At Ben Swindley Dental, we use the take-home tray method for teeth whitening.
We have chosen this method exclusively now after also using in-surgery whitening methods in the past, as our experience has shown it provides the best teeth whitening effect.
Our reasons for preferring the take-home tray system are:
Studies on teeth whitening have shown that using our home tray system will achieve maximum whitening.
In our own experience we found that to achieve excellent results we had to provide the home tray system even after in-surgery whitening. This seemed a waste of time and money compared to using the home-trays alone.
Although a single session of in-surgery whitening at the dentist may cost less than our take-home system, it will not whiten your teeth to the maximum. Having enough sessions to achieve your desired result may then end up being a lot more expensive than take-home trays.
Ongoing costs with the tray system are minimal too as in future years a top up pack of bleaching agent will allow you to whiten again with the existing trays.
All tooth bleaching will cause some sensitivity but by using lower concentrations of the bleaching agent regularly, rather than sudden bursts of higher concentrations, there is less tooth sensitivity and less chance of gum damage. Latest studies after 30 years of follow up have found 10% Carbamide peroxide to be optimal for success and safety.
The gradual whitening with take-home trays allows you to keep control of sensitivity and prevent gum damage. If your teeth are becoming uncomfortably sensitive we recommend taking nights off or using desensitizing agents in your trays. You can also selectively bleach darker teeth for longer than others and whiten to a particular shade better. Part of the initial whitening in bleaching teeth is dehydration and as the tooth rehydrates it changes colour again. This is much more pronounced in in-surgery whitening and was the reason people would leave satisfied but then return for home trays as the shade didn’t seem as white as they thought. You can also bleach at a time that suits you, not the appointment book of your dentist.
Our preferred whitening agent to use in the trays is Opalescence. There are many other brands with the same active ingredient of 10% carbamide peroxide and they are also very good. We prefer the Opalescence because its sticky viscous nature keeps it within the trays for sustained release. It contains potassium nitrate and fluoride to reduce sensitivity and improve enamel hardness and health. It also has 20% water content to lessen tooth dehydration and minimize tooth shade relapse. Subjectively we have found this also means teeth appear less opaque “chalky” white after bleaching, which we feel ultimately gives the best teeth whitening effect.