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At-Home Vs In-Office Whitening
The best option for tooth surface stain removal is to whiten the teeth using different whitening methods. Teeth whiteness depends upon numerous factors; some among them includes an individual’s eating habit, age, oral hygiene and smoking habit. There are many ways of teeth whitening, but the main among them are:

At-home treatment methods: It is an economical and easy to use teeth whitening option. There are only few of at-home products which can be purchased without dentist’s supervision. These include whitening strips, whitening toothpaste, whitening gum, mouth trays with gel and paint-on tooth gel. It can be a supplement to in-office dental treatments but dentist supervised tooth whitening procedure is the most effective and safest of whitening treatments.

In-office treatment methods: It is the most preferred and safest of the teeth whitening procedures because mouth and gums are completely protected from the harsh effect of bleaching agents. It is the finest whitening system as it is very effective and can transform teeth in a single dental visit. It features a buffer in the gel which guards the tooth enamel from damage. It brightens the teeth up to 10 shades within an hour.

Difference between at Home vs. Dentist administered teeth whitening

At-home products cannot give professional results. The results vary greatly between at-home treatment and in-office treatment methods. Few important differences include:

Supervision: Dentists performs various evaluation procedures before starting the teeth whitening procedure. Patient’s medical history, condition of teeth, number and location of restoration type, and extent of stain helps a dentist in deciding the course of treatment. Any queries that a patient feel to discuss can be instantly answered by the dentist. Dentists take appropriate steps to protect the other parts of mouth from bleaching agents while in at-home procedures these supervisory steps are missing.

Bleaching agent’s strength: At-home products typically contains bleaching agent of lower strength i.e. about 10-22% carbamide peroxide content which is equal to 3% of hydrogen peroxide. In in-office treatment, whitening products containing higher strength (usually 15-43%) of hydrogen peroxide is used for bleaching process.

Mouthpiece trays: In in-office treatment, the dentist takes an impression of the mouth and makes a mouthpiece tray. These trays are tailored exactly to fit the patient’s teeth and allow maximum contact between teeth and the whitening gel. It reduces the gel’s contact with gum tissues and thus the gel stays in contact with the teeth only excluding the gum area. At-home whitening products also contain mouthpiece tray but the approach is pretty different. “One size fits all” is the rudimentary approach in at-home products but these ill fit trays allows more bleaching agents to come in contact with gums and soft tissues. This indeed leads to other oral problems.

Other protective measures: Dentist applies gel or rubber shield to the gum tissue before starting the whitening procedure. This helps in protecting gums and oral regions from ill effects of bleaching while at-home products are deprive from such protective measures.

Time: At-home method generally takes longer to whiten the teeth than in-office methods. For instant and effective results, an in-office teeth whitening procedure is best.

Expected results after teeth whitening

These methods do not give permanent whitening solutions. With proper precautions after treatment one can stay without next treatment and touch-ups for as long as one to two years.

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