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Aesthetic Dentistry

Dr. Samir G. Ayoub

Professional Teeth Whitening vs. At-Home Whitening

Submitted by Dr. Samir Ayoub on January 20, 2017 - 9:00 am

Teeth whitening is a safe and effective treatment to get rid of stains and discoloration and enjoy a whiter, brighter smile. If you are interested in teeth whitening, there are a few ways to go about it. You can choose to have your teeth whitened by a dentist during an in-office treatment, or you could whiten at your leisure using at-home methods.

Here, Dr. Samir Ayoub, who offers teeth whitening treatment in San Francisco, compares in-office whitening to at-home whitening and offers a few thoughts on each option.

Understanding Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening is a short treatment performed in a dentist’s office. During an in-office professional teeth whitening, the dental team applies a special bleaching gel to the teeth. The gums are protected with a shield, so they are not exposed to the bleaching agent. Depending on the specific product, it may be activated with a special light. After 10 to 15 minutes, the gel is removed from the teeth. This process may be repeated several times in order to achieve the desired results. The teeth look brighter and stains are remarkably less noticeable almost immediately after treatment.

Understanding At-Home Teeth Whitening

Some people choose to whiten their teeth at home instead of in the office because they prefer the flexibility, convenience and lower cost compared to professional teeth whitening. At-home teeth whitening typically involves wearing either bleaching trays that fit over the teeth, or gel strips. The trays or strips must be worn for approximately an hour every day, for about 10 to 14 days, which can be bothersome for the patient who is on the go. Without regular use, results may be negligible.

One drawback of at-home teeth whitening is that the bleaching agent is typically less concentrated. It takes longer to see results, and they may not be as dramatic as in-office whitening results.

Another downside to at-home teeth whitening is that without the supervision of a dentist, some people experience sensitivity or mild discomfort from the whitening gel. During an in-office treatment, the dentist controls the treatment and can take measures to reduce or prevent sensitivity and other issues. The dentist can also recommend treatments that may complement the results of teeth whitening, such as dental bonding or the placement of porcelain veneers.

Learn More about Your Teeth Whitening Options

To learn more about in-office teeth whitening, please contact San Francisco Aesthetic Dentistry and request an appointment with Dr. Ayoub. Call (415) 781-2227or send us an email today.