Professional Teeth Whitening Vs. Over The Counter Treatments

From drinking coffee to eating certain berries, there are many ways your teeth can potentially become stained over the years. There are also several teeth whitening options available to you when this happens.

Many over the counter whitening strips and toothpastes promise to brighten your smile. Your dentist may also offer professional teeth whitening service.

Which is better? Generally, a professional will deliver more impressive results than you can achieve through an over the counter product. However, every patient has different needs depending on the extent of their teeth staining. 

A dentist can evaluate the degree to which your teeth are stained to determine whether professional teeth whitening is necessary, or whether you can simply whiten your teeth with over the counter products. In the meantime, this overview will help you better understand why a dentist can brighten your smile more effectively than a product you might buy at your local pharmacy can.

What Does Professional Teeth Whitening Involve?

An in-office teeth whitening treatment generally involves the following steps:

The process doesn’t take very long at all. After a brief appointment, a patient can walk out of their dentist’s office with a significantly whiter smile.

Why Professional Teeth Whitening Delivers Results

The bleaching agent a dentist applies to a patient’s teeth during a professional whitening treatment will usually contain carbamide peroxide. According to research from the National Institutes of Health, one of the reasons over the counter products may be less effective than professional teeth whitening is the fact that they often use hydrogen peroxide as a whitening agent, which is weaker than carbamide peroxide.

Additionally, consumers typically use over the counter teeth whitening products without the supervision of a dentist. On the other hand, during an in-office professional cleaning, a dentist follows a procedure to ensure optimal results and safety.

Professional Teeth Whitening & Over The Counter Products: When Cost is a Factor

Someone who understands that a professional whitening can yield more impressive results than over the counter products may nevertheless still believe these products are best for them if their goal is to save money.

It’s true that over the counter whitening strips and toothpastes may cost less than a professional treatment. If you’re on a budget, this is a factor you may need to account for.

That said, it’s also important to remember that you may not be thoroughly satisfied with the results you achieve through over the counter products. Even after using these products, you might decide to schedule a professional teeth whitening anyway to achieve your desired results. If this were to happen, buying over the counter whitening products would be a waste of your money in the long run.

Professional Whitening is Convenient

A professional teeth whitening treatment shouldn’t take longer than an hour. Arguably, this is more convenient than wearing whitening strips several days in a row at home.

However, everyone has their own opinion regarding what is and isn’t convenient. Some patients may feel whitening their teeth at home is always simpler than undergoing treatment in a dental office, even if an at-home treatment requires a greater overall time investment.

These types of patients should know that many dentists who offer in-office teeth whitening service also offer custom at-home whitening trays as well. Because these trays are customized to the needs of each individual patient, they usually deliver superior results to the results achievable through at-home whitening kits available in stores.

Talk to Your Dentist About Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening isn’t necessary for everyone. If the staining to a patient’s teeth is only minimal, a dentist might recommend over the counter products.

The best way to determine whether you need professional teeth whitening is to speak with your dentist. They’ll explain the pros and cons of each option in greater detail, helping you make the right choice for your teeth.

Learn More About Teeth Whitening in Temple, TX

At Fairbanks Dental Associates, we're happy to answer your questions about teeth whitening. Contact us online or call us today at 254-778-4402 to request an appointment.

What Is General Dentistry And Why Is It Important?

General dentistry services help dental practitioners monitor and improve your oral health. They complement restorative and cosmetic services to create a beautiful, functional smile.

General Dentistry Services

Comprehensive Dental Exams and Cleanings

Twice annually, we provide comprehensive exams and cleanings. The dentist checks your bite, the condition of your teeth and gums, and any other apparent problems while evaluating the type of care you need to preserve your oral health.

Comprehensive exams check for problems like oral cancer, which, when treated early, has a higher cure rate. Cleanings help to prevent problems like gum disease and tooth decay.

Custom Oral Appliances

We provide fully customized mouthguards and night guards to protect your teeth and prevent injury. Mouthguards are an excellent choice for everyone who plays an active sport, especially children and those who wear braces. Night guards can prevent tooth clenching and grinding, which could lead to the painful condition called TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome.

Root Canal Treatment

When your tooth needs a root canal, address it quickly. Root canals become necessary when the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected or inflamed. A tooth needing a root canal often causes pain and sensitivity, though sometimes it can develop with no noticeable symptoms.

A root canal may even save your natural tooth from extraction while relieving pain. If you choose not to get a root canal right away, the infection could spread to other teeth and cause severe pain. Root canals may have a reputation for discomfort, but today, the procedure is no more taxing than getting a filling.

Family Dentistry

One of the advantages of choosing Fairbanks Dental Associates is that we can treat every member of your family. It is more convenient to see only one dentist for all of your family's needs, and you and your children will form a close bond with your practitioners. Having a good relationship with your dentist means that you will visit as directed and preserve your oral health to the best of your ability.

Family dentists understand oral health from infancy through the senior years. They can recommend the best treatments and home care routines to help keep your entire family's teeth and gums healthy in the long term.

Why is General Dentistry Important?

General dentistry means that your practitioner can keep a close eye on your oral health. Comprehensive exams and cleanings twice annually help dentists control conditions like cavities and gum disease. In addition to cleanings and comprehensive exams, general dentistry services can relieve pain and prevent future damage to your teeth.

Call Fairbanks Dental Associates.

If you need a general or family dentist in Temple, TX, we are ready to help you. We can provide routine dental services as well as cosmetic, reconstructive, and sedation dentistry for your comfort and convenience.

Please call our office at 254-778-4402 to schedule an appointment today. We can help you preserve and protect your oral health for many years to come.