Professional Teeth Whitening Vs. OTC Whitening Kits
As technology and research continues to barrel forward, new and innovative ways to complete different processes have been found and expanded on. This goes for just about any industry, as people look for the next easiest way to get something completed and finished.
In recent years, there has been an increase in aiming for over the counter type remedies for different issues, as opposed to seeing a professional. One such subject can be seen in terms of teeth whitening1, as many people have opted to start using over the counter kits instead of going to see a professional dentist. Many people swear by it, while others still deny that whitening kits are as effective as professional teeth whitening. As such, let’s go over some of the advantages and disadvantages of both of these options, and see which one comes out on top.
First up is always the cost. Money is not forthcoming for many people, which is why everyone always looks for the easiest way to get something done, even if it isn’t the most effective.
In terms of getting professional teeth whitening done, it can be a bit pricey. Most current procedures can run close to $650.00 if not more if you go to one of the more high-end clinics.
Other options are take-home trays for teeth whitening that can cost upwards of $400.00. The cheapest options are obviously the over-the-counter options, which will usually be around $100.00 to deal with, so not too bad.
Although they all seem quite high, remember that all these prices tend to vary depending on age, hereditary differences, as well as the depth and growth of the stains and problems that the teeth whitening procedure is attempting to correct.
With how many different options there are, the accessibility to get any of these different options can vary at different points, and depends on the area that you live in. Teeth Whitening procedures can also have prior visits to the dental office that need to be taken care of, so even if you plan to get it quickly, there may be hoops that you need to jump through.
In terms of over the counter options, there are plenty of over the counter companies that say that they have the best product for over your needs at an affordable price. Unfortunately, with how easy it is to get an over the counter price, the problem arises that there are sometimes imperfect options mixed in. As such, finding out which of the over the counter options will actually work and won’t harm your teeth more than they already are.
With whitening trays, it is always best to consult with your dentist if they will work for you. As they are a bit pricier than regular over the counter options, but give better benefits, they can also be very dangerous if they are misused or mishandled, as it is using bleach.
There are also the differences in how each procedure is prepped. With trays, they will usually come with a written instruction set that must be followed extremely closely. These trays generally take a few weekly treatments or daily, depending on the depth of the stain or discoloration.
With whitening kits, they generally have very little prep and can be applied quickly and easily. Just following the package means you do not have to go out of your way to a doctor’s office or go visit a clinic to figure out how to use them.
For Professional Teeth Whitening, the process can sometimes be time-consuming. At the start, there is usually an initial exam to verify that the procedure is the right course of action. Once that has been taken care of, the teeth must be prophylactically cleaned to ensure that the surface is fully clear to be worked on. This process helps to clean away loose plaque and debris. Then comes the actual cleaning and bleaching of the teeth, which can take quite some time. In the end, there is also the chance of having a follow-up bleaching in the office if the proper whitening levels have not been achieved.
Finally, how well these items fix the issues of stained or discolored teeth plays a large part in which product you may want to pick up. As different issues need different solutions, and as more problems can occur than most are prepared for, you may want to check on which treatment is best for you.
Full chairside whitening by a professional is best for when you are trying to remove things like organic stains or discolorations usually caused by aging, tobacco use, or eating certain foods that leave massive residues, such as coffee, wine, and sodas. It is also best to use chairside whitening when these have become too oversaturated to be cleaned by regular brushing or over the counter stains.
Over the counter whitening kits and trays are best used when the problem is just arising. This is because the kits and trays generally have lower cleaning power, as they need to be safe to use by the untrained hands. So, using these can be simple, but will only help in the early stages. For instance, catching the early onset of a stain can mean that you have saved yourself a visit to the dentist. Instead, you may be able to simply pick up a kit and take care of it at home.
To note, however, is the fact that there are some stains that are unable to come out even through professional teeth whitening procedures. For instance, inorganic stains may not be able to be treated in the office. Having them cleaned in office may even make the area darker as the other teeth are whitened. Also, trauma can cause the dentin in the teeth to darken, which may not be able to be dealt with through normal whitening procedures. Lastly, overexposure to fluoride is one of the other issues that cannot be treated through normal in-office whitening procedures.
Which is the best for me?
Unfortunately, there is no “one cure fits all” solution. As time goes on, there are issues that each of these systems can help remedy, and there are issues that each of these systems cannot help remedy.
Because of this, it is important to always talk to a professional2 that you know and trust about your teeth. As this is talking about an important aesthetic, get their advice. Sometimes, they will let you know that the home kit treatments are a viable solution to the issue. Other times, they can help point out a major problem that you may not have caught on your own. In either case, focus on researching and getting a proper idea of what needs to be fixed, and don’t just jump into the most expensive or non-expensive treatment without any information.