Dentists Share the Best Teeth Whitening Methods

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Best teeth whitening methodsDentists’ favorite teeth whitening method is custom-fit bleaching trays. In this survey, 75% of dentists said that at-home tray whitening works great.

According to dentists, the next most effective methods of teeth whitening are in-office bleaching either with or without laser activation. Notably, these two methods scored exactly the same; overall, dentists feel they work okay.

They are less impressed with over-the-counter options. They found store-bought whitening strips to be somewhat more effective than other store-bought whitening products. Not surprisingly, they do not prefer mall kiosks or in-store whitening.

Dentists expressed a slight preference for Zoom® brand over Britesmile® or Rembrandt®
teeth whiteners, but felt that all three brands are effective.

Dental marketing benefits

  • “Whitening is a great freebee.” (Utah dentist)

Favorite methods

  • “Have used Zoom and Britesmile, I have found the ORIGINAL 15% BriteSmile (not the ‘new’ gel) to get the best results with less sensitivity to the patient; also more comfortable cheek retractor, bite block and cotton rolls. I will stick with original BriteSmile.” (California dentist)
  • “I am a disciple of Kor bleaching and making a good fitting tray to hold bleach in. I never see good fitting trays made by other offices. That
    is a big key to long lasting great results.” (General dentist)

Trays are the key to effective tooth whitening

  • “The at-home custom-fit tray whitening method works best. Over the course of several days, the patient can control the degree of whitening to her own preferences — something that cannot be said for the other methods. And once the custom trays are made, the patient can easily and efficiently perform the later ‘touch-ups’ that inevitably will be needed with the passage of time.” (California dentist)

Tooth sensitivity is a major issue

  • "Any monkey can whiten teeth. The art is whitening to the fullest extent possible, which varies from person to person; and then to do it predictably without creating sensitivity. Sensitivity can be a real show stopper.” (Florida dentist)
  • "Is anyone finding the zero sensitivity ones are truly THAT?" (North Carolina dentist)

Whitening at Mall kiosks

  • “Who trusts a pimply faced kid at the mall to whiten their teeth?” (California dentist)
  • “Mall kiosks are against the law in my state.” (New York dentist)

Is laser teeth whitening
actually any better?

  • “Why do dentists still use bleaching lights or lasers when they have been shown to be totally ineffective? I think the light companies are falsely advertising.” (Georgia dentist)
  • “What are the photoactive chemicals that will increase the amount and rate of whitening? I am a chemist and dentist. I have not found any yet in any product." (Illinois dentist)

Teeth bleaching

  • “The problem is getting the patient to do maintenance to keep them white.” (New York dentist)
  • “It all works.” (Florida dentist)


Note: Survey sample included 84 respondents. Posted 5/25/2010

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