Teeth whitening is a very hot topic these days.
It seems as though everybody and their dog is offering to have your
teeth whitened for life, by tomorrow.
So what is real and what is hype?
As a disclaimer let me just say that tooth whitening can be accomplished successfully with ANY of these methods and that the following is based on fact with my opinion thrown in for flavor.
There are basically 3 ways to whiten your teeth.
#1 With the whiteners you buy in the stores.
This includes strips, trays, paint on stuff, etc.
Couple of things to consider here. The strength of the bleach has to be over the counter strength which is going to be less then bleach you can get form your dentist. Its like buying Tylenol from the store vs getting Lortab from the dentist. Next is the way the bleach is delivered. Below is a picture of a bleaching strip. Since this strip is sold to everyone, it then by nature, fits no one. Administering bleach to the masses can be a very inexact science that could lead to burned gums or uneven bleaching of the teeth.
#2 Is custom trays made by your dentist and you do the bleaching at home.
This way of bleaching has a lot of up side.
First the strength of bleach is prescription strength which will allow you to bleach faster. Second while bleaching faster it is still slow enough to stop when you begin feeling too much sensitivity. Lastly the trays are made specifically for you. They will fit no one else and thus deliver the bleach right to where it is needed.
#3 In office light whitening.
This option is nice because it is the fastest. But there are some draw backs. The machines to do the bleaching are expensive so the cost must be passed on the the patient. Next, you can't stop bleaching when you begin to feel sensitive. You will lay back being one shade and be several shades lighter when you sit up. If you happen to have lightened up too much and your teeth are very sensitive to even breath you are kind of out of luck.
So again, there are probably many of you reading this that have gotten your teeth whitened by any of the ways just mentioned and it has worked well for you. And that is great. I personally have chosen to offer only the 2nd option in my office as I feel it is the best bang for the buck and offers the least chance of complications for my patients.