Teeth Whitening in a Salon vs at the Dentist
We’re the teeth whitening experts! Let us explain the differences you can expect between teeth whitening in a salon vs at the dentist. In this article we’re comparing a teeth whitening treatment done in a salon to a teeth whitening treatment done at the dentist – in the USA. However, the same differences that apply to salons apply to any non-dental teeth whitening professional.
At a Salon
At the Dentist
At a Salon
At the Dentist
Teeth whitening results depend on variables controlled by your dentist or salon such as gel strength, how long the gel is on your teeth, and how many back-to-back applications you receive. However, your results also depend on YOU! That’s right. Your habits, age, tooth porosity, natural tooth color, how much you salivate, and the age, degree, and types of stains you have, ALL affect your results.
All things being equal, if you receive three back-to-back 20-minute applications of 16% HP gel from your dentist or your salon, your results will be the SAME! Most people are extremely thrilled with their results either way.
The main difference is that if you have stubborn stains, your dentist can give you more whitening power with a stronger gel and a gingival barrier. Expect some tooth sensitivity or zingers, though.
Expect the cost to be higher at the dentist because a dentist has specialized knowledge and education that was very costly to acquire. A dentist also tends to have a more expensive office and staff. Finally, you receive a higher level of service in that your dentist probably has your dental history and can make more personalized recommendations. Your dentist can also apply the gel to your teeth for you and he/she may even be able to give you something for sensitivity. Treatments requiring the application of a gingival barrier or custom fitted trays will definitely be significantly more expensive but these are services above and beyond those that a salon is allowed to offer you.
Both dentists and salons can send you home with take-home whitening kits so that you may further extend your in-office results at home, particularly if you have stubborn stains. However, only a dentist can prepare custom fitted mouth trays for you. These usually come at a much higher cost because the dentist has to take impressions and have them specially made just for you.
If you choose to continue whitening at home, your salon will give you either thermo-forming trays or a pre-formed tray. Pre-formed trays have the least custom fit. With custom-fitted mouth trays from your dentist, you receive a better seal against saliva that breaks down the teeth whitening gel. You can also wear the trays for a longer time or even over night.
As far as the gel is concerned, you can expect to take home the same kind of teeth whitening gel from your dentist or your salon. We recommend 36% carbamide peroxide for home whitening for most people.
Be sure to closely follow all of your after-care instructions.
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