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Over-the-counter or Professional Teeth Whitening: What’s the Difference?

By on August 08, 2014

An older man and woman standing outside and smilingA beautiful and brilliant smile can make you more confident and outgoing, and the range of teeth whitening treatments available today are making that brighter smile much easier to achieve. Today, patients interested in teeth whitening are able to choose from a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) and professional in-office whitening treatments. Both have their benefits and their risks, and Clarksville dental patients find themselves making a choice between OTC vs. professional teeth whitening treatments every day. So how do you know which will be more effective, and which is right for you?

How Far Have OTC Teeth Whitening Treatments Come?

It’s true that OTC teeth whitening treatments have come a long way over the years. Consumers are able to walk down the dental care aisle of their drug store, cosmetics store, or discount store and find dozens of OTC treatment options including teeth whitening mouthwashes, toothpastes, and more heavy-duty whitening strips and paint-on gels. For a higher price, it is even possible to buy relatively high-grade teeth whitening trays over the counter.

How well do these over-the-counter treatments work? It all depends on the goals of each patient, their attentiveness in following instructions, and the condition of their teeth. OTC teeth whitening treatments are usually made from a less powerful concentration of tooth bleaching agents compared to professional treatment options. This can be perfect for patients with a mild surface level of tooth staining, but those with more deeply seated discoloration may end up with results that don’t live up to their expectations, as OTC teeth whitening is not as effective at treating tooth discoloration below the enamel.

Why Should I Choose Professional Teeth Whitening?

Dental experts recommend professional teeth whitening treatments for a number of reasons. One critical reason is that a skilled and knowledgeable cosmetic dentist can exercise better control over the process, assessing your teeth to determine the proper treatment strength for the best results and uncovering any issues that could hinder those results. For example, a dentist who discovers that a patient has dental crowns and resin dental bonding can take better care to ensure that natural teeth still match artificial dental work after treatment or can recommend an alternative treatment option such as porcelain veneers.

Because professional teeth whitening solutions tend to be stronger than OTC solutions, professional treatments often offer more noticeable results in a much shorter amount of time. If you have significant dental staining, professional in-office whitening can be a better choice to provide great results without the hassle of applying OTC treatments for weeks and hoping for a more drastic change. This option can also help prevent patients from becoming impatient or over-whitening the teeth, which can do more damage than good over time.

Learn More about Your Teeth Whitening Options from an Experienced Professional

Teeth whitening treatments are a relatively quick and easy way to dramatically improve your appearance. By making the right choice regarding treatment options, you can better ensure that you achieve the outcome you truly desire. Let our friendly team of professionals assess your teeth and help you make the best decision for you. Contact Clarksville Smiles to schedule an appointment and learn more about professional teeth whitening options today.

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Clarksville Office

2305 Rudolphtown Rd
Clarksville, TN 37043

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Clarksville Office

2305 Rudolphtown Rd
Clarksville, TN 37043

More Info Directions (931) 645-6362