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Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Do It Yourself Kits

Have your teeth begun to lose their pearly white luster? If so, you may want to consider teeth whitening. However, with so many choices ranging from professional laser teeth whitening systems, such as Philips Zoom, to less expensive DIY teeth whitening kits you can buy at your local drugstore, how do you know what the best option is? Is one option better than the others? In this article we’ll compare a few of the most popular teeth whitening solutions available today.

In most cases, the teeth whitening option you choose will depend on your budget, how discolored your teeth are as well as how dramatic you want your final results to be. It’s a good rule of thumb to expect teeth that are only slightly yellow to lighten much more than teeth that have become brown or greyish in color.

Here’s an overview of the most popular teeth whitening treatments:

Laser teeth whitening

Laser teeth whitening involves the use of bleach and a laser light that activates the bleach and makes it work. Laser teeth whitening is typically performed in a single dentist visit, but in some extreme cases it may be necessary to go back for multiple sessions. However, for most dental patients, they will walk out of the dentist’s office with a smile that is several shades lighter. This is the most expensive teeth whitening option on the list, but it’s well worth it. Compared to over-the-counter whitening options, the bleach is much stronger. You also get the peace of mind that you are under the supervision of your dentist.

Bleaching trays

Bleaching trays are another popular professional teeth whitening option. This method involves your dentist making an impression of your teeth to design custom bleaching trays that fit your teeth perfectly. Once you’ve received your bleaching trays, you can head home, add the bleaching solution and begin your treatment. Duration of the treatment is usually from a few days to 2 weeks. In addition, bleaching trays can be used in combination with laser teeth whitening when your teeth are very discolored or when you want a dramatic result as quickly as possible. This treatment is typically less than professional laser whitening solutions, but still more expensive than the kits you buy at the drugstore. Since this type of treatment can be purchased from your dentist, you’ll have to option to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have.

Over-the-counter kits

Lastly, over-the-counter teeth whitening kits are another option to consider. There are many different types of teeth whitening products available today. These include kits to make your own bleaching trays, whitening gels, strips and more. However, these bleaching solutions often produce subpar results when compared to those of professional teeth whitening treatments. In cases of severe teeth discoloration, it may not produce any noticeable results at all. However, the price of these treatments are considerably less than the professional options you’d find at your dentist.

As you can see, professional teeth whitening is definitely the winner when it comes to results. If you want a dramatic improvement, have majorly discolored teeth or if you feel more comfortable knowing that you’re under the supervision of a dentist, professional whitening is the right option for you. However, there are other things to consider when deciding which teeth whitening treatment to undergo:

Cost – Typically, professional teeth-whitening treatments cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on which option you choose. Over-the-counter DIY kits cost anywhere from $15 to $50 at your local drugstore.

Maintenance – Unfortunately, teeth whitening treatments won’t last forever and it’s pretty much expected that you’ll have to go back in for touch-ups or another full treatment eventually. Generally, professional treatments will last from 6 months to a year, but may last even longer if you brush regularly and limit habits that stain your teeth. In contrast, over-the-counter whitening solutions will last for a few months at best.

Risks – Although over-the-counter treatments are usually much weaker than professional treatments, they do pose some risk to your dental health if not used properly.

If you’re considering getting your teeth whitened, talk to your dentist. Your dentist will assess the condition of your teeth as well as your overall dental health to help you determine which teeth whitening option is best for you. If you’re looking for professional teeth whitening in the Bellevue, WA area, book an appointment with Smiles of Bellevue and Eastside Smiles. We provide Philips Zoom teeth whitening and custom whitening trays made right here in our own lab.



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