What Are the Different Types of Teeth Whitening and the Pros and Cons of Each?

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At Home Teeth Whitening My Dentist
There are many types of teeth whitening options available these days, they each come with their pros and cons. Let’s examine them together.
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So one type of teeth whitening is the DIY, over-the-counter, supermarket or online whitening products. The only advantage of these agents is the fact that they are very affordable and they are cheap.

The disadvantage is that they are often composed of very weak whitening agents that don’t make any significant change to the shade of the teeth. In addition, some other products can actually be damaging to the teeth because they contain things like citric acid or alternatively contain abrasive particles that can wear away the enamel when the product is being used. So while they are cheap, you have to be careful of them.

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The second type of whitening agent is the professional At-Home system. The At-Home system involves dentists taking impressions or moulds of the patients’ teeth and making custom-fitted trays for their teeth. The patient then takes the trays home. They inject a more potent whitening agent into the trays and they wear these trays for about an hour a day for two to three weeks, depending on the extent of the stain and discolouration of the enamel.

Now, the disadvantage of this option is the fact that it does take a little bit of time. It does require some compliance. There can sometimes be a little bit of sensitivity, which is transient and reversible provided the patient is following the instructions provided by the dentist. They can also make the gums sometimes a little bit tender, but again, through the right technique, it doesn’t have to be the case. This option does cost more than the over the counter option, however, it is a lot safer and effective, and it is customised for each individual patient.

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The third option is the professional In-Chair teeth whitening option. And that is where a patient attends a dental clinic. The dentist applies a professional-strength peroxide to their teeth. In our practice, we use the Zoom Teeth Whitening as our main in-chair whitening procedure. With that, we activate the strong whitening gel using a special light. The appointments typically range from about an hour to an hour and a half. And within that time period, it’s about the equivalent of doing the At-Home whitening system for a week or two.

Now the disadvantage of the in-chair procedure is the fact that it is the dearest of the three options. Another disadvantage is because it is using hydrogen peroxide, it can make the teeth sensitive, but this is transient and reversible. With in-chair procedures, there’s about a 24-hour period afterwards where patients can’t consume anything with a colour, but that’s only again for 24 hours. So there is a delay in being able to consume normal foods, but it is only a short time. But of the three options, this gives the quickest result and the safest, as you will be under the observation of a professional during the session.

So these are three main types of teeth whitening options that are available. Each one has its pros and cons. My personal favourite as a dentist is where we use a combination of the In-Chair and the At-Home. The In-Chair works to boost the smile of the patient, get us quick results that motivate the patient and basically meet their needs. And then we follow it up with the At-Home system, which can be utilised to improve on the shade if need be, or alternatively become a maintenance system, so the patient can top the whitening as they need prior to a special event and don’t need to come back every year or so to top up their In-Chair whitening or to top up their teeth using In-Chair whitening.

If you are considering brightening your smile with professional teeth whitening, we would love to look after you. Simply give us a call or complete the enquiry form and one of our friendly team members will be in touch to help you organise your consultation.


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