Over the Counter vs. Professional Teeth Whitening
By J. Brent Gorrell on April 18, 2014
Nearly everyone experiences some degree of tooth discoloration. It can come from an injury, from consumption of staining or acidic foods like coffee and soft drinks, or simply from age. When tooth discoloration occurs, many people start thinking about teeth whitening treatments. But with so many options - from in-home over-the-counter treatments, to professional teeth whitening treatments that are performed in office - how do you know what’s right for you?
What Types of Over-the-Counter and Professional Whitening Treatments Are There?
The number of teeth whitening treatments that a patient can choose from is almost overwhelming. A wide range of over-the-counter treatments have been developed, including:
- Whitening strips
- Whitening toothpaste
- Gel trays
A wide range of professional treatment options is also available, with many cosmetic dentists having personal preferences based on effectiveness and safety profiles. Dr. Gorrell uses an exclusive state-of-the-art treatment called LaserSmile™, a highly successful treatment that utilizes lasers to target individual teeth one at a time for quick and dramatic results.
What Are the Benefits of Choosing Professional Teeth Whitening Over OTC Treatments?
With the abundance of over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments that are available these days, any patient would be smart to question why they should choose OTC products or professional treatments that are performed by a cosmetic dentist. Over-the-counter options do have compelling benefits, after all, as they are a more affordable option that patients can apply on their own time without having to schedule their work and lives around a visit to the dentist’s office.
But with that said, there are strong benefits that come with opting for a professional tooth whitening treatment:
- More Effective Results in Less Time: Because OTC tooth whitening treatments are mass-produced to help a broad consumer audience, they are not as strong as professional treatments. Because of this, you may find that you need several rounds of treatment before you achieve your desired results. In time, this can erode any savings over professional whitening - and if you fall into the habit of self-whitening too frequently, you could begin to erode your tooth enamel as well. Professional teeth whitening treatments are strong and effective, on the other hand, making for dramatic improvements even after your first visit and can allow you to whiten less frequently.
- Heightened Quality Control: Skilled cosmetic dentistry professionals have been trained in the art of teeth whitening treatments, and have administered these treatments to countless patients over the years. With this practice comes the experience necessary to deliver the best outcome while minimizing unpleasant potential side effects such as tooth sensitivity or gum irritation that can be caused by tooth whitening treatments.
Learn More about Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments Today
It is up to every patient to decide which course of treatment is right for them, but a consultation allows an experienced, board-certified cosmetic dentist to assess your situation and help you make the best decision. If you are thinking about enhancing your smile through teeth whitening, contact the cosmetic dentistry office of J. Brent Gorrell, DDS, to schedule an appointment and learn more about your teeth whitening options today.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.