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A member asked:

Are at-home whitening solutions for stained teeth as good as in-office procedures? my teeth are fairly stained from years of drinking coffee, which i have now given up. i'd like to go to the dentist for the stains, but don't have the money right now. do a

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lee Patalowski
Specializes in Dentistry
Most : Most whitening systems use the same active ingredient (hydrogen peroxide) whether they are in-office or at home. The primary difference is the concentration. Dental office strength can not be placed on the gums, it will whiten and burn them. I have found that the best method for teeth whitening is with custom bleaching trays made at a dental office. The rebound seems to be much less than the 1 hour systems.
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Dr. Michael Wollock
Dentistry 31 years experience
Yes, : Yes, over the counter whitening works. No, not as well as professional material weather it is take home or in office. I would try crest white strips (i am not affiliated with crest at all). For a couple of bucks, it is a great value. If you don't get what you want then pay up for professional treatment. Also, get your teeth cleaned, it helps. Hope this is helpful, michael i. Wollock, dmd, agd fellow dentistry at suburban square 610-649-0313.
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Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 56 years experience
Sometimes : Sometimes over the counter whitening methods work well for patients and they are satisfied with the reduced cost and the results. They generally tend to work for only slightly or moderated dark teeth with normal size and for teeth that are not crowded or rotated. One of the biggest problems with over the counter materials is that there is no professional supervision which can often result in unexpected problems for the patient. The are too many possible problems to enumerate in a short answer but here are just a couple: 1. If you have crowns or bonding on the teeth, they can not be whitened and the result is a very uneven and unsightly difference in the color of the teeth. 2. You can cause gum and tooth sensitivity and perhaps worse if you have cavities and or gum problems that you are not aware of. 3. The end result may not be as esthetic as possible. Professional supervision and advice is the best treatment choice. Often patient are penny wise and pound foolish and sorry for their self treatment decisions. Somethimes i tell my own patients that over the counter products may well be the right solution for them, but more often, they end up following my advice and use whitening agents with my supervision and are happier in the end. Be careful and good luck!
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Dr. Neil McLeod
Prosthodontics 51 years experience
FIRST : First of all go an get your teeth cleaned, and yes you suspicion is correct the over counter products are not as effective at to whitening as the professionally applied tooth whitening chemicals. The home treatments do work but not as well, i suggest that after a good cleaning you brush with plenty of paste, and slowly save up for a proper whitening session. Dr neil mcleod dds dentistry that lasts - quality that counts.
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Last updated Oct 4, 2016


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