All the world is on Instagram, it seems, with more and more people also using Zoom calls to do business, meaning Dr. Yasmin Vakilian has been focusing a lot on teeth whitening of late.
Men and women who come to see her at HealthOne’s Dental clinic have a lot of questions about the procedure and the price.
In some cases, they are also asking her about teeth straightening, for even nicer smiles.
She says she has seen a noticeable uptick in queries over the past three to five years, especially among the younger Millennial generation.
The culprits are usually drinking too much coffee, tea, and red wine, or the patient may be a smoker.
With the connection between social media and appearance, it’s no surprise then there are more television commercials for “do-it-yourself” teeth whitening products one can pick up at any local drug store or online, such as whitening strips and toothpaste (including charcoal toothpaste), gels, kits, or pens.
There are several important differences between over-the-counter options and professional teeth whitening offered at HealthOne, however, that you should be aware of:
Differences in Treatment Method
The first thing you should know about is the difference in treatment method. With over-the-counter teeth whitening products, you will use them at home and follow the directions on the packaging. It can be confusing to know if you’re using the product correctly, however, and many people tend to overuse at-home products which can cause irreversible damage.
In comparison, the professional teeth whitening procedure performed by Dr. Vakilian involves taking a mould of your teeth, but only after a full assessment is completed. The purpose of the check-up is to sign off on the health of the jawbone, gums and teeth.
At the dentist’s office, if the teeth are covered in plaque, for example, you will see a hygienist and get a cleaning done prior to whitening. The process of whitening will take longer if there is a lot of plaque.
Customized trays are then made from the mould. In a week or so you’ll come back to pick up the trays, together with two tubes of whitening gel. You’ll go over the instructions with the dentist and take everything home.
The bottom line with the professional route is there is a dentist overseeing the process, helping you out, as opposed to you having to figure it out on your own.
Custom Treatment Over Ready-Made Treatment
The custom-fit trays for the top and bottom teeth from the professional method will better target the tiny edges and crevices specific to your teeth and gums, producing a more effective result.
By going through the assessment beforehand, the dentist can also ensure that sensitive gums don’t become more irritated during the whitening process.
In comparison, store-bought products are more of a “one size fits all” approach. The whitening strips you can buy at the drug store won’t be custom-made to fit your teeth. This often means your results won't be as effective as with custom treatment.
The Professional Method Lasts Longer
The third difference between at-home and professional teeth whitening is the difference in results. You can expect to see more noticeable results with professional teeth whitening because the products are better and you’re doing so under the guidance of a professional.
You’ll place a small amount of whitening gel into the tray, which you’ll wear for ten to fifteen minutes, once a day, for two weeks.
“We don’t recommend using it consecutively for more than 14 days at a time,” she adds. You should take a break of a few months after the two-week treatment period is over.
Again, results depend on the individual patient, but they usually last two to six months, before you start looking to repeat the procedure. The assessment you get from the HealthOne dentist helps ensure you get the most out of your treatment.
“There is a big misconception that you can whiten your teeth with household materials and that DIY brands are the same as the professional ones, but they are not,” Dr. Vakilian says.
“The key bleaching agent might be the same, but professional whitening products that dentists use are a lot stronger, making them more effective than over-the-counter gels. Dentists are allowed to sell products that have a higher percentage of bleaching materials, whereas over-the-counter products are much more diluted, therefore not as effective.”
Teeth Whitening Results Are Quicker
With professional treatments with a dentist, you should see improvement right away, but keep in mind that everyone’s teeth react differently.
Dr. Vakilian says she saw a difference in her teeth after the very first time she used it, and never had to use the treatment for more than five days in a row.
Professional Teeth Whitening Cost
The last difference between at-home and professional teeth whitening products is the cost. Just because one method costs less doesn’t mean it’s the one you should go with.
Whitening products like toothpaste and kits from Amazon can cost anywhere from $6 to $60+. As we mentioned, however, these products use lower quality whitening agents and also run the risk of damaging your teeth if used improperly.
In comparison, our professional treatment costs $175 for the custom-fitted trays and two syringes (with the gel in them). The trays will last a long time, assuming your teeth are not shifting. The syringes will last up to two years, Dr. Vakilian says.
Professional Teeth Whitening Gel
The gel we include in our professional teeth whitening kit costs $30 if you need an extra tube. It is a 35% carbamide peroxide gel that is completely safe to use under the guidance of a professional.
This professional teeth whitening gel is only available by visiting a dentist. This is why many people prefer the professional method over at-home treatments.
Professional Teeth Whitening Toronto
In the end, more clients are coming to Dr. Vakilian because they know they’re getting access to the best products on the market, and treatment by a professional, meaning less stress and even a whiter smile in the end.
“Because of the popularity everyone is jumping on the bandwagon now,” says Dr. Vakilian. “There are a lot of options out there, but not all of them are good. I always recommend working with a professional to make sure you do it in the healthiest way possible.”
Learn more about teeth whitening at HealthOne by heading here.