Discover the Difference
Between Professional vs At-Home Whitening
Find out if professional or at-home whitening or a mix of the two is right for you. Our hygienists and dental assistants will work with you to find the right whitening method for you and your smile.
Pros of Professional Whitening
- Professional teeth whitening has faster results. Professional whitening uses special LED lights and high-strength hydrogen peroxide solutions. Together these create oxygen free radicals that can pass through teeth to break down stains. This process can accelerate the whitening process dramatically compared to any at-home method.
- In-office whitening can last longer and break down deeper stains. Professional teeth whitening treatments can use solutions with high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Such strong teeth bleaching solutions are not available over the counter.
- Control over the shade of your smile. Professional whitening treatments can whiten up to 6-8 shades in a session, giving you targeted control over your whitening process and your smile.
- Whiten worry-free with professional treatment. Virtually all teeth whiteners contain hydrogen peroxide which can irritate or injure the gums if misused. Professional treatments protect your gums by using special rubber dams.
Cons of Professional Whitening
- Tooth sensitivity after treatment. Any higher strength hydrogen peroxide whitening treatment, including professional whitening, can lead to short-term increased teeth sensitivity.
- Eating certain colorful foods after treatment is not recommended. After high-strength whitening treatments, it is recommended to avoid certain foods and drinks for around a week afterward. Drinks such as soda, fruit juices and coffee and foods with added colorants like ketchup and chocolate can darken teeth.
- Having to visit the office. At-home products can be more convenient for some people since it means avoiding scheduling or finding time to visit the office. However, most offices do offer products that can provide a similar level of convenience in addition to expert advice on application.
Teeth Whitening Cost
Professional teeth whitening can be expensive, but we take pride at SET in making quality whitening treatments more accessible than our competitors by charging on average $495 a treatment compared to up to $1000 elsewhere.
Pros of at-home whitening
- The convenience of being able to white your teeth at home. Whitening strips, rinses, and toothpastes all offer limited whitening with the benefit of being able to find them at most grocery stores.
- Whitening toothpastes and rinses offer a gentle method of whitening. This makes them a good option for those with sensitive teeth. Whitening toothpastes used consistently can remove superficial and temporary stains before they have time to set.
- Blue covering can offer fast, though limited results. Blue covarine is an ingredient in some whitening toothpastes that can make teeth appear whiter. While blue covarine does not truly change the color of teeth or remove deep stains, it can help whiten your teeth with a gentle, non-bleaching solution. This method requires consistent brushing and maintenance however as the whitening film can fade.
Cons of at-home whitening
- Over-the-counter whitening products are slow. It takes repeated use for most at-home products, such as strips, toothpastes, and rinses to show noticeable results. This can take weeks or even months.
- Risk of damaging teeth and irritating gums. Misusing or overusing whitening materials without accurate advice or custom whitening trays can potentially injure the gums or damage tooth enamel.
- At home methods can’t remove deep stains. With lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide in over-the-counter products and the high cost of professional equipment, it just isn’t possible to remove deep set-in stains using over-the-counter whiteners.
Professional vs at-home whitening, what’s the difference?
Speed. Professional whitening offers faster results from one session than you could achieve from weeks of at-home whitening.
Efficacy. High concentration whitening solutions in conjunction with LED light exposure can target deeper and older stains than over-the-counter whiteners.
Convenience. The speed and effectiveness of a professional means that you can spend less time whitening your teeth and more time enjoying your new smile.
Safety. Pre-assessments can check for root damage, tooth decay, and other issues that should be taken care of before whitening begins. Professional whitening treatments also use a special rubber dam to protect your gums during treatment.
Schedule Your Professional Teeth Whitening Today