Various factors like smoking, increased consumption of tea/coffee or other colored food products and even aging can lead to the discoloration of teeth.
Teeth whitening/bleaching can be done for the removal of the stains and to restore the natural shade of the teeth. Most of the patients choose this treatment procedure for cosmetic reasons but fear that getting the teeth whitening done at the dentist’s office may cost them more as compared to the ‘At-Home’ variants. The question arises: “Is the process worthwhile?”
Firstly, there are two options available for the patients for tooth whitening:
- Professional tooth whitening or the ‘In-Office’ method
- The ‘At-Home’ method of tooth bleaching: The ‘At-Home’ products can be either prescribed by a dental professional or over-the-counter bleaching products readily available in the market can be used.
In either of the products, the active ingredient is carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The bleaching agent penetrates the outer layer of the tooth i.e. the enamel and removes the stains and improves the shade of the tooth through the process of oxidation. The ‘At-Home’ tooth bleaching products can be available in the form of whitening gels, pens, strips or even whitening toothpaste. In the chair-side method, the dentist uses professional tooth whitening kits and devices to achieve the optimum shade of the tooth.
Benefits of the ‘In-Office’ tooth whitening procedure:
- A trained dentist performs the ‘In-Office’ type of tooth bleaching. Tooth whitening can be contraindicated in some clinical situations, and a dentist is the best person to diagnose and let you know if you’re a suitable candidate for tooth bleaching.
- The over-the-counter bleaching products used at home mostly come with a universal tray that may not fit well in your mouth and any procedural errors may later lead to side-effects like the sensitivity of teeth, gingival irritation, and others.
- The concentration of the bleaching agents like carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide is greater in the bleaching products used in the chair-side method as compared to the over-the-counter whitening products and other ‘At-Home’ variants. Moreover, laser therapy or application of heat is done in the chair-side method. This technique assists in achieving quick and effective results.
- Tooth whitening is a technique-sensitive procedure, and the ‘In-Office’ method is done under the supervision of the dentist, the latter affecting the success of the treatment.
Is tooth whitening at the dentist’s office cost-effective?
Although the cost of the chair-side tooth whitening procedure is more than the ‘At-Home’ products, they give quicker results, and also the chances of procedural error are minimized.
After the visit to the dentist’s office and the initial diagnosis, the dentist can recommend and advise the patient the correct treatment according to individual circumstances and financial options.
The dentist may also prescribe you a bleaching gel along with a custom tray as the ‘At-Home’ tooth bleaching option. Nevertheless, if you want a whiter and brighter smile that lasts for a long duration of time, then the professional tooth whitening at the dentist’ office can give you the desirable results.