Bleaching Battle: In-office Teeth Whitening vs. At-home Whitening By Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S. on July 09, 2015

A woman in a room smilingDr. Thomas Zarger is a leading general and cosmetic dentist serving the Knoxville, offering patients some of the best options for enhancing the aesthetics of their smiles. A number of patients visit Dr. Zarger for teeth whitening treatment, which eliminates dental stains and tooth discoloration.

You may be wondering if professional teeth whitening is worthwhile given all of the whitening products that you can buy at the store. Let's compare these options right now.

At-Home Teeth Whitening Products: What Are My Options?

When it comes to teeth whitening products that you can buy at the local drugstore, the most common options are as follows:

  • Teeth whitening chewing gums and mints
  • Whitening toothpaste and rinses
  • Teeth whitening strips
  • Teeth whitening tray systems

The cost and overall effectiveness of these products can vary a great deal.

Which At-Home Teeth Whitening Products Are Most Effective?

In general, the most effective at-home teeth whitening products are the teeth whitening strips and the teeth whitening tray systems. These both use stronger bleaching agents than the other products can can yield positive results after a few weeks of use.

The teeth whitening rinses and toothpastes are semi-effective, and much of the time the difference that is made is minor after long-term use.

With mints and chewing gums, the positive effects are minuscule at best in most instances.

In-Office Teeth Whitening Treatment: What to Expect

In-office teeth whitening treatments can vary a great deal in terms of how they are implemented, but the general principles are the same. A dentist will apply a dental bleaching solution to your teeth. This bleaching agent is sometimes exposed to a special laser light to help with the whitening process. The bleaching agent whitens the actual enamel layer of the tooth.

For serious tooth discoloration and stains, multiple teeth whitening treatments can be performed.

How Does In-Office Whitening Compare to At-Home Products?

In-office teeth whitening treatments are far superior to at-home teeth whitening. During just one professional teeth whitening session, a patient's smile can be brightened by several shades, results which are not immediately possible with at-home products.

In addition to speed, in-office teeth whitening treatments tend to be safer as well, with patients experiencing less severe tooth sensitivity and no gum irritation after treatment. With at-home kits, these negative side effects are more likely.

A Word on Take-Home Professional Teeth Whitening

Patients are also able to use professional-grade teeth whitening products in the comfort of their own home provided to them by their dentist. They typically use mouth trays that are filled with a bleaching agent to brighten and whiten the teeth. These professional take-home kits are more effective than the over-the-counter tray systems.

Other Options for Brightening Your Smile

If teeth whitening is not an ideal option for addressing your tooth discoloration, it's possible to turn to other cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental bonding and porcelain veneers. These other treatment options can be discussed in greater detail during your consultation at the practice.

Learn More About Your Teeth Whitening Options

If you would like to find out how you can get your smile to look its brightest and whitest, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Thomas Zarger and the entire team at the practice look forward to your visit and helping you have the best smile possible.

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Dr. Thomas G. Zarger, Jr., DDS Family Dentistry in Knoxville

Our practice has provided skilled and compassionate dentistry for patients in the Knoxville, TN, community for over 30 years. Dr. Zarger is a member of:

  • American Dental Association
  • Second District Dental Society
  • Tennessee Dental Association
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

We strive to make care convenient and affordable to all patients and accept CareCredit financing to help reduce the cost of treatment. Schedule your consultation today online, or by calling (865) 693-7631.

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