Within the last 10 years the field of teeth whitening, both in the dental office and at home, has changed immensely. Essentially, there are two different methods to get whiter teeth: dental (in-office) whitening, and an at home treatment. Discover a few secrets about teeth whitening that your dentist hopes I’ll never tell you!
METHOD #1: DENTAL (IN-OFFICE) TEETH WHITENING
I can tell you from first-hand experience, dentists LOVE the patient who wants to have a teeth whitening procedure in the dental office. Back in the early ’90’s there was only one option available teeth whitening near me.
Your dentist would make molds of your teeth, send them off to a lab, and in 5-10 days receive back your custom fitted teeth whitening mouthpiece. Then you would sit in the dental chair for 1-2 hours, with these plastic teeth whitening molds filled with peroxide (at a very low concentration) pressed against your teeth and gums.
After 3-4 visits, your teeth would be officially declared whiter (and usually they were), and you would be sent home with a nice $500 – $1,000 bill to pay. And with whiter teeth of course.
I’ll be the first to admit, dental office teeth whitening has come a long way in the past 10 years. Now the most popular teeth whitening dental office procedure known as Laser Bleaching (or Power Bleaching, Argon Bleaching, etc.) is a shorter process. Basically this teeth whitening procedure consists of the application of a concentrated peroxide gel onto your teeth, then for the next hour you sit in a dental chair with your mouth wide open, while a special light (usually argon) is shined onto the teeth whitening paste that in turn chemically reacts with the peroxide to complete the teeth whitening process in as short a time period as possible.
This teeth whitening procedure does work. Although, many dentists say that you get a whiter smile by repeated tray applications because the teeth whitening peroxide stays in contact with your teeth for longer periods of time. The downside is that you still get stuck with that fat $500 – $1,000 bill (at least for the good teeth whitening procedure).And you still need to either come back 6 months later for another teeth whitening (excuse me – a touch up!), or you’re given some take home whitening items. Why then did you spend $500 – $1,000 dollars for an in-office teeth whitening procedure?
Fortunately, as most other things in life, technology stepped in to make teeth whitening easier and more affordable!
METHOD #2: HOME TEETH WHITENING
I’ll say this once just to get it out in the open, it’s now possible (in almost all cases) to achieve “dental office” quality teeth whitening, from the comfort of your own home! “At-Home” teeth whitening has taken a bite out of (sorry for the pun) the “in-office” power bleaching systems, where millions of corporate advertising dollars now compete with the comfort of teeth whitening at home.
And rightly so…
Up until a few years ago, teeth whitening was a fairly complex process. The hard part was making those fitted mouthpieces for each patient, for this reason alone, home teeth whitening was not an option for most people.