Choosing the Right Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

When you want to whiten your smile, there are typically two options: drugstore kits or professional treatments. While some opt for the former as a quick and less expensive fix, the latter delivers more profound, lasting results.

Of course, not all professional whitening treatments are alike. There are two primary types to consider.

Option #1: Teeth Whitening Completed by Your Dentist

If you want powerful results, a professional teeth whitening treatment by your dentist is the best way to go. Your dentist has access to bleaching materials that are stronger than those available over-the-counter. This results in superior outcomes for your smile. When whitening your teeth, keep in mind that the results will vary from patient-to-patient and are dependent on the natural dentin color of your teeth.

While in-office whitening is known by several names—including power bleaching, power whitening, and chair side whitening—each approach offers similar advantages and disadvantages:

  • Advantages – In-office whitening is the safest and quickest treatment, producing results in just 60 to 90 minutes. Today, there are thicker peroxide gels available, which reduces the risks of gum and tooth sensitivity commonly associated with in-office whitening.
  • Disadvantages – While peroxide gels have improved, some individuals may still experience sensitivity or irritation of the teeth or gums. These symptoms usually dissipate within 24 hours of the treatment, but, in some cases, could last longer.
  • Pricing – Pricing varies depending on the length of treatment. Basic treatments may take just 1-2 hours and average around $500, whereas more advanced treatments that require more time at the dentist office can cost upwards of $1,200.

Option #2: Home Teeth Whitening Supervised by Your Dentist

To take advantage of professional level treatment at a lower cost and in the comfort of your own home, an at home teeth whitening treatment is a great option.

This involves a customized mouthpiece, which your dentist will create. You’ll put the teeth whitening gel in the mouthpiece and wear it for a few hours each day to maximize contact between your teeth and the gel.

There are several advantages and disadvantages worth noting:

  • Advantages – An at-home solution is not only more convenient (because you can whiten on your own time), but it’s also more cost-effective.
  • Disadvantages – While effective, at-home solutions produce results more slowly than in-office treatments because the whitening gel is less powerful. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to achieve results. Additionally, patients have to visit the dentist approximately every week to ensure the mouthpiece fits properly and to check on the treatment progression.
  • Pricing – At-home treatments cost substantially less than in-office treatments, averaging between $200 and $300, including all materials and dental appointments.

Which Treatment Option is Right for You?

There are both advantages and disadvantages of each professional teeth-whitening approach. While the speed and cost of treatment will vary, both deliver great results. Choose which works best for your needs, schedule and budget and prepare to be impressed by your new and improved smile! Click here to learn more about the professional whitening services we offer!


Dyett, Linda. (2009, August 19). In-Office Teeth Whitening: Professional Advantages, Costs and Options.Retrieved June 2, 2015, from

Sheehan, Jan. (2009, August 19). Professional Teeth Whitening Options. Retrieved June 2, 2015, from

  • I have been thinking about getting my teeth whitened by a dentist because I want my smile to be photo-ready, and I think it would help my self-esteem. Thanks for mentioning that in-office whitening is the fastest and safest treatment option. It would be nice to have quick results and to not ruin my teeth by trying to do it myself, so I’ll have to find a cosmetic dentist that can help me.

    • tolanddmd says:

      We are happy to have provided you with some valuable information to help you make your decision! If you are in the San Diego area, we’d be more than happy to provide this service for you! Please call us at (619) 460-9100 if you are interested 🙂

  • Fred Gibbons says:

    It’s great that you point out that having your teeth whitened by a dentist is a quick way to get a better-looking smile. I’ve been wanting to do something to improve my appearance, so I’m thinking about going to a dentist to have my teeth whitened. I’m going to search for a good dentist in my area that does teeth whitening.

  • I love how you stated that the safest and quickest method of teeth whitening is an in-office treatment. My younger sister is getting married in about 4 weeks and she wants to have very white teeth by then. I’ll suggest that she find a reliable cosmetic dentist that offers teeth whitening services so that she can have whiter teeth quickly.

  • Olivia Smart says:

    Thank you for explaining the differences between whitening in the office and at home. My daughter has been trying to figure out which option would be best for her. I’ll be sure to bring this article up with her to see if it helps her come to a decision easier.

  • Wow, it really stood out to me when you mentioned that in-office teeth whitening can produce results in 60 to 90 minutes. With that in mind, I would imagine that the results of an in-office treatment will last a lot longer than at-home methods. Paying a little extra to have a dentist perform this treatment seems to be well worth the money.

  • deen says:

    It’s fantastic that you point out that visiting a dentist to have your teeth whitened is a simple approach to improve the appearance of your smile. I’ve wanted to do something to change how I look for a while.

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