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Cosmetic Surgery > Teeth

Teeth Whitening

Is it better to have your teeth whitened by a dentist or do it at home?

There is no 'best' answer to your question, it is a matter of personal choice. The effectiveness of whitening depends on the strength of the product used and the duration of the application. Both methods can attain the desired result, it is simply that having it done in the dentist's chair is faster. Either way, you need to talk to your dentist about your teeth, and what you expect from the treatment. It is important to remember that all teeth have their own natural colour, those icy white smiles that you see on tv are both ridiculous and synthetic. Should you decide to go for professional treatment, you can look forward to whiter teeth in under 2 hours. The peroxide used is very strong, so the dentist will isolate your teeth, protecting your gums. your teeth will be dried, and the whitening gel painted on to their surface. A light or laser is then used to activate the peroxide and your teeth are bleached. At the end of the session, a 'before and after' comparison will be made. Should you decide to go for the home whitening alternative, your dentist will fit you with bleaching trays. These resemble gum guards, made of rubber, they fit snugly over your teeth. For home bleaching, 10% carbamide peroxide is used. Your dentist will advise you on the daily length of time you are to wear your bleaching trays (often it is 4 hours per day, although, for quicker results you may want to sleep with them in). Once you reach your target colour, or the shade ceases to change, then treatment should be terminated. Typically your teeth will relapse ever so slightly, before stabilising. The results of either procedure can be expected to last between one and three years, although it is highly unlikely that your teeth will return to their original shade.

Other answers from our experts...
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