Professional in-office teeth whitening has been shown to consistently produce whiter, brighter, more consistent and long-lasting results than over the counter and take-home products. One of the main reasons for this is because only professionals have access to the highest grades of whitening gel – the active ingredient used to trigger the whitening process. However, many patients don’t realize that not all in-office whitening procedures use exactly the same active ingredients to produce those outstanding results.
There are primarily two different active ingredients that can be used, and these are available in different strengths. Here is what you need to know about professional strength gels for teeth whitening and what they mean for you and your smile.
Hydrogen Peroxide Gel
Hydrogen peroxide (H202) is the most well-known active ingredient in whitening products. It is also largely considered to be the most effective bleaching agent since it immediately gets to work on penetrating the tooth enamel in order to break up and lift the microscopic molecules that cause staining and discoloration.
The hydrogen peroxide gel is available in different strengths. You can find it in products that you can buy over the counter, but only in very low concentrations. This means that you need to continually use the products for a prolonged period of time to see any significant improvement in the color of your teeth. While dentists have access to high concentration hydrogen peroxide-based whitening gels, their strength means that they are more likely to generate side effects, including irritation, soreness, and severe tooth sensitivity. For this reason, high concentration hydrogen peroxide whitening using is only available for use as part of an in-office whitening procedure where it is pasted onto teeth by your professional, left to cure and then removed. Patients typically see an immediate result up to several shades whiter.
Carbamide Peroxide Gel
Carbamide peroxide gels are what we supply in our popular take-home whitening trays which are less expensive than in-office whitening. This compound breaks down into hydrogen peroxide which then whitens your teeth in the same way. However, because the concentrations are lower, they are safe to be administered at home using whitening trays.
Each of our whitening trays is customized to ensure the closest possible fit to your natural teeth, thus optimizing the effectiveness of the process. Each syringe of carbamide peroxide contains enough gel for between five and six applications. Simply fill the trays to the specified level, pop them into place and let the carbamide peroxide work its magic.
What stains can be improved using whitening treatments?
Teeth whitening works best on those external stains that have occurred as a result of the foods/drinks that your teeth have been exposed to or habits such as smoking. This includes staining and discoloration due to red wine, coffee, and tea. These are known as extrinsic stains and are the quickest to improve in appearance.
Internal discoloration can also occur. This is often due to excessive exposure to fluoride, genetics, aging, and damage to the teeth. These types of stains can be treated, but it may be necessary for bleaching agents to be placed directly inside the affected tooth and the process can take some time. Side effects including sensitivity are also more common.
If you would like more information about professional strength whitening gels, or if you would like to arrange a consultation to see if you are a good candidate for a whitening procedure, please get in touch with our offices in Queen Creek, AZ today by calling 480.712.8580.