In-Office Product Comparison
This discussion is by no means an exhaustive comparison of in-office bleaching products or procedures available. I will, however, try to give you some comparative information about some commonly used products so that you will be able to understand your dentist’s explanation of the system he has chosen to use.
I am going to talk about eight different in-office bleaching systems. I will compare each product with regard to the bleaching agent used, use of an accelerator light, average cost to the dentist for that light if so used, whether an at-home system is recommended as follow up, and the average time the treatments take.
NuPro (R) White Gold/Illumine (TM)
NuPro (R) White Gold/Illumine (TM) is produced by Dentsply International. There is no required light activation for this system and hence, no cost to the dentist for a light. The use of at-home bleaching system as a follow up is considered optional (to be determined by discussion with your dentist). The treatment takes a little over an hour total. The specific applications of bleaching agent is done in 3 fifteen minute applications. It uses a 35% hydrogen peroxide agent with a pH of about 6-8.
Niveous (TM) and Opalescence (R) Extra Boost (TM)
There are two products that consider an accelerator light optional. These are Niveous (TM) by Shofu and Opalescence (R) Extra Boost (TM) by Ultradent Inc. Both of these can be accelerated with a dental curing light if desired. Dental curing lights have other functions in the dental office and will already be owned by the dentist, so no extra cost is required by the dentist for a light. At-home bleaching follow up is considered optional for both products. Niveous (TM) requires two applications of a 25% hydrogen peroxide gel with a pH of about 7 for 15 minutes each. Total time in the chair of about 1 hour. Opalescence (R) requires three applications of 15 minutes and uses a 38% hydrogen peroxide gel with a pH of about 7.
BriteSmile (R) and Zoom (R)
BriteSmile (R) and Zoom (R) are both made by Discuss Dental Inc. BriteSmile (R) requires either a gas plasma or LED (light emitting diode) accelerator light. The lights are owned by BriteSmile Inc. (who’s bleaching systems were bought by Discuss Dental Inc.) and not by the dentist. Dentists are charged on a per patient basis. At-home bleaching follow up is considered optional. A 15% hydrogen peroxide gel with a pH of about 6.5 is applied in two 20 minute applications with a total chair time of about 1 hour.
Zoom (R) requires a mercury metal halide light with a cost of about $1,500. At-home bleaching is recommended as a follow up. It comes in a few strengths (16-25%) with a pH of about 7.5. It is applied in three 20 minute applications with a total chair time of about 90 minutes.
LumaCool (TM) is made by LumaLite Inc. It requires the use of a xenon halogen accelerator light, which runs from $2500-$4000. At-home bleaching is recommended as a follow up. It uses a 35% hydrogen peroxide gel with a pH of about 6. Each bleaching session consists of three 8 minute applications with a total chair time of a little less than an hour.
Beyond (TM) Power
Beyond (TM) Power is produced by Beyond (TM) Dental and Health. It should not be confused with a similarly named over-the-counter product, Beyond (TM). Beyond (TM) Power requires a halogen accelerator light running an average of a few thousand dollars. At-home bleaching follow up is considered optional. It uses a 35% hydrogen peroxide gel with a pH of about 5.5 which is applied in three 10 minute applications with a total chair time of less than an hour.
The final product I want to discuss here is LaserSmile (TM) by Biolase Technology Inc. This product requires the use of a diode laser, which costs the dentist approximately $20,000. However, the diode laser will be used for other dental procedures as well, so a dentist will not likely use this system unless he is already using a diode laser in his practice for other procedures. At-home follow up is considered optional. LaserSmile (TM) uses a 37% hydrogen peroxide gel with a pH of about 7. Each session consists of two applications of the bleaching agent: the first for 16 minutes and the second for 8 minutes. However, the laser light is applied only for a total of about 4 minutes during these applications. The session is about an hour.
In the above discussions, where at-home bleaching follow ups were mentioned, the final decision whether to use a follow up product is something to be worked out with the dentist based on his or her recommendation and based on the whitening goal desired as well as the original condition of the teeth being bleached.