There are many reasons to go for teeth whitening. You may wish to look your best for a social event or professional function. A bright and pristine set of teeth projects confidence and a healthy looking appearance. If you are a smoker or heavy coffee drinker, your teeth may take on a grey or yellow shade due to prolonged staining effects. Whatever your reasons for teeth whitening, you are obviously looking for the quickest, safest and most effective method out there that can help to minimize the discolouration – to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. That is probably why you are comparing between a teeth-whitening kit as prescribed by a dentist and the type that is available over the counter.
While in-chair laser whitening presents a viable option, some people may consider it too pricey. As for over-the-counter whitening products, one can never be too sure. Given the broad range of over the counter choices at the local pharmacy, and the fact that everyone has varying degrees of discoloration, it’s difficult to ascertain which product – or indeed the right amount of bleaching ingredient – is the most suitable based on your individual dental needs.
Another option that allows your dentist to manage your teeth whitening process – which includes determining the quantity of bleaching ingredient to be used – that isn’t as pricey as in-chair whitening, comes in the form of a dentist-prescribed teeth whitening kit.
Of the available dentist recommended take-home kits, the carbamide peroxide (CP) teeth whitening method delivers one of the most effective whitening results quickly and safely.
Although CP serves as an excellent teeth-whitening agent, it must be used with caution. That is why it is important for the cosmetic dentist to recommend the right concentration based on your specific dental condition and level of discoloration. The dentist will usually start with a low concentration and increase progressively.
What to expect at the dentist
At North Sydney Dental Practice, we provide you with a specialised take home whitening kit so you can whiten your teeth at your own convenience to the degree of whiteness you’re after.
The dentist will first examine and take an impression of your teeth, to provide the precise measurements of your teeth in order to customize the retainers for an exacting fit. This is an important step to ensure the bleaching gel will make a direct contact with your teeth alone and not cause irritation to any other part of your mouth.
At the appointment, we will provide you with the customised retainers and our special whitening gel – that uses carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient. The dentist will determine the strength of the CP for professional teeth whitening results. Without the dentist’s oversight, over the counter products are only allowed very low strengths of active ingredients and thus cannot be expected to produce the same whitening results.
Wearing the customised retainers before bed, some people can see visible shade reduction overnight while most can achieve best results typically within 1-2 weeks of application. You may also purchase the whitening gel separately for topping up later on, if you wish to achieve more shade reduction. A top-up of a night or two every 6-12 months is usually recommended for optimum long-term results.