Professional Teeth Whitening – Take Home Kits

Making a Good ‘Impression’


Last week we looked at how and why people whiten their teeth and over-the-counter products available.  This week we will be looking at professional teeth whitening and why I, as a Dental Hygienist , believe that if you are seriously considering this cosmetic procedure, you should get all the facts first.

Why you should have your teeth whitened with a Dental Professional…

  1. A proper oral assessment will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for teeth whitening (not everyone is)
  2. Some tooth whiteners can cause sensitivity to your teeth and gums (we can help minimize and help prevent this particular side effect)
  3. You will see results immediately or within days (depends on in-office or home kit) rather than weeks
  4. You may not require a whitening touch-up for years
  5. Professional strength products actually work

How do take-home kits work?

Typically we book two or three appointments for the take-home system.

At our first appointment, a consent for whitening form is discussed and signed and then we do a shade analysis to determine our starting shade.   We then take impressions of your upper and lower teeth from which we will make our plaster models.  At this appointment we will often dispense a desensitizing product for home use if there is any suspicion that there may be sensitivity during the whitening process.

During the next week, we fabricate the custom trays by heating and vacuum forming our whitening material to the plaster models, trimming  and buffing them so they will fit snuggly and comfortably around all your teeth.

The second appointment (a week after the first), is to fit the whitening trays, making sure they stay securely in place and to dispense the whitening gel kit with instructions for home use.

Typically most people achieve desired results within a 2-3 week period of wearing the trays daily.  However everyone’s teeth are different and whiten at different rates so that is why a third appointment is often recommended.

At this third appointment, we will compare before and after shades and discuss sensitivity.  If there are no contraindications and the client wishes to continue, we can dispense another course of whitening gel.

How much will this cost?

Dental offices usually charge anywhere from $150.00 to $400.00 for two week take-home kits.  What is important to keep in mind is that while the initial charge for this system may seem like a lot, you will find that over the years when you do touch-ups (people usually like to do this 2 times yearly), you only  have to pay for the whitening gel (typically around $7.00 for a 2-application syringe) as you will have the custom trays to use over and over again for years.

Next week we will look at in-office whitening and why this has been the favored method of whitening for most of my clients.

In the meantime, have you tried in-home whitening products? What have been your results?  I love hearing about peoples’ experiences and here on my blog, you will get commentluv.  That’s a plug-in for bloggers.  When you leave your comment, you can leave a link back to your own blog. But you don’t have to be a blogger to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from all of you.

Until next time,


7 thoughts on “Professional Teeth Whitening – Take Home Kits

  1. Hey Kathleen 🙂

    Great topic and you do such a good job at educating patients and also dental professionals, as myself lol

    I have a question I’m kinda embarrass to ask but I what is the difference with Carbamide Peroxide and Hydrogen Peroxide ?

  2. I was hesitant to have my teeth whitened at my Dentist office. I felt my teeth would be far too stained to do anything about. My dentist offered me a fair price to do my whitening, less than $200.00. I used the gel for about 20 nights. I cannot believe the difference. I am so happy with the results, I feel absolutely free to give the biggest smiles now I possibly can. I did ask my hygienist about using OTC (over the counter) cleaning agents for maintainance. She explained to me how OTC cleaners are basically a form of scrubbing the stain off your teeth and let me know how dangerous that can be. My maintainance, if any is required, will be monitored by my hydienist. I would suggest this to anyone that is pondering the idea. Bottom line, get in and see your dentist. I did, I love it.

  3. Hi Kenneth,

    It’s wonderful that you are so happy with your whitening results! It’s true that regular visits to have your teeth professionally cleaned and proper home care will go a long way in maintaining your beautiful healthy smile. I also want to let you know that independent dental hygienists such as myself are now providing the public with the same professional cleaning and whitening offered in dental offices within our own dental hygiene clinics.

  4. Nice blog!very interesting topic. There are tons of home teeth whitening product today on the market. The thing is if they are really effective. I tried most of them, i ‘m kind of very sensitive about my smile, but frankly speaking i couldn’t get that perfect smile i always wanted until i visited my dentist.
    Midtown Manhattan Dentist´s last blog post ..Tooth Whitening

  5. I also believe that although some products can be helpful in whitening out teeth, nothing can beat professional help. Because these professionals know what they are doing and they also know what product will best suit for our need. We must always consider our safety first before anything else in using any product that will concern us and our health.
    But sometimes, you know I also try using the natural approach of using some baking soda. lol! I tried it and well it gives positive result yeah, but not that much satisfactory…
    rain@Oklahoma City Dentistry´s last blog post ..Finding a Dentist in Oklahoma City

  6. Hi Rain and thanks for your comment. I have recently begun using a whitening tooth powder made with baking soda, sea salt and peroxide by EcoDent which is outstanding. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

  7. Hi Bobby and thanks for your comments!

    I agree that the safest, most effective way to whiten and brighten a smile is with professional whitening treatments.

    In Health,


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