For those who have long envied bright, shining smiles, teeth whitening by a dentist may be the answer.  While there are a huge variety of enamel bleaching options available, ranging from simple stick-on strips to a series of professional visits, the lightening system one chooses should be based on the opinion and recommendation of an oral health care provider. Some people may only require a few shades of difference, easily obtained by at-home kits, but most individuals need something a little more intensive. A consultation with a professional will be able to point one in the direction best suited for them. A dentist will be able to evaluate the depth of staining, if there are any tenderness or sensitivity issues,  gum disease, or worn enamel issues, and then recommend the best plan for a patient.

The best teeth whitening performed by a dentist has several advantages above over-the-counter lightening kits. The first is that, because the kits used by oral health professionals are almost always hydrogen peroxide-based, those systems are most effective in a short amount of time. According to some testimonials, there can be dramatic results—up to eight shades difference—achieved in a just an hour-long office visit. The agent-containing gel is carefully applied along the teeth, with a rubber or gel coating already having been applied to protect the gums. Then it is left on for fifteen minute intervals until the desired effect is achieved. Alternatively, some of the newer systems involve a special light that activates the hydrogen peroxide and makes it work more effectively.  Since in-office lightening usually only affects the front part of the mouth, take-home kits are often a part of the system as well, with formed trays to help whiten the rest of the smile.