In-Office Vs. At-Home Teeth Whitening – What’s Right For You?

If you’re interested in teeth whitening in Canada, visiting a cosmetic dentist is the best option. Consumer-grade at-home teeth whitening kits are not nearly as effective as professional whitening treatments.

But you may be wondering what’s right for you – in-office teeth whitening, or a custom, at-home whitening kit from your dentist. In this article, we’ll break down the differences between each treatment type, how they work, and some of their pros and cons. Let’s get started.



In-Office Teeth Whitening – Faster Results With Intensive Whitening


Let’s begin by talking about in-office Winnipeg teeth whitening, and how it works.


Typically, an in-office treatment starts with a prophylactic teeth cleaning. Next, cheek retractors are used to expose all of the teeth that are visible when you smile.


A specialized gel is painted onto your gum tissue, or a rubber dam is used, to prevent bleaching gel from contacting the gums, as this can cause irritation.


After this, your dentist will paint a gel containing hydrogen or carbamide peroxide onto your teeth, for about 15-30 minutes. This process is usually repeated once again, and a specialized UV light may also be used to “cure” the peroxide and enhance its beneficial effects.


Then, the bleaching gel is washed off, and your teeth will be checked to ensure that they have been properly whitened. Then, you will rinse your mouth, and your teeth will be checked for whiteness. Usually, you’ll notice a difference of 3-8 shades (out of 16) of whiteness. Further treatments can be used for even brighter teeth.


There is little-to-no pain or discomfort throughout the procedure, though some tooth sensitivity is not uncommon.




  • Faster results, up to 3-8 shades brighter in just one appointment
  • Gum and tooth sensitivity is easily controllable
  • Safe whitening under the observation of a dentist




  • More expensive than take-home kits
  • Results may be unpredictable, and require multiple treatments
  • May not be appropriate for individuals with sensitive teeth


In general, in-office whitening is better if you have a bigger budget for teeth whitening, and you need immediate results.


At-Home Whitening – Whiter Teeth On Your Schedule, In The Comfort Of Your Own Home


At-home whitening kits from the dentist are much better than the trays or whitening strips you can purchase at your local drug store or supermarket.


First, your dentist will clean your teeth, and then take impressions of them. Then, they will create a set of custom whitening trays made to fit perfectly over your teeth, which will be built by a third-party lab. Then, these will be filled with a carbamide or hydrogen peroxide solution. This process usually takes about 2 weeks.


Then, you’ll have another appointment, where your dentist will explain how to use your trays and wear them properly, and give you a treatment schedule that you should follow.


Usually, you’ll wear a whitening tray for about an hour a day for 2 weeks. Then, you’ll come in for a final follow-up appointment, where the dentist will assess your results.




  • Whiten your teeth on your own schedule, in your own home
  • Less intensive whitening process means a lower risk of tooth sensitivity
  • Typically much cheaper than an in-office whitening appointment




  • The entire process can take more than a month, not ideal for fast results
  • Your teeth may not be quite as white as they would be with an in-office treatment
  • Not appropriate for patients with significant discoloration issues


If you have more moderate discoloration, a longer time-frame for whitening, and don’t want to sit around in the dentist’s chair, at-home whitening kits may be a better choice for you!


Know Which Treatment To Choose (Or Just Ask Your Dentist!)


Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand which treatments may be better for your own situation. If you’re still not sure what to choose, just consult with your cosmetic dentist! They will be able to give you a better idea of what’s involved in each procedure, and which one may be appropriate for your particular needs.