Teeth Whitening Options: Professional In-Office Whitening vs At-Home Kits

Last updated Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Teeth Whitening Options: Professional In-Office Whitening vs At-Home Kits

It’s normal to be scared to show off your own smile if you have stained teeth. This is even more obvious in Arizona, where you can’t even hide behind a cloudy day with the sun shining. So, if you are wondering how to get stains off teeth, what options do you have?

While teeth whitening kits and in-office dental whitening offer similar results, there are differences. If you are unsure which to choose, this article will help you compare these options to decide on the best one for you.

Keep reading to find out how to say goodbye to stubborn stains and reflect the sun’s glory in your winning smile.

Professional In-Office Teeth Whitening

For most people, in-office whitening is a popular choice for several reasons. For a start, it offers fast, noticeable results that last for a lot longer than at-home kits tend to. On top of this, the work being done by experienced dental professionals offers a level of reassurance you cannot get from doing it yourself.

Unlike store-bought kits, a dental expert can also focus their attention on deeper, more stubborn stains. These are areas that at-home kits are more likely to miss.

The specialist will also use stronger whitening gels or agents than at-home kits use. Thus, you are much more likely to get better results than doing it yourself.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

With in-office teeth whitening, you also have a wide variety of methods available to you when it comes to the dental process. Among the most effective is laser whitening, which uses beams of light to help your teeth brighten up.

To start with, a specialist will apply a specific whitening gel to your teeth. After this, they will target your teeth with a special kind of laser light, designed to interact with the gel and enhance its effects. The laser will heat the whitening agent to ensure that you get the best results as it starts to remove stains from your teeth.

This procedure is done under strict supervision and only after an initial consultation. As the specialists have training in this process, they can ensure they use the best teeth whitening methods. They will also check that your teeth are suited to the process, significantly reducing the risk of unexpected side effects.

In-Office Teeth Whitening Benefits

One of the reasons that in-office whitening is so popular is the fact its effects are so immediate. You can go in for a session and emerge with dramatic results without a long waiting period.

On top of this, when you work with a dental specialist, you can expect them to have undergone specialist training in the area of teeth whitening. At home, on the other hand, if something goes wrong you may not always know what to do and as such might cause further harm. It is better to go straight in and have the reassurance of excellence from the get-go.

Another boon is the ability to get a customized treatment plan that works perfectly with your teeth. You might have stains in specific areas, for example, or dental work that impacts the consistency of your teeth color.

A dental hygienist can work to ensure the results are much more consistent across all your teeth. With a specialist, you are also not in as much danger of your teeth becoming oversensitive.

The most cherished benefit, though, is often that it simply lasts longer than other options. While at-home kits may work as a “tester” to see if you enjoy the results, going to a dentistry specialist will offer long-term enjoyment.

You may have to balance this with the higher costs of professional work, as well as the potential for follow-up treatments. Still, these are worth it when the results are such high quality.

At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits

Compared to in-office treatments, at-home kits offer a bare-bones and convenient way to whiten teeth. People are often drawn to them due to their low cost, but this also comes with several downsides.

At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits

These kits come in a variety of forms. These include:

  • Strips
  • Trays
  • Gels
  • Pens

Each of these broadly does the same thing, though. Each applies a whitening gel over your teeth but does it in a way that is more or less comfortable depending on your specific preferences.

At-home kits are well-suited for milder teeth stains. If your teeth are deeply discolored, you are not likely to get the results you want with only one sitting. In this case, you may either want to schedule an appointment or combine whitening kits with the expertise of a specialist.

The At-Home Teeth Whitening Process

The first thing you will need to do is select a kit from a store. With so many options out there, it can be hard to know which are effective, or which would work best with your teeth. While there are several reviews available, it will take you a lot of time to work out which is best for you.

When you have bought it, make sure to read the instructions in detail, both for your safety as well as that of your teeth.

Once you have applied the gel and performed your first whitening process, be aware that you may need to do it again in the future. Many whitening kits are not as strong as in-office processes and as such you will need to continue doing it over a longer period. This may take time away from other things you want to do, so make sure you can incorporate it into your schedule.

If you find yourself developing a sensitivity to this type of tooth-whitening process, stop immediately. You should get your teeth checked out by a professional to ensure you have not caused permanent harm. Otherwise, all you need to do is make sure you have good oral hygiene and engage in the occasional at-home touch-up to keep your teeth white.

Benefits of At-Home Whitening Kits

Despite their amateur nature, home kits tend towards the more affordable end of the spectrum. This affordability also comes with a level of convenience, as you can perform the whitening action at any time. This is unlike a professional setting where you need an appointment to talk to someone with experience in the teeth whitening process.

Another boon of these cheap kits is the fact that they offer a more gradual whitening. While you will not get bright teeth after one sitting, you can expect to do so after a longer period. After several sittings, you will start to approach what an in-office kit can do in a single session, giving you a more natural feeling of change.

Benefits of Teeth Whitening

While the kits may only last as little as a few months, compared to an in-office treatment which can last several years, this gives you more options. If you feel you have not received the results you want, you can stop doing it at any time. This is as opposed to a professional teeth whitening, which will last for years before you need to think about needing it again.

Despite the higher risk of overuse and increased sensitivity, these kits can work along with other treatments. If you want to risk it, you can use them to touch up the results of an appointment instead of contacting a specialist. While it may lead to you applying an uneven teeth whitening, it does give you control over the whole process, which to many has an appeal.

Brass Tacks: A Teeth Whitening Comparison

Another area to be aware of is the cost of professional and at-home treatments.

Professional teeth whitening can often cost around $399 but can be free in some cases, depending on the circumstances. This price often includes:

Home kits, on the other hand, cost you between $20 and $100. Which end of the spectrum this ends up on will depend on the brand in question. Lower prices are less likely to offer the same quality, meaning to get a more robust result you will need to end up paying more.

Deciding How to Get Stains Off Teeth

Whether you go for in-office treatments or an at-home kit can depend on a variety of factors. You will want to consider:

Your lifestyle. How available are you for an appointment to receive professional teeth whitening?

Comfort level. Do you feel confident applying a whitening agent to your own teeth, knowing the risks?

When you need the results. Do you want it done in one go, or would you prefer to slowly achieve whiter teeth over a much longer period?

Your budget. If you do not have the money for an at-home teeth whitening kit, you may want to consider a free whitening appointment with a professional.

Your teeth. If your teeth have deeper stains, you might want to work with a specialist who can perform a more robust teeth whitening process.

Transform Your Smile Today With Smiles By Hanna

Choosing between a professional in-office process and using at-home kits can mean taking into account a vast number of factors. They both demonstrate how to get stains off teeth, but for best results, we would recommend that you consult with a professional.

So, if you are ready to transform your smile into something you can be proud of, contact our expert team in Gilbert, Arizona. As we are members of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, and The Arizona Dental Association, you can expect personalized advice and a high-quality teeth whitening result. Get the dazzling smile you deserve today.

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