Is Professional Teeth Whitening More Effective Than Whitening Kits? Insights from a Chicago Dentist


Is Professional Teeth Whitening More Effective Than Whitening Kits? Insights from a Chicago Dentist

You have several options at your disposal when it comes to whitening your teeth.  Your options are generally split into two main categories — professional teeth whitening, and over-the-counter teeth whitening products. In this article, we’re going to discuss these two options, and take into account several factors that will help you choose the best option for you.


Initially, at-home teeth whitening kits may seem like the more affordable option. However, since these kits are only effective within a few shades of your original tooth color, you may end up spending more in the long run. Also, these kits require sustained use in order to achieve the desired results. Depending on the shade you are looking for, it may actually be more affordable to go with the professional option.

The Examination Before the Procedure

You may have cavities, tartar, or plaque, in which case whitening is not really recommended. Patients that have gum disease, tooth decay, or cracks in their teeth will also need to address these issues before they go forward with either whitening procedure. The issue here is that whitening products contain corrosive substances that remove the top layer of the tooth where the stains have occurred. If these substances come into contact with deeper layers, it can lead to further damage and discomfort. So, in both cases, whether you choose a DIY kit or a professional procedure, you’ll want to have an examination done before you proceed.

Safety Considerations

Generally speaking, professional whitening is safer than DIY whitening kits. Whitening kits have a set of instructions that you’ll need to follow carefully, otherwise you could damage your gums or enamel. Sometimes, patients will leave a whitening kit on for too long, or they’ll exceed the number of treatments recommended in order to get results faster, which can lead to the aforementioned effects. With a professional whitening session, your dentist will perform the initial inspection, determine the sensitivity level of your teeth, and safely perform the whitening procedure.


When it comes to effectiveness, it’s not really a contest — professional whitening techniques are significantly more effective. This is because dentists can use solutions that are higher in essential chemicals like carbamide and peroxide, and they may use lasers during the in-office treatment to amplify the effectiveness of the treatment even further.

Even Results

It can sometimes be difficult to achieve a consistent result with a DIY kit. However, this issue may also be present during professional treatments if you have a porcelain or composite dental crown. In this case, the crown will need to be replaced in order for it to match the coloration of the rest of the teeth.

Long Term Results

Both methods can achieve acceptable long-term results. However, given the difference in the shades that can be achieved, it will take longer to revert back to the original shade if you go with professional whitening. Results can be further maintained with proper oral hygiene, and if you avoid staining foods and drinks such as wine or coffee.

Scheduling Your Teeth Whitening Appointment with a Chicago Dentist

Professional teeth whitening has many advantages over a DIY whitening kit. The only possible downside is that you have to take the time to visit your dentist. However, the process is not painful or uncomfortable at all, and you should make an appointment with your dentist before you use a DIY kit regardless.

If you are currently interested in professional teeth whitening in Chicago, the professionals at Dental Innovations can help. We will be able to help you achieve the perfect shade of white for your teeth, and we can take care of any prep work that may be necessary. Do not risk the health of your teeth, or achieve underwhelming results with a DIY kit — contact us today to schedule an appointment!