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Brookfield Family Dentistry: Thomas Tang, DDS

Professional Dental Bleaching vs. Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

By Dr.Thomas Tang on June 30, 2014

A happy couple smiles togetherWhen it comes to having a smile that's healthy as well as beautiful, it's important that you visit Dr. Thomas Tang. Serving patients throughout the Brookfield area, he's careful to customize each treatment to their needs, offering the best in professional dental care.

One popular option for aesthetic treatment is teeth whitening, which can remove stains and bleach most discolorations of your smile. You may be wondering, though: there are many teeth whitening products at my store, so should I really go to the dentist to have my teeth bleached?

Let's compare these over-the-counter products to professional teeth whitening right now to answer this question.

Types of Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products come in many different forms. You've likely seen the following on store shelves during your visit to the drugstore or the grocery store:

  • Chewing gums
  • Toothpastes
  • Rinses
  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening tray systems

Which over-the-counter products are most effective?

In general, the most effective option for store-bought products are the tray systems. Whitening strips are the second most effective option, and the others vary though tend to be limited in effectiveness.

About Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

Professional teeth whitening is performed under dentist supervision at the office. This generally involves the use of a whitening agent applied to the teeth, which penetrates deep into the enamel and bleaches any discolored or stained material.

How does professional whitening compare to over-the-counter whitening?

Professional teeth whitening is far superior to even the best over-the-counter tray systems. The strength of the bleaching agents and the overall effectiveness of care blows the over-the-counter products out of the water.

In addition to in-office care, there are also professional-grade take-home kits that you can get from your dentist. These are often similar to the tray systems available over the counter, though these professionally provided kits have much more potent bleaching agents and yield better results than the store-bought products.

Professional Whitening Is Safer

One of the primary advantages of professional teeth whitening is safety.

With at-home teeth whitening products, patients may experience major tooth sensitivity or gum irritation if they leave the bleaching agent on too long or the bleaching agent gets on their gums. When performed by dental health professionals, teeth whitening gel remains off the gums and centered on the teeth for just the right amount of time, and any major sensitivity is mitigated thanks to the use of a tooth desensitizer.

Professional Whitening Is Faster

Professional teeth whitening gets the job done quicker than store-bought products as well.

In just a single professional teeth whitening session, your smile may be brighter by up to seven or eight shades. Results like these would take weeks of treatment with an over-the-counter product. Even major stains can be addressed in just two sessions of professional whitening, giving patients the smile of their dreams.

Conclusion: Professional Teeth Whitening Is Just Better Overall

Safer, faster, and just plain more effective, it should come as no surprise that professional teeth whitening is an ideal treatment option if you have extrinsic tooth stains.

There's an additional benefit to professional-grade care: if you have severe stains that even multiple teeth whitening treatments cannot address, then your dentist will be able to recommend an alternative therapy that will better meet your needs. This is the kind of excellent custom care that professionals provide and store-bought treatments simply cannot.

Discuss Your Cosmetic Dentistry Options with Our Team

If you would like more information about professional teeth whitening and your many options out there for advanced dental care, we encourage you to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. Dr. Thomas Tang will tailor your treatment to your needs so that you have a beautiful smile that's as bright and as white as it can be.

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17185 W North Ave
Brookfield, WI 53005

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