Teeth whitening procedures are used to brighten the appearance of a patient’s natural teeth and can often dramatically enhance one’s smile. Teeth whitening procedures have become some of the most popular esthetic dental treatments among adults of all ages. People do, however, seem to either have some questions on what works best or have mixed results with previous attempts at teeth whitening. Let’s clarify.
What whitening method is best for me?
The two main methods of whitening include professionally prescribed or over-the-counter treatments such as whitening strips.
Professional prescribed teeth whitening can be performed with a combination of in office and take-home methods we’ll discuss. In contrast, various over-the-counter products are available to directly purchase and apply without the supervision of a dentist. In comparison to over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments, professional whitening uses stronger whitening agents that deliver cleaner, faster, and more effective results.
Option #1 At Downtown Dental Lafayette
In-office whitening consists of a thorough cleaning and polishing of the teeth, with all debris carefully removed. Your dentist will then protect your gums before applying a whitening agent to the surface of your teeth. The product will be applied and left on the teeth for several minutes before being washed off with water. Your results will vary according to the natural shade of your teeth and degree of discoloration, but it is normal for patients to experience a lightening of several shades in a single visit. Next, we fabricate whitening trays that are custom to your teeth for take-home use.
You’ll apply the whitening gel included in your take-home kit with specific instructions based on our recommendations for your mouth. This is a daily application for 1-2 weeks depending on the prescribed routine. A nice advantage to custom trays is they may last for many years and be used for multiple applications should you choose to whiten your teeth again in the future.
Option #2 Custom Tray Take-home kit
Some of our patients choose our option to do the custom tray take-home kit only and skip the in-office option.
Option #3: Over-the-Counter
We like to let our patients know that over-the-counter white strips may also achieve the results you’re looking for. It has the possibility of being a cheaper solution with the disadvantages being that it tends to be messy and the wear time is typically longer due to the weaker concentration of whitening agents.
Did you know…
that the teeth naturally darken as we age? Certain foods, beverages, medications and habits can contribute to a darker, yellowed, or stained smile. However, it may be possible to erase years of stains with the appropriate professional whitening option and sustain those results for many years with proper maintenance. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, professional whitening is best maintained by a combination of good oral care and take-home whitening treatments as recommended by your dentist.
Schedule a Free Consultation
We would be glad to assess the color of your teeth and help you make an informed decision on what whitening method is best for you. Schedule a free cosmetic consultation today with Dr. Jimmy Lutz.