider the following:

  • Although over-the counter whitening may be less expensive than in-office whitening, the same quality of the bleaching agent will be less powerful than at a dentist’s office.
  • If you select an over-the-counter whitening mouthpiece tray, remember that one size does not fit all. If a tray does not fit correctly, it can irritate your gums.
  • In an office setting, your dentist will use a rubber shield to protect your gums and oral cavities from the effects of the bleaching.
  • Over-the-counter bleaching systems are the less expensive option, but at what quality impact?

At our Dental Office, we strive to control costs for our patients. Unfortunately, dental insurance does not cover cosmetic procedures.

  • The average cost of in-office teeth whitening is approximately $(please call for a consultation-and ask for any recent seasonal promotion) per visit.
  • The average cost of at-home whitening using professional dentist kits ranges from $(please call for a consultation-and ask for any recent seasonal promotion).
  • The average cost of at-home whitening using over-the-counter whitening products ranges from a few dollars for whitening toothpaste to $45+ for whitening strips and mouth trays.

If you are interested in teeth whitening, call us at 978-443-3111. We would be happy to work with you on whitening your teeth and giving you a fantastic and beautiful smile!

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