Professional vs. Over-the-counter Teeth Whitening

Las Vegas Professional Teeth WhiteningTeeth whitening is a fast and dramatic treatment that can improve your appearance. The only question is: Should you use a professional treatment or an over-the-counter product?

It depends.

If you are looking for the brightest and whitest teeth possible, then a professional treatment is for you. If you are older and have deep, set in stains then, once again, professional teeth whitening is more likely to get the results you want. And, if your teeth are sensitive or have gum disease, then professional guidance can help you get the most whitening with the fewest complications.

On the other hand, if your teeth are in good shape with only slight discoloration, an over-the-counter product may be all you need.

Whatever path you choose, it’s important to have your teeth checked by acosmetic dentist before you do anyteeth whitening. A cavity or loose filling could allow the whitening agent to damage a tooth, perhaps leading to a root canal treatment.

Las Vegas dentist Jason L. Downey and his team offer professional teeth whitening and can also ensure your teeth are healthy enough for the treatment, no matter what method you choose.

Professional Methods

Professional teeth whitening can be done either in the office or at home. Both treatments start with a professional cleaning of your teeth since plaque buildup prevents whitener from reaching the enamel to brighten it.

For in-office treatments, Jason L. Downey, DDS Dentistry use the Opalescence® Xtra BOOST Whitening system, which can whiten teeth by eight shades in one visit. The process uses a hydrogen-peroxide based gel to bleach your teeth. Since whitening agents can be irritating, your dentist will take extra steps to protect your gums throughout the process.

They also offer two types of at-home professional teeth whitening kits. The Opalescence® Whitening method uses custom trays to ensure good contact between the whitening agent and your teeth while also limiting contact with the gums. The trays are worn for three to six hours a day and produce results similar to the in-office treatment.

Another at-home treatment, Day White®, offers superior results quickly with little to no tooth or gum sensitivity. In addition, the process gives tooth enamel a smooth, glossy appearance that enhances the whitening effect.

Some benefits of professional whitening:

  • Stronger. Professional whitening agents are stronger than what is available over-the-counter.
  • Faster. It can take weeks of over-the-counter treatments to noticeably brighten your smile. A professional treatment can brighten a smile as much as eight times in one visit.
  • Customization. A dentist can adjust the treatment based on your needs. If you have sensitive gums or teeth, a dentist can modify the treatment to allow you to get the most whitening with the fewest complications.


The main benefit of over-the-counter whitening products is the cost. They are less expensive than a professional treatment.

Over-the-counter products typically use whitening strips or trays. Both methods use a weaker whitening agent, but if you are willing to invest the time, you can still whiten your teeth. It will simply take longer.

Over-the-counter products are also convenient. They are readily available at nearly every drugstore or grocery.

Next Steps

Teeth whitening can damage weak or decaying teeth. Whichever method you use, you should first have your teeth examined to avoid permanent damage. Your dentist can also clean your teeth to ensure you get the best whitening possible.Please call today for an appointment.