In-office teeth whitening is a whitening procedure that is performed in a dentist's office. It can make a patient's teeth up to five to seven shades brighter. Dental offices use different methods of bleaching or whitening to achieve the shade preferred by the patient.
Whitening products can brighten teeth that may have been stained or darkened by food, tobacco, injury or aging.
Advantages of In-Office Teeth Whitening
Over-the-counter tooth-whitening kits are less expensive than in-office treatments. However, there are advantages that in-office teeth-whitening procedures have over take-home whitening products. They include:
- Professional supervision
- Faster results
- Longer-lasting results
- Fewer sensitivity issues
In-Office Teeth Whitening Procedures
Types of dental-office whitening procedures may include:
Professionally Applied Tooth Whitening Products
These products are applied at a dentist's office, and have a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide, a whitening agent.
Laser or Light Treatment
Whitening solution is applied to the teeth and used in combination with a special light or laser. Results can usually be seen after one session.
Custom Mouth Tray
A custom mouthpiece or tray is created by the dentist, and a peroxide-based whitening solution is given to the patient to use at home with the mouthpiece or tray.
In-office teeth whitening comprises a series of one-hour appointments at a dentist's office. Teeth will be examined and cleaned to make sure there are no cavities, loose fillings, gum problems or other issues that may be exacerbated by the bleaching process. A patient who chooses to use whitening products in combination with at-home treatment may be monitored by the dentist for results.
Whitening procedures are effective but their results are not permanent. Depending on the procedure used, whitening may fade over time. Patients are advised to avoid problem food and drinks that may stain or darken the teeth.