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Medically reviewed by Dr Jerry Jesin — By Andrea Galick

Difference Between Teeth Whitening at the Dentist and at Home

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6 months ago

One look in the mirror is all it takes to realize your teeth need help. Specifically, the yellow needs to be replaced with the natural white shade your teeth sported in the past. You could make a trip to the drugstore and pick up an at-home whitening kit. Another approach is to undergo professional treatments under the care of a dentist. Here are a few things you should know about each option.

Dealing With Sensitive Teeth

While many people have no problems using kits at home, others find that the treatments seem to make their teeth more sensitive. One way to avoid that issue is to choose professional teeth whitening instead. As dentists administer the treatments, they also monitor the results. In the event that any type of sensitivity develops, the dentist will know how to deal with the situation immediately.

Lasting Results

There is no doubt that at-home kits work. What is different is how long the results last. You can expect to repeat the at-home treatment on a regular basis. By contrast, having your teeth whitened professional generally means you will only need to go back for more treatments after several months. If you would prefer to not make whitening something you must do every few weeks, having your dentist manage the treatments makes a lot of sense.

Even Whitening

Another point to consider closely is the quality of the whitening treatments. With at-home methods, it’s easy to miss spots and end up with some teeth that appear to be whiter than others. Instead of improving your smile, you have one more issue that has to be resolved.

Compare that with undergoing whitening treatments with a dental professional. The process ensures that the whitening is done evenly. Your dentist monitors the results of each session and can quickly address any area that seems to be slightly different in color than the rest of the teeth. Thanks to that attention to detail, you leave the dental clinic with teeth that are evenly shaded.

The Expense

Many people turn to at-home kits because they consider them to be less expensive and equally effective. It’s true that the typical kit will cost less than an office visit for teeth whitening. What you may not realize is that it could take several kits to achieve the same result as one or two office visits. That could mean you end up paying more to do the job at home than if you left the task in the hands of a dental professional.

Factor in the fact that you will need to repeat the home treatments several times a year versus undergoing additional whitening at the dentist office no more than twice a year and it’s easy to see how the home kits could end up costing more than the professional treatments.

Talk with your dentist and learn more about professional teeth whitening options. After going over all the essentials, you are likely to find this solution is really the best approach.

Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.


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