Cosmetic Dentistry Or Over-The-Counter Whitening?
We presently live in a society that favors fixing problems long after they have occurred as opposed to addressing them right away. This philosophy is apparent in the manner in which we care for our teeth. Most of us go years at a time before visiting our general dentist for something as ordinary and painless as a checkup. This negligence all stacks up, leading to severe problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. One of less severe yet more attention-worthy problems which poor eating habits as well as inadequate, overall dental care leads to is tooth discoloration. Most of our diets are plentiful in stain inducing foods and beverages including coffee, wine, and berries. Some additional indulgences in the form of tobacco use can also lead to teeth staining.
When it comes time to address discoloration problems, most are immediately attracted to over the counter products. These treatments have several advantages. For starters, you generally don’t need to invest more than $100. The whitening product is used within your home, which is a big plus in terms of convenience. Treatment can typically be completed within a short few weeks and you can continue further if need be.
The problem with OTC products is that they can only contain so much whitening ingredient, or carbamide peroxide. This restriction often limits their efficacy, most specifically in people with severe discoloration. While a few weeks treatment time frame does sound reasonable, most people are unable to wait this long. We live among countless numbers of individuals who are accustomed to receiving that instant gratification. OTC treatments cannot immediately appease our desire for a white smile.
For those who don’t want to wait and are willing to spare several hundred dollars, professional tooth whitening is the optimal choice. This treatment endures for no more than an hour at your dentist’s office, where your teeth are treated with a whitening gel. This gel is applied to a tray, which is then fixed on your teeth. After an hour of waiting for the solution to take full effect, your dentist will return to unveil your new smile.
The major drawback with both OTC and professional cosmetic dentistry treatments is that the results are merely temporary. Continuous treatment is required if you want to maintain that radiant smile. For a more permanent fix, dental veneers are often preferred. These can be relatively costly, however, for some with severe discoloration they are a natural choice.