Professional Teeth Whitening: Types and Benefits

If the latest report from World Oral Health Day is anything to go by, teeth whitening is more popular than ever. A survey sampling 25,000 individuals discovered that 22% of the Australian adult population had whitened their teeth. This is an 8% surge from the first recorded data in 2017.

The change is commendable, and it comes as no surprise, given the numerous benefits of white teeth. A white pearly smile is an indispensable beauty feature. Also, the warm and welcoming nature of a beautiful smile is something everyone wants to experience.

While there are several ways to go about it, professional teeth whitening treatments offer quick, safe, and effective solutions. Here’s everything you need to know about the various types, benefits and disadvantages of the procedure.

Types of Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening involves using peroxide-based products to eliminate discolouration and stains. As compared to over the counter teeth whitening products and DIY teeth whitening treatments, the peroxide level is higher and more concentrated in professional teeth whitening gels. This is why they should be done under the supervision of trained dentists to avoid damage to the gums,  sensitivity and irritation.  

For most over-the-counter whitening products, the main active ingredient (peroxide) is only allowed to be sold with a maximum dosage or concentration. This is because teeth whitening products should only touch the teeth, not the gums, because a higher concentration can damage them. Overuse of DIY teeth whitening products can cause extensive damage to your gums, sometimes resulting in gum burns. 

Also, over-the-counter teeth whitening kits are not as effective or lasting because of the controlled dosage and may take a longer time to show results. This makes professional teeth whitening products more reliable, faster and safer. 

There are two types of professional teeth whitening treatments:

In-Office Whitening

In-office whitening treatment usually takes 90 minutes using a product such as Zoom. The treatment involves putting a strong hydrogen peroxide gel on the teeth. It’s then activated with a light, using heat to speed up the whitening process in the gel to give you instantly whiter teeth.

Your gums are protected with a gel or rubber shield, and the gel is left on your teeth for 15 minutes, applied 3 times during the procedure with light activation. Your dentist may recommend teeth cleaning before the whitening treatment if required.

The main benefit of in office whitening is that you leave with your teeth looking instantly whiter.  However, In-office teeth whitening also gives an immediate result because the teeth are dehydrated during the treatment.  Dry teeth naturally look a lot whiter than teeth that are hydrated with saliva.  The dehydrating of the teeth contributes to the instantly whiter colour you would see, meaning that once the teeth rehydrate they may not look as white anymore.  In addition to this, due to the intensity of the whitening gel, the teeth may be more prone to sensitivity.  All in all,  the results may not be as lasting as professional take-home teeth whitening whilst the cost is generally much higher.

It’s advisable to discuss your smile goals and the shade you want with your dentist before treatment to choose the right one for you. 

Professionally made home whitening kit 

We believe the most effective method of teeth whitening is with a professionally made take home whitening kit.  This involves taking a mould of your upper and lower teeth to create custom-fitted trays. The trays fit your teeth like a glove. All you have to do is add the whitening gel to it and wear it for the recommended amount of time. They can be worn overnight or for 2 hours during the day with a stronger gel according to your teeth condition and whitening requirements.

Professional at-home teeth whitening kits take longer than in-office whitening as the result is not instantaneous.  However because the product is used gradually to whiten the teeth whilst bathed in saliva, there is no placebo effect of the teeth becoming dehydrated (remember, dry teeth look whiter).   Instead, it changes it from the inside for a permanent colour change.  

The active ingredient in the whitening gel is a well balanced concentration of peroxide based gel. It is low enough that it does not cause tooth sensitivity, but is high enough to be very effective at permanently whitening the tooth enamel.

Take-home whitening treatment works because the teeth are still bathed in saliva, which means there is no placebo effect from the teeth being dry like in an in-office whitening treatment. 

Treatment can take two to four weeks, depending on your teeth condition and the shade of the final outcome you desire.  We generally tell patients to continue using the kit until they are happy with the colour.. 

Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

Regardless of the method you choose, professional teeth whitening has multiple benefits compared to DIY treatments. Here are some reasons why you should consider professional teeth whitening:

Better Oral Health

Poor dietary habits and oral hygiene have a direct impact on your teeth as you age. After going through professional teeth whitening, most patients understand the need to practise proper oral hygiene to maintain their smiles. Also, your dentist will advise you on the correct after-procedure care to help your bright smile last longer.

Most of these practices help you avoid stains while benefiting general oral health.

Enhanced Self-Esteem

Discoloured teeth can harm your self-esteem and social life. People with discoloured teeth often find it difficult to smile or laugh in public. This affects almost all areas of your life.

 A set of pearly white teeth restores your confidence, removing your appearance anxiety, and allowing you to smile without hesitation, whenever and wherever you want. 

Long-Lasting Results

Professional teeth whitening dentists have knowledge and access to the best quality products. Add that to their professional excellence, and you can rest assured that your newly whitened teeth will stay that way for many years ahead with proper aftercare. 

Protection for Your Teeth and Gums

A professionally made whitening kit ensures the gel only contacts  your tooth enamel. This ensures we can use a higher and more effective peroxide dose than over the counter whitening kits.  Following the required oral hygiene routine after whitening helps eliminate plaque, harmful bacteria, and acidic build-up that encourages the growth of germs and diseases. This will also help you stay safe from common dental problems like gum disease and boost your overall oral health. 

However, it doesn’t replace the need for frequent checkups and clean dentist appointments, as you need to spot and address any issues before they develop into problems.

Who can Get Professional Teeth Whitening?

While most people with healthy teeth and gums can get professional teeth whitening, it’s not recommended for:


  • People with gum diseases or underlying health conditions
  • Pregnant or lactating women and children under 16 
  • Dental crowns, veneers and filling material does not whiten with any whitening products.  So if you’ve had extensive work done on your front teeth, teeth whitening may not be possible for you

Always discuss your treatment options with your dentist for teeth whitening and stain removal to avoid damage to your teeth and gums. Educate yourself before using DIY whitening products or cheap whitening treatments.

Any product that says all-natural or peroxide free is not effective is similar to dehydrating the teeth, only giving you short-term whitening. 

Professional Teeth Whitening: Get the Help You Deserve

The bright white smile of your dreams is something that’s easily obtainable.

Professional teeth whitening allows you to brighten your teeth and maintain a whiter, healthier smile with improved oral care and hygiene. Give yourself the smile you deserve with professional teeth whitening under the supervision of qualified dental professionals. 

Reach out to our dentists at Whitehorse Dental for more information on professional teeth whitening treatments today.