Question: Which is better, in office or at home teeth whitening?

tw1Answer: There are two main types of teeth whitening techniques, professional teeth whitening treatments ( performed by the dentist in their office) and at home teeth whitening, where the bleaching treatments are performed, unsupervised, by the person on their own.

Professional Teeth Whitening
-    Procedure is performed by a dentist in his or her office.
-    The whitening effect is seen immediately
-    The procedure takes approximately one hour.

At Home Teeth Whitening

-    Patient brings home a kit and wears trays with gel  
several hours per day for several weeks.
-    Does not get consistent result , it depends on the patient’s motivation to do the self treatment.
-    Is usually less expensive than the one- hour in office procedure.

Procedure for Professional Teeth Whitening

1.    Dentist document the pre-treatment shade of the patient’s teeth.
2.    A professional cleaning and polishing is done first to remove stains and tartar.
3.    Teeth are isolated using cheek retractors or rubber dam.
4.    Eye protection placed on patient.
5.    Peroxide whitening gel is applied to the patient’s teeth.
6.    A light source is used to activate the bleaching compound.
7.    Procedure is usually completed in 60-90 minutes.
8.    Whitening compound is washed off when the procedure is completed.

tw3Professional teeth whitening and at home whitening trays both work. However the in office procedure is more predictable and the result is seen after one hour. The professional teeth whitening is convenient and efficient and can be done predictably before a big occasion when someone wants their smile to look its best. Teeth sensitivity for a few days is a common complaint but otherwise the procedure is painless and most patients get satisfactory results with an improved brighter and whiter smile.