Having whiter teeth can be a dramatic improvement to your appearance, and it’s becoming more and more common to have treatments done to brighten up your smile. But then you have to decide whether you want to have a professional do the work, or try one of the little home whitening kits you can buy over the counter. Which way is best?
There is no single answer because it depends on what aspect of the treatments you are looking at. Overall, each one has its pros and its cons. Rickard Dental (rickarddental.com.au) outlines both sides to help you decide.
OTC is Cheaper
The big one that most people consider right off the bat is the cost. Since this is a purely cosmetic procedure that is not done for medical reasons, it can be hard to justify an expensive dentist appointment. The kits are very cheap by comparison. The problem with basing your choice on cost is that you may need to buy kits more often because a professional treatment is stronger and will last longer (we’ll discuss that in a minute). But for a minor amount of occasional whitening, the cost factor is in favor of the OTC kits.
OTC is Convenient
There is no catch to this point. Buying a kit at the store and being able to do the treatment on your own time, in your own home is far easier and more convenient than having to make an appointment and go to the dentist.
Professional Treatment is Safer
To be clear, we’re not saying that the DIY are unsafe, rather than going to a professional adds an additional layer of medical safety to the procedure. The kits themselves are perfectly fine, and the bleaching agent isn’t all that strong. You just need to follow the directions properly, and not leave the gel or strips on your teeth longer than called for.
The issue is more about underlying dental issues that you don’t even know are there. You may have gum inflammation, weak enamel or even a developing cavity that can be effected by the whitening chemicals. Having a professional assess your situation before you begin means that you can be confident that your teeth are fine, and can handle the process.
Professional Treatment is more Effective
If you want to look at the bigger picture, this can be the deciding point for you. The kits are easier and cheaper, but they may not lighten enough for your or last as long. If you are having to go the DIY route repeatedly to get the results you want, the cost savings may cease to be in your favor. Darker staining might not even be effected at all.
A professional whitening will be much stronger, and will take care of more discoloring than DIY options will. It also lasts longer, so you won’t have to repeat the procedure as often as the at-home version.
So when you are making your decision, you need to take several different things into account before choosing a home kit or a professional dental service.