In-Office Whitening vs. Take-Home Trays: Which Is Right for You?

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If you desire a whiter, brighter smile, there are several ways to achieve it. You can do the whitening on your own using teeth whitening products you purchase over the counter at a drugstore or from a dentist, or you can opt to have a cosmetic dentist like Dr. Jerry Strauss of Aesthetic Dental Care perform the whitening treatment.

In-Office or “Chairside” Teeth Whitening

In-office or “chairside” teeth whitening will give you noticeably whiter teeth in a single appointment. Dr. Strauss can use more concentrated bleaching products that break up stains quickly. He can also take measures to prevent the bleaching agent from leaking and irritating the gums, and he can use desensitizing agents to reduce the chances of tooth sensitivity. If you have existing dental restorations (e.g., fillings, crowns) that will not respond to whitening treatment, Dr. Strauss can suggest a solution so you do not end up with uneven-looking teeth.

Take-Home Whitening Trays

Another option to whiten dull or discolored teeth is to purchase at-home whitening trays over the counter at a drugstore, Target or similar retailer. Over-the-counter trays are generally “one size fits all,” so you might have problems with the trays fitting the contours of your mouth. As a result, the whitening gel can leak out of the trays and irritate your gums and the soft tissues of your mouth. Also, the bleaching agent used in DIY kits is generally less concentrated than the products dentists use during chairside treatments. Therefore, it will take you longer to see noticeable results using at-home kits; or, you run the risk of “overdoing it” without a dentist’s supervision, and could end up with sensitivity and other problems.

If you get your whitening trays through your dentist, they can customize the trays to your mouth for a better fit. Also, they can provide you with more concentrated bleaching gels so that you see results faster.

Talk to Dr. Strauss about Your Options

If you want whiter teeth in a relatively short amount of time, and you are nervous about sensitivity or other problems, chairside teeth whitening might be right for you. On the other hand, if you would prefer to whiten on your own schedule at home, and you are not worried about sensitivity, you could benefit from take-home trays.

A third option to achieve a dazzling white smile is to combine both approaches by scheduling a chairside treatment, and then using take-home trays. This approach allows you to see results quickly and safely under a dentist’s supervision, and then continue to maintain the whitening effects with customized take-home trays.

To determine whether an in-office or at-home solution (or combination of both!) makes the most sense, you should speak with Dr. Strauss. Contact Aesthetic Dental Care today to make an appointment with the dentist.