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Dentistry Myths: All Teeth Whitening Options Are the Same

Significant differences exist between professional teeth whitening systems, including those provided for at-home use, and other whitening kits that are widely available in supermarkets, drugstores, and through websites or infomercial sales. Understanding these differences can help patients protect their teeth and gums, reduce wasted money on less-efficient, lower quality products, and improve patient satisfaction with professional-grade whitening treatments that yield the desired results.

During professional whitening treatments, our cosmetic dentist will protect the patient’s gums with a special gel or shield that prevents contact with the whitening gels. This reduces the risk of gum irritation which many patients report after using over-the-counter whitening kits. Unlike the kits, professional treatments are customized for the patient rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. The benefit of having a professional supervise the whitening treatment also improves the quality and safety of professional teeth whitening options.

The composition of over-the-counter whitening kits contributes to the general lower-quality results experienced with their use in comparison to professional treatments. For safety reasons, the at-home kits purchased in stores or from websites are designed with a lower quality bleaching substance that contains approximately 3% hydrogen peroxide; the primary whitening ingredient in all treatment options. Professional whitening treatments are conducted with a professional-grade hydrogen peroxide-based whitening gel which can contain anywhere from 15% to over 40% hydrogen peroxide, depending on the individual products and patient factors.

The largest difference that most patients see when comparing over-the-counter bleaching kits and professional whitening treatments is the cost difference. While at-home kits are extremely affordable, their results are less impressive and the risks are higher of irritating gum tissue or leaving teeth hypersensitive. Professional treatments are definitely more expensive but the results are significantly more satisfying and last much longer with good at-home oral health care (e.g. brushing and flossing habits).

Contact our team at (972) 218-0078 for more information on professional whitening treatments.

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