When looking for solutions for stained teeth you have a number of options. For one, you could go to the store and choose a number of over-the-counter options. However, you could also visit your dentist to receive a professional solution. Which one will work best for your smile, professional or OTC whitening? Understanding the difference is a key part of the decision.
Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening
Many people turn to store bought solutions because they are less expensive and easily available. However, for patients with serious discoloration this may not be the best choice. Possible over-the-counter whitening procedures include strips, rinses, and toothpastes. While they can remove minor stains, the results are not as dramatic as those available with professional treatments. In addition, the results rarely last as long. With the strips, patients sometimes report sensitive teeth or gum irritation. Overuse and not following the instructions carefully can lead to the teeth taking on a translucent appearance in rare cases.
Professional Whitening Services
How does the professional option work? At our office, we can show you possible results with Snap imaging software. The treatment begins with an initial office treatment. Afterward, we will create a set of whitening trays that you will take home, along with a bleaching gel. Each day you will fill the trays with gel and wear them for the amount of time the doctor recommends. You may wear them for a few hours or overnight in some cases. After a week to ten days you will return to the office for a final treatment. Your smile could be brightened by up to eight shades in some cases.
If you have permanent stains that won’t respond well to either over-the-counter products or professional cosmetic solutions, then we may discuss veneers. Using a thin restoration, we can mask the stains and alter the appearance of your smile for the better.