Differences Between In-Office and At-Home Whitening Treatments

Written by Scripps West Dental

differences between in office and at home whitening treatments

A bright and white smile is a huge confidence booster, and professional teeth whitening can help you achieve the best results. With numerous teeth whitening options available, it can be challenging to choose the best one for your specific dental needs. At Scripps West Dental in San Diego, we offer both in-office and at-home teeth whitening treatments, and we can help you get the smile you deserve.

Why Consider Getting Your Teeth Whitened?

Whitening your teeth can quickly improve the look of your smile, boost your self-confidence, and enhance your overall appearance. In fact, teeth whitening is a perfect stand-alone cosmetic treatment and can have a huge impact on your appearance.

Over time, teeth can become discolored or stained due to factors such as aging, smoking, or consuming certain foods and drinks (like all of those cups of coffee you enjoy in the morning.) Professional teeth whitening treatments can remove these stains as well as natural enamel discoloration, leaving you with a brighter, more youthful-looking smile.

Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to remove dark stains from your teeth. Unlike over-the-counter whitening products, professional teeth whitening treatments are administered by trained dental professionals and contain more highly-concentrated ingredients. We can adjust the application process and ingredients according to your needs.

Professional teeth whitening treatments use a stronger concentration of whitening agents, which means you can achieve brighter and faster results compared to over-the-counter products. For example, you may see an improvement between 7-9 shades, as opposed to 2-3 in the same amount of time.

Types of Teeth Whitening

At Scripps West Dental, we offer both in-office and at-home teeth whitening systems. Let’s explore the differences between the two and help you make an informed decision.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

In-office teeth whitening, also known as chairside whitening or “laser whitening” is a quick and convenient way to whiten your teeth. During the procedure, we will apply a specialized whitening gel to your teeth and use a light to activate the oxidation process. The visit takes about an hour, and you leave the office with a noticeably brighter smile.

Same-day in-office teeth whitening is ideal for people who want to see immediate results or have a special event coming up with little time to prepare. Since the treatment is administered by a dental professional, you can rest assured that it’s safe and effective.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

Custom at-home teeth whitening is another popular option for our patients. It involves using custom-made trays that fit over your teeth and a lower-concentration whitening gel. You wear the trays for a specified period, usually about an hour a day or overnight, for 10-14 days.

At-home teeth whitening is convenient, and you can use it in the comfort of your home. It’s also more affordable than in-office teeth whitening. However, it takes longer to achieve the desired results, and you need to be consistent with the treatment. One perk is that you can alternate which days you wear it, to help better manage any symptoms of sensitivity.

With your custom whitening trays, you can touch up your smile whenever you need to. For best results, we recommend wearing it a few times after your six-month professional cleanings.

Which Option Is Right for You?

Choosing the right teeth whitening option depends on your needs and personal preferences. If you’re looking for immediate results and don’t mind spending a little more on the treatment, in-office teeth whitening may be the best option for you. If you prefer to whiten your teeth at home and have a little extra time on your hands, at-home teeth whitening may be a better fit.

It’s important to note that teeth whitening may not be suitable for everyone. If you have sensitive teeth, gum disease, or other dental problems, our dentist may recommend alternative treatments or procedures.

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