The only ADA-recommended teeth-whitening treatments are those that are supervised by your dentist. A dentist can offer two options: in-office teeth whitening that uses light therapy to speed up the bleaching process or at-home whitening that consists of a custom-fit mouth tray and syringes of bleaching solution. Both options produce the greatest whitening results available. They are also the safest because they require the approval of your dentist after an oral exam.
Professional in-office teeth whitening (*Est. $500 to $800) produces the fastest results -- usually within an hour. But it comes at a price. Not only is the procedure expensive, it can also be painful. We found several user reviews that complain about severe sensitivity and zingers. Some say the dramatic results (up to 10 shades) are worth a little bit of discomfort but others say the pain is not worth it at all.
Research and testing have shown professional at-home whitening (*Est. $200 to $600) to be just as effective as in-office procedures, but it takes longer to see the results. Treatment lasts up to two weeks and is typically gentler than in-office bleaching. Several users notice no sensitivity issues at all, while others say the issues are minimal at most. If sensitivity is a concern, your dentist can prescribe a lower dosage of bleaching solution. Furthermore, the trays are custom-built to your teeth to ensure comfort and maximum contact with the bleaching solution. After the initial cost of creating a custom mouth tray, follow up treatments are much more affordable (*Est. $50 for pre-filled whitening syringes).
We chose to highlight professional at-home teeth whitening as the best way to whiten your teeth because it is more affordable than in-office treatments, and it produces the same results with a lot less sensitivity.