Every patient has unique dental needs and goals. Before you pursue cosmetic treatment, you should take the time to consider which types of treatments will best suit you. If you want to learn more about the differences between types of whitening treatments, this article is for you. Our Elmhurst cosmetic dentists are here to help you understand what sets professional and at-home whitening treatments apart.

1. Efficacy

Professional whitening formulations have high concentrations of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide—the active ingredients in whitening treatments. This means that these in-office treatments deliver results in just one or two sessions. At-home kits, on the other hand, take weeks or months to deliver visible results. In general, professional formulations lighten enamel by several more shades than over the counter gels.

2. Longevity

With both at-home and professional whitening formulations, the patient will likely need follow-up whitening sessions every few years or so.

3. Cost

Professional treatments often cost more up-front than at-home treatments. However, professional treatments deliver more dramatic and consistent results. So if you want to lighten your enamel by more than a couple of shades, it may be more cost effective to use reliable professional formulations.

4. Sensitivity

Patients with sensitive dental enamel will likely benefit from professional dental whitening rather than over the counter dental kits. During an in-office session, our dentist will tailor the treatment to suit the patient’s sensitivity threshold. At-home kits cannot be customized in the same way, and thus put patients at risk for dental pain during and after bleaching treatment.

There are considerable differences between professional and at-home dental whitening options. To get more information about cosmetic dentistry treatments, and enamel lightening treatments in particular, contact our Elmhurst cosmetic dentists right away. Once we better understand what you’d like to improve about your smile, we can give you recommendations tailored to fit your unique needs.

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