If you're looking to invest in a quality at-home whitening system, Ultradent Opalescence PF Teeth Whitening Gel is one of the best -- if not the very best -- product on the market. This professional-grade gel must be dispensed by a qualified dentist alongside specially fitted, custom-made mouth trays. The higher concentrations can cause tooth and gum sensitivity, but you can easily limit your usage or switch to a less powerful formula.
Fast, noticeable results. Users and experts agree that Opalescence PF works quickly -- according to TeethWhiteningReviews.com, results are often visible after a single night of use. You can also achieve the same results using different concentration formulas, but it will take longer if you're using a low concentration, such as 10 or 15 percent. Some contributors to TeethWhiteningReviews.com say the product lightened their teeth up to six or seven shades. The results can last for years, and the syringes themselves are effective for up to two years when refrigerated (and one year at room temperature).
White overnight. In the less potent formulas of 10 and 15 percent, Opalescence PF can be used overnight for hassle-free whitening; these formulas are designed for a timed, sustained release of 8 to 10 hours. The higher-dose formulas of 20 and 35 percent should only be used for a maximum of one hour per day and 30 minutes per day, respectively. Users and experts say the viscous gel stays in place within custom-made trays.
Strengthen your teeth as you whiten. Opalescence PF's potassium nitrate-fluoride formula actually has some great benefits for teeth. The editors of TeethWhiteningReviews.com write, "A 2005 study in the Journal of Operative Dentistry found that the combination of potassium nitrate and fluoride in Opalescence PF reduces vulnerability to cavities and increases the re-mineralization of the enamel for greater tooth strength." The product comes with an ADA seal for safety and efficacy, and its active ingredient is an FDA-recognized oral antiseptic. However, Opalescence PF has been known to cause sensitivity in teeth and gums. Some users at Amazon.com say the product actually bleached or formed blisters on their gums.
1. International Journal of Dentistry
This study evaluates the efficacy of the 10 percent concentration formulas of teeth-whitening products Opalescence PF and NiteWhite ACP. The study's authors treated 34 subjects for 14 days and looked at the products' efficacy just after treatment and again after six months. They found that both groups of subjects experienced considerable results, but that Nite White ACP had slightly less staying power than Opalescence PF.
Review: A Clinical Study of the Effectiveness of Two Different 10% Carbamide Peroxide Bleaching Products: A 6-Month Followup, S. R. Grobler et al., March 6, 2011
Opalescence take-home whitening gel earns high overall ratings of 4.2 out of 5 stars for efficacy from 100 reviewers at TeethWhiteningReviews.com. Most users are very pleased with the results and say tooth sensitivity is minimal.
Review: Opalescence Whitening 10% 15% 20% 35%, Contributors to TeethWhiteningReviews.com, As of January 2014
This article discusses the key advantages and characteristics of self-administered at-home teeth whitening. The author names Opalescence gel as one of the main take-home whitening systems administered by dentists. While she doesn't say much about the product's overall efficacy, she does say its "carbamide peroxide whitening agent is known for its staying power over extended periods of time."
Review: At-Home Teeth Whitening: How Effective Is Do-It-Yourself Whitening?, Linda Dyett, Not Dated
In this review, Sharon Boyd gives Opalescence PF a perfect score of 5 out of 5 in the categories of effectiveness, ease of use, safety and value for money. The author calls it one of the best whitening gels on the market, and says its only disadvantage is that it must be worn with professional whitening trays administered by a dentist. The author is a professional dental hygienist, but it is unclear whether she tests the products she reviews.
Review: Opalescence Whitening Gel Review, Sharon Boyd, RDH, July 26, 2012
This beauty product retailer gives Opalescence PF a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars and ranks it third in its annual list of the top 10 teeth whiteners. The editors note that the product is conveniently safe for overnight use, but say it can take several nights to produce visible results.
Review: Opalescence Review, Editors of LetsTalkBeauty.com, Not Dated
This brief review looks at the 35 percent carbamide peroxide version of Opalescence PF, which is the strongest concentration available. The author says the formula can cause gum sensitivity but produces excellent results. The product earns 4.75 out of 5 stars. Although the author doesn't list any specific methodology for the rating, Bestcovery.com employs experts in given categories based on their knowledge of certain types of products.
Review: Opalescence PF 35% Teeth Whitening, Lisa Montalto, Aug. 23, 2012
More than 160 users at Amazon.com rate and review the strongest version of Opalescence PF, giving it a favorable overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Most say they found the gel to be very effective, but many users say it irritated their gums.
Review: Opalescence PF 35% Teeth Whitening, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2014