What You Need To Know About Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments

Teeth Whitening Somerville, MA

Professional teeth whitening can be a good option for people who have stained or yellowing teeth. At-home and in-office options are available to fit a variety of budgets. 

Who teeth whitening works for

Professional whitening usually works well for people with permanent teeth and good oral health. However, there are some people for whom the procedure may not be recommended.

People with gum disease or tooth sensitivity

People with tender or receding gums or sensitive teeth may be sensitive to the chemicals used in the whitening process. A dentist can recommend an oral hygiene routine that may improve gum health enough to receive the treatment or alternatives, such as professional teeth cleaning.

People with certain types of stains and dental work

Yellow-colored stains, such as those caused by aging, smoking or coffee drinking, usually respond well to whitening treatments; however, brown or gray stains and discoloration due to medication or injury often do not. Tooth-colored crowns, fillings and caps will not whiten along with natural teeth. Patients with dental work that is visible when they smile may need to consider other options, such as veneers or bonding. 

Professional teeth whitening options

Professional teeth whitening can be done in-office by a dentist or with a professional home whitening kit. Both options can produce similar results, but the at-home option requires a longer period of treatment.


The in-office procedure requires 60-90 minutes to complete and can result in teeth that are 2-8 shades whiter. The primary side effect of the procedure is tooth sensitivity, so using desensitizing toothpaste for two weeks before the procedure may be advised. The procedure is a nine-step process:

  1. Current shade of teeth is noted
  2. Patient is consulted to determine the desired shade
  3. Teeth are polished
  4. Mouth is prepared for the procedure
  5. Gum protection is put in place
  6. Teeth are coated with a whitening solution
  7. A curing light or laser is used to activate the solution
  8. The solution is left on the teeth for 30-60 minutes
  9. Teeth are rinsed, and fluoride may be applied

Multiple treatments may be required to reach the desired shade, and touch-ups are recommended every six months to a year. After the treatment, patients are advised to avoid smoking and foods and beverages that can stain the teeth for at least 24 hours. 

Professional home whitening kits

Home whitening kits are less expensive than the in-office procedure, but can only be obtained from a dentist and require a dental impression to be made for the custom-fitted trays. The trays require one to two weeks to make. Once received, the patient will need to use the kit for one hour a day for two weeks. 


Yellowing due to age, smoking or food stains can negatively impact the appearance of a person's smile. Professional teeth whitening can restore the appearance of a person's smile, and multiple options are available to best fit the patient's individual needs and budget. 

Are you considering teeth whitening in the Somerville area? Get more information at https://somervilledentist.com.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Whitening in Somerville, MA.

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