Making Sense of Teeth Whitening Options

Teeth whitening is one of the more popular and faster ways to improve your smile. Teeth whitening in Madison, WI is especially popular for spring and summer , since many people will turn to teeth teeth whitening to update their look or brighten their smile for summer weddings, reunions, and special events. Of the many teeth whitening choices available in Madison, WI from your cosmetic dentist, family dentist or drug store, how do you know what is best for your smile?

Walk into any drug store and you'll see rows of teeth whitening products - each with its own promises - whether it to "be red carpet ready in 30 minutes" or to brighten your teeth in two weeks - the teeth whitening options can seem overwhelming. And spring and summer seasons are busy times for dentists and cosmetic dentists who offer teeth whitening and cosmetic dentistry. People want to look their best for family gatherings, weddings, class reunions, and other special events, and many want to whiten their teeth for these occasions. Whether you purchase an over the counter teeth whitening kit at a drug or retail store, or see your dentist, there are many options available; it is just a matter of determining what is best for your teeth and mouth.

Dr. William Graf, a dentist with First Choice Dental Group says, "We definitely see an increase in patients who would like to whiten their teeth during this time of year - as they plan for weddings, and reunions, and even graduation." Dr. Graf notes that whether you are considering an over-the-counter option or an appointment with your dentist, there are many facts to take into consideration, including:

  • effectiveness of product (strength of the bleaching solution)
  • turn-around-time
  • cost (what you are willing to spend)
  • the specific needs of your teeth (including types of stains and previous dental work)

Dr. Graf explains, "The materials used in bleaching are basically the same, but teeth whitening products that promise quick results will generally be more concentrated, whereas other teeth whitening products will have weaker solutions, and it will take longer to get the desired result."

Over-the-counter options are convenient and inexpensive, and Dr. Graf indicates that many patients have good luck with them. "The two main differences," he says, "are that these products don't use custom trays, and have a lower quality and concentration in the whitening gel. You attach strips to your teeth, and risk having some of the chemicals come in contact with your gum tissue." He adds, "For some people, this causes burning and discomfort, and this may be worse with stronger solutions or for people with sensitive teeth."

If you don't think an over-the-counter option is the best one of you, most dental offices provide other options as well. Dentists can provide customized trays and take-home gels that provide good results within days or weeks, depending on your specific teeth.

For people who don't want to wear trays, some dental offices offer an in-office bleaching procedure that provides results within a few hours.

"There are many different options depending on the amount of time you have or what you are willing to spend." He explains, "Whitening can reduce or eliminate stains caused by drinking soda, tea, and coffee, or from smoking, but it won't be effective if you have a lot of fillings or have had a lot of dental restoration. In this case, you should consider veneers or crowns." Over the counter options may cost around $25, custom trays around $250, and in-house whitening treatments may cost approximately $400. Each one offers different benefits and different turn-around times.

Dr. Graf sees patients of all ages who have concerns about the appearances of their smiles. "Whether it's a groom preparing for his wedding day, someone wanting to look their best for a party, or even young adults getting ready for job interviews, teeth whitening offers a dramatic result that can improve your smile and raise your confidence as well."

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