Understanding Professional and At-Home Teeth Whitening Options

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For patients with healthy teeth and gums who wish to remove yellow stains or other tooth discoloration, both at-home dental whitening kits and in-office cosmetic whitening procedures can be tickets to a new smile. At-home options include gentle whitening toothpastes for removing mild stains, whitening gels and strips, and tray-based bleaching kits. For more intensive treatment and fast, dramatic results, in-office dentist teeth whitening treatments are available. Professional treatments can lighten teeth three to eight shades, and in some cases, they may require only one office visit.

Professional vs. At-Home Dental Whitening Treatments

Patients should consider the differences between in-office and at-home methods before deciding on a type of teeth bleaching whitening treatment.

  • Professional dental whitening, unlike over-the-counter treatments, includes protective measures to prevent the bleaching agents from burning sensitive gum tissues. Dentists can apply a protective gel to gums, or place a rubber shield over them to keep them safe.
  • Over-the-counter teeth bleaching whitening agents are much weaker than in-office products. Professional systems use peroxide in concentrations of up to 43 percent; typical at-home systems use solutions containing only 22 percent at most.
  • At-home tray-based whiteners contain pre-formed trays. Professional trays are custom-made from tooth impressions for an exact fit and maximum contact with tooth surfaces.
  • At-home bleaching agents are applied every day for up to two hours or overnight and must be used for about a month. In-office dentist teeth whitening produces results in an hour or less. It may require several appointments to obtain dramatic results if teeth are deeply stained.
  • At-home dental whitening doesn’t include professional assistance and intervention if a problem occurs. Your dentist in Philadelphia can determine underlying causes of discoloration, and choose the best options for treatment. Having professional supervision also helps diminish or manage any side effects associated with whitening treatments such as tooth and gum sensitivity.

Dental Whitening Treatments aren’t Right for Everyone

Teeth bleaching whitening agents are not recommended for:

  • Patients with cavities, worn tooth enamel, restorations, or gum disease
  • Patients with very sensitive teeth
  • People who are allergic to peroxide
  • Patients with discoloration caused by tetracycline use
  • People with dark tooth stains
  • Pregnant or lactating women
  • Children under the age of 16

To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Philadelphia, call Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania today at (215) 789-9675 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Philadelphia. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania.

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