Home vs professional teeth whitening

What are the differences between take-home teeth whitening kits and the In-chair laser treatment? That is a question that many patients have, and not least because there are myriad of teeth whitening products and brands on the market that claim many benefits. Is it true what they claim in the advertisements or just plain mumbo-jumbo? We’re talking about a wide variety of products and manufacturers therefore it would be unwise to issue a blanket assumption on their efficacy or lack thereof.

However, it is safe to say that there are significant differences between these over-the-counter products and professional teeth whitening. Let’s take a look at some of the main factors when comparing the two types of whitening systems:


When it comes to the method that will produce speedy results, you really cannot go wrong with the professional whitening option. That is why it is the preferred option for time-poor executives that are constantly always on the move, and who demand to see instantaneous treatment outcomes.

Depending on your specific case, the in-chair method takes just a single dental appointment. In fact, the session takes only about an hour and a half session – about the time it takes to have a cuppa, really. By comparison, take-home whitening kits take many days and weeks to produce any visible whitening effects.

Several factors account for the time difference. First and foremost, a trained dental professional, who is authorised to use a higher concentration of bleaching agent – as compared to over-the-counter formulas – administers the chair-side method.

The chemically activated power bleaching gel contains a 40% hydrogen peroxide ingredient that is known to brighten teeth in less than an hour. Another ingredient is PF (potassium nitrate and fluoride) that helps to reduce teeth sensitivity – which can affect some whitening patients.

The chemically activated process of the bleaching agent makes the procedure a whole lot faster than what is required with the self-administered whitening process.

So, compared with the time it takes to get a caffeine fix vs weeks of wearing a bleaching tray at home, you do the math!


The office treatment costs around $600-800 per whitening session, as compared to the home bleaching kits, usually priced between, $30 to $300. Depending on the stubborness of your tooth stains, bearing in mind, of course that some home kits may not work as advertised. However, the price difference is significant enough to carefully consider between the two options.

People who subscribe to the adage “time is money”, however, will factor in the possibility of spending weeks going through a “whitening ritual” only to be disappointed by the results. Those are unforeseen costs that you may have to consider as well.


The in-chair method is considerably safer given that it is being administered by a dentist, who is professionally required to employ safety measures like wearing protective goggles and using gels and lip retractors to minimize exposure between your gums and soft tissue areas and the bleaching gel.

If a patient develops a reaction to the gel at a dentist’s office, the clinic’s clean environment and the readiness of the dentist to deal with an emergency also makes the procedure safer.


The in-chair whitening method is known to deliver dramatic shade reduction in one session. Due to the lower concentration of bleaching gel and lack of chemical activation properties, the home whitening method simply cannot be expected to achieve the same results.

Conclusion: What you eventually choose really boils down to your individual preference, what you are willing to accept and how much you are willing to pay.

For more information on Professional Teeth Whitening, book an appointment with our Friendly Dentist in Molonglo Valley. Contact Molonglo Dental Surgery at 02 6287 1222.

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