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Professional At-Home Teeth Whitening

*Est. $200 to $600
August 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Professional At-Home Teeth Whitening review

  • Very effective
  • Dentist supervision
  • Custom molded tray
  • Tooth sensitivity

Bottom line

Professional at-home teeth whitening is a Best Reviewed selection because it produces dramatic results in a relatively short amount of time. You can use the custom-fitted whitening trays in the convenience of your home at a time that works best for you. As with all teeth whiteners, sensitivity is a common issue, but your dentist can easily control it by prescribing a lower dose.


In-office results in the convenience of your home. Experts agree that the best teeth whitening options are only available from a licensed dental practitioner. For those who don't want to fork out the big bucks for in-office, light-assisted bleaching treatments, your dentist can offer you a take-home kit for a fraction of the cost. Furthermore, Bruce Matis, director of clinical research at Indiana University School of Dentistry, says "the kits work as well as or better than in-office treatments."

Reviewers at are pleased with dentist-supervised, take-home products. Most say they saw noticeable results right away and more dramatic whitening in about a week. One reviewer says, "My results are fantastic. I don't know how many shades I've lightened but the difference is dramatic. My teeth have gone from a dark ivory-yellow to matching the whites of my eyes." Several reviewers at this site said their teeth got up to eight shades lighter.

Ease of use

Difficult to talk and say good-bye to your vices. Although professional take-home whitening treatments require more work than if you were to have an in-office treatment, most users say they are fairly easy to use. Some warn that it may take a bit of practice to get just the right amount of gel into the trays -- most users say only the smallest amount is needed -- but it only takes a time or two to get it just right. And you can easily wipe away any excess gel.

The only real inconvenience is that it is difficult to talk and you have to avoid eating and drinking while the trays are in your mouth. Many users opt to wear their trays overnight to avoid those inconveniences. Experts also say it's important to avoid any stain-causing foods and beverages during treatment and immediately after. That means no coffee, tea, colas or cigarettes for its entire course. If giving up your vices for one to two weeks at a time proves too difficult, you may be more satisfied with professional in-office teeth whitening (*Est. $500 to $800), which typically only requires one procedure.


Custom-suited to your level of sensitivity. Experts say that professional teeth whitening is the safest form of bleach treatments available. That's because the process is supervised by your dentist who can make changes if any problems arise. Furthermore, your dentist can determine if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening based on your overall oral health.

Tooth sensitivity is an issue with all teeth whiteners. The advantage to professional at-home whitening is that your dentist can prescribe a lower dosage if sensitivity is an issue. Several users at say that taking a day off in between treatments also helps. Overall though, most users say that sensitivity is not a huge issue with professional take-home treatments. That's because the mouth tray is custom fitted to your teeth which ensures that bleaching agents don't come in contact with your gums.

Our Sources

1. 87th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research

Review Credibility: Very Good In this study, researchers found that five overnight treatments of a 10 percent take-home carbamide peroxide gel produced similar results as a single in-office treatment consisting of 25 percent hydrogen peroxide.

Review: Subjective and Objective Comparison Between At-Home and In-Office Tooth Whitening, J. Da Costa et al., April 3, 2009


Review Credibility: Good Opalescence take-home whitening gel earns high overall ratings of 4 out of 5 stars for efficacy from nearly 100 reviewers at Most users are very pleased with the results and say tooth sensitivity is minimal.

Review: Opalescence Whitening 10% 15% 20% 35%, Contributors to, As of August 2012

3. CBS News "The Early Show"

Review Credibility: Fair Beauty expert Maggie Gallant discusses products that quickly brighten your teeth. She says that dentist-supervised, take-home whitening trays are "the gold standard" for teeth whitening. They are among the most popular and most cost-effective options available.

Review: Cinch Teeth Whiteners for Sparkling Smile Fast!, Editors of CBS News, Jan. 18, 2011

4. U.S. News & World Report

Review Credibility: Fair Matthew Shulman, a health writer, discusses various teeth-whitening methods including some of the pros and cons of each. He says that professional at-home whitening treatments produce the same results as in-office treatments for a fraction of the cost.

Review: Tooth Whitening Leads in Cosmetic Dentistry, Matthew Shulman, Feb. 6, 2008

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