The first thing you should know about hydrogen peroxide is that it is what dentists use for chair-side, in-office treatments. No dentist would ever use carbamide peroxide for an in-office treatment – they give patients take-home kits with carbamide but will never use it in office. Dentists get the best results in our industry because they use a very high concentration of hydrogen peroxide, so you should use what dentists use but in a concentration that does not require a gum protector. Anyone that tells you that dentists use carbamide peroxide is lying, since no dentist uses it for in-office treatments. Call any dentist at random from the phone book and you’ll confirm this (but make sure you specifically ask what they use for light-activated in-office bleaching).
When you get your teeth whitened, hydrogen peroxide is what actually whitens them. Even if you are using carbamide peroxide, what actually whitens your teeth is hydrogen peroxide. Something that many people don’t know is that carbamide peroxide is made from hydrogen peroxide. To create carbamide peroxide, a urea molecule is added to the hydrogen peroxide molecule and the result is carbamide peroxide. Please note that there is a 3:1 relationship between carbamide and hydrogen. For example, 12% hydrogen peroxide is theoretically equivalent to 36% carbamide peroxide. However, as you’ll see below, this doesn’t mean that you’ll get the same results with 36% carbamide and 12% hydrogen peroxide. So don’t think that because someone offers you 35% carbamide that you are getting a 3x higher concentration than 12% hydrogen peroxide.
In order for carbamide peroxide to whiten your teeth, it must first break down into hydrogen peroxide. The problem in using carbamide in chair-side treatments that are 15 to 20 minutes is that it takes at least 15 minutes for carbamide peroxide to begin to break down into hydrogen peroxide (and longer to completely break down). Only when the carbamide peroxide has broken down into hydrogen peroxide can it begin to whiten your teeth. So if you use carbamide peroxide for teeth whitening during a 20-minute treatment, your customer will only have a little hydrogen peroxide on his/her teeth for 5 minutes. That’s why most people that use carbamide peroxide are not happy with the results.
Obtaining good results for your customers is the most important thing in this business, so make sure you use proper gel. If you really want to use carbamide for some reason, make sure you are performing at least 40-minute sessions if you really want any results. However, if you can get the same results using hydrogen peroxide in 15 minutes, why would you want to do 40-minute treatments? If you want results in a 15-20 minute treatment, the only option is hydrogen peroxide, and preferably at a concentration of 16%. But don’t take our word for it, look at the results of a scientific study undertaken at the University of Florida comparing carbamide and hydrogen, which found that hydrogen gives much better results than carbamide. Also visit the Consumer Guide to Dentistry to verify that this is so.
Most teeth whitening suppliers choose to use carbamide peroxide because it causes less gum irritation than hydrogen peroxide. However, it doesn’t cause gum irritation because it doesn’t become hydrogen peroxide till the end of the treatment, so you just get NO results. The Whiten Up Today system uses 16% hydrogen peroxide yet gives little or no gum irritation along with spectacular results.