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An entirely new market has evolved offering products and procedures that promise consumers whiter, brighter, and more attractive smiles. Currently there are three common methods of teeth whitening - each with its particular advantages and disadvantages.
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A Guide to Teeth Whitening Visit us at www.DentistsInDenver.com -V. Landon Blatter, DMD-
Over the past decade teeth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures. As its popularity has grown, an entirely new market has evolved offering products and procedures that promise consumers whiter, brighter, and more attractive smiles. It has become increasingly difficult for many to know which of the teeth whitening methods and products available are the most effective. Currently there are three common methods of teeth whitening - each with its particular pros and cons.
Over-the-Counter Products These products can vary greatly in both price and effectiveness and range from whitening toothpastes to very low strength bleaching agents. While these products can be significantly less expensive than professional teeth whitening methods, they also tend to be the least effective. While these products can be significantly less expensive than professional teeth whitening methods, they also tend to be the least effective.
Over-the-Counter Products The most powerful of the over the counter bleaching agents only consist of a 3% hydrogen peroxide concentration as opposed to the 15% to 40% hydrogen peroxide concentrations used by dentists. Most over the counter teeth whitening products also take weeks or months to generate noticeable results. Inexperienced users and those that do not following the product directions may actually harm the teeth and gums.
Custom Made Whitening Kit Most dentists now offer custom made whitening kits that patients can use to whiten their teeth at home. These kits include a custom bleaching trays made to fit the patient’s mouth and a gel bleaching agent. Unlike the “one size fits all” bleaching trays found in over the counter whitening products, custom trays are adapted to each patient to provide a better fit. These trays allow the bleaching agents to stay in better contact with the teeth, which produces more even whitening and less irritation to the gums.
Custom Made Whitening Kit The bleaching agents included in the custom made teeth whitening kits are much stronger than over the counter products, consisting of a 3% to 16% hydrogen peroxide concentration. Custom made whitening kits must be crafted by your dentist and can take a several days or more to make. Because the bleaching agents are more powerful than over the counter products, their use should be monitored by a dentist in order to prevent issues. As with over the counter whitening products, over use can cause sensitivity in teeth and gums if used improperly or too often.
Professional Teeth Whitening The fastest and most effective way to whiten your teeth is to have them professionally whitened by your dentist. Although more expensive than custom whitening trays or over the counter products, professional teeth whitening provides the most dramatic whitening possible and can usually be done in one office visit. While the process is similar to the other two methods of teeth whitening, dentists use a professional dental-grade hydrogen peroxide whitening gel consisting of a 25-40% hydrogen peroxide concentration providing faster and more effective whitening. Some dentists also use special high powered lights to help accelerate the process, allowing the entire process to be done in an hour or less. It is also the safest method of whitening your teeth.