One of my most commonly asked questions is:  “Dr. H, should I whiten my teeth?” I always have the same answer.  “Yes, if it will make you happier and more confident with your smile.”

Tooth whitening used to be a slow, tedious, and often painful process.  Advances in technology have made whitening simpler and less expensive.  I’m not going to bore you with the science behind whitening but I am briefly going to go over the different ways you can have whiter teeth so we can figure out which system is right for you.

Teeth Whitening

Today, there are three systems we utilize in dentistry.  Those methods are:

  1. over the counter,
  2. custom fitted whitening trays for at-home use,
  3. in- office tooth whitening.

The method I would recommend to the patient would depend on a couple factors, such as how dark your teeth are currently, how white you want to go, how much time you are willing to invest, and how much money you are willing to invest.

The first type and least expensive system is an over the counter system.  There are hundreds of over the counter systems on the market today that can be purchased almost anywhere you shop. They are a great entry level for people who want to try whitening the teeth but who are not sure if whitening is for them.  Let’s go over the pros and cons of over the counter systems.

The pros are

  1. cost, and
  2. no need for impressions.

The cons of these systems are

  1.  slower whitening process,
  2. they are not one size fits all, and
  3. the expense becomes greater if you desire your teeth to be many shades whiter.

The second type and the best bang for your buck system is the custom fitted tray at-home whitening.  With this system, we take impressions of your teeth, and we fabricate custom fitted trays that fit your teeth tightly.  Since the trays are made for you, they hold the whitening gel in close proximity to your teeth which allows for faster whitening.  It also allows us to control the concentration of whitening gel which we can customize to your schedule and needs.  Once you have purchased the trays, all you need going forward is to buy refill syringes of whitening material as needed.  The fact that all you have to do is buy refill syringes will save you money in the long run when compared to the over the counter strips.  

Teeth WHitening

“Since the trays are made for you, they hold the whitening gel in close proximity to your teeth which allows for faster whitening.”

The pros of the custom trays are

  1. they are the best value in the long run,
  2. they are a very efficient way to whiten your teeth, and
  3. it’s a flexible system to fit your schedule and needs.

The only cons are

  1. it is more of an initial cost than over the counter options and
  2. it requires you to remember to wear the trays.
We carry 2 concentrations of this whitening gel: a 15 minute option and an all night option, depending on which works better for your schedule.  

The final option is a system called Kör® whitening

Whiter teeth

This system isn’t just your regular tooth whitening system, and we usually reserve it for patients who either want as white of teeth as modern dentistry has to offer, patients with severe staining such as tetracycline staining, and for patients who have tried other methods with limited results which isn’t uncommon. Tooth whitening can be like weight loss where no 2 patients end with same results even when doing the same diet and workout plan.  Kör uses a combination of in office whitening and custom tray whitening over the course of 2-8 weeks depending on which plan is chosen.  It also has a different prescription for people with different situations based off the color of your teeth and the reason for the discoloration.  Check out some of their amazing results

The major 2 things that make Kör special is

(1) their custom fitted trays are made by a lab in their uniquely formulated manner which gives an amazing fit, and

(2) they ship their whitening gel via refrigeration which keeps their whitening gel fresher and more powerful. 

Kör has a system for everyone, but I usually reserve it for the most severe cases where the other plans won’t be effective. Kör also has a patented desensitizer which is the best product I’ve seen to get rid of the pesky cold sensitivity that occurs with tooth whitening.

The pros of Kör are

  1. amazing results, 
  2. it can treat people who historically were impossible to treat without crowns or veneers.

Kör is the best whitening system in the world today, and best solution that is available today for sensitivity associated with tooth whitening. 

The only cons I can think of with Kör are

  1. price and
  2. time, but if you want beautiful white teeth then Kör is impossible to beat from my experience

As you can see above, tooth whitening isn’t a one size fits all process.  We are happy to discuss the above options more at your next appointment or via phone.


Talk to you soon.

Dr. H