Teeth Whitening at Home or at the Dentist’s Office? [Survey Stats Infographic]
Perceived Risks and Consequences
Teeth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures. Previous research on DentaVox revealed that the dream to have a whiter, brighter smile is the main driver for considering such procedures. However, the survey results also pinpointed high costs as the main obstacle to cosmetic dentistry treatments.
Home products for teeth whitening provide a budget-friendly alternative to more expensive in-office treatment. There is a variety of toothpaste brands, mouthwashes, gels, strips, whitening pens, and at-home kits, available to buy over the counter and try out at home. Then is it is worth to pay the extra cost for a professional procedure? Desired outcomes and costs might not be the only aspects to consider when answering this question. A recent survey on DentaVox, “To whiten or not to whiten”, explores patient perspectives on the potential adverse effects from both options. Results suggest that people are more anxious about the safety and side effects of whitening at home than at the dental office.
Discover a detailed comparison between the perceived safety and consequences of at-home vs. professional teeth whitening in the infographic below.
One in three patients considers teeth whitening at home risky
Overall, opinions are quite divided on the safety of over-the-counter whitening products. While 30.5% find home whitening products risky, nearly 40% believe they are safe. In contrast, 76% of patients trust in-office procedures are safe and just 5% view them as risky. Despite these perceptions, survey respondents associate both whitening alternatives with certain detrimental outcomes.
Perspectives on potential undesirable effects
Possible negative consequences of whitening procedures have been reported by a few academic studies. However, national associations such as the American Dental Association endorse teeth whitening as safe and just note that temporary tooth sensitivity and gingival inflammation are potential consequences. The survey results indicate that patients are cautious about possible harmful outcomes. In general home products are more often associated with potential adverse effects by survey respondents than whitening performed by a dental professional.
Damage of tooth enamel
Nearly half of respondents believe at-home whitening weakens tooth enamel. Their share is 32% when it comes to in-office procedures.
Gum irritation is linked to at-home whitening according to 42% of patients while 27% expect this adverse effect to occur after in-office procedure.
52% of patients associate the use of at-home whitening products with increased sensitivity whereas their share is 38% when it comes to in-office whitening.
Cavities – the least expected side effect
Increased risk of cavities is the least expected harmful outcome from both cases. Only 24% of respondents are worried about this possibility in relation to at-home products and just 16% if teeth whitening is performed by a professional. We may note that this is an interesting result considering the views on tooth enamel damage.
In general, the findings suggest that patients remain cautious about the usage of over-the-counter whitening products, although these products are very accessible and widely promoted. Concerns over the undesired effects of in-office procedures are less pronounced. With this in mind, it is not surprising that 44.5% of respondents are inclined to substitute at-home teeth whitening for professional procedures, while one third would consider the opposite.
So, what would you say, to whiten at home or at the dentist? Share your point of view and earn up to 3 000 DCN for just 4 min. of your time!
Also published on Medium.