The Difference Between At-Home and In-Office Whitening

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About Dr. Peter Zwier

For over 30 years, Dr. Peter J. Zwier has been providing a broad range of general and cosmetic dental services to Grand Rapids, meeting the needs of your whole family in one convenient location. Your oral health is extremely important to your body’s wellbeing, and a beautiful smile is a wonderful asset at any age.

Most people want whiter teeth, and Dr. Zwier offers two different methods to achieve this goal. Patients can choose between at-home and in-office whitening services. The results for these two methods are more or less the same, so choosing between the two usually comes down to you budget, timeline, and lifestyle.

At-Home Whitening

At-home whitening consists of using trays filled with a tooth whitening gel. These trays are custom-fit for the size and shape of your mouth and made of a flexible, comfortable material.

At-home whitening takes two weeks to complete. Dr. Zwier will advise how often and how long you should wear the trays within that time frame. During the teeth whitening process, it’s common to experience some sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.

At-home whitening is generally a lower-cost alternative to in-office whitening and is a better option for those who can’t spend as much time at the dentist’s office. However, results take longer to achieve than those of in-office whitening.

In-Office Whitening

During in-office teeth whitening, a hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide bleach is applied to the teeth, and a protective gel or rubber shield will be applied to the gums. Then, a laser can be used to enhance the whitening results. The results of this service are immediate, so it’s a better option for anyone looking to whiten their teeth for an upcoming event. After receiving in-office teeth whitening, most patients follow up the treatment with at-home whitening trays to enhance their results. Overall, the process is more costly than at-home whitening alone.

Schedule an Appointment

To get started with teeth whitening, or to consult with Dr. Zwier about which option is better for you, call (616) 425-5565 or fill out our online form to schedule your first appointment.