Teeth Whitening ~ In-chair or Take-home?

All the fun things in life seem to be bad for you in some way don’t they? All you’d like to do is enjoy your glass of red wine with dinner and your morning coffee – particularly if you’re a Melbournian like us! And now you look in the mirror and see the staining effect those choices have had on your teeth – it just isn’t fair! Well, this is why more and more people are turning to the option of whitening teeth.

A lot of patients who are keen to whiten their teeth ask us what their options are to achieve a whiter, brighter smile.

There are many alternatives out there to whiten your teeth, however the most common two options that dental practices provide is
In-chair Whitening and Take-home Whitening.

In-Chair Whitening:

Philips Zoom In-Chair whitening treatment

Many patients prefer In-chair whitening as it can be done in one 90 minute appointment and immediately after the appointment your teeth will be noticeably whiter and brighter.

Dentists and dental therapists are able to use higher concentrate hydrogen peroxide solutions on your teeth compared to take-home whitening and anything found on chemist shelves. In addition, clinicians supervise the treatment and control the level of whitening that occurs.

However, patients with sensitive teeth may find they experience sensitivity whilst having in chair whitening so will often choose to do take home whitening.  With this said, there are precautions and recommendations that our dentist and dental therapist always take to ensure the most comfortable and safe experience.

How In-chair Whitening works:

To begin your in-chair teeth whitening treatment, the dentist or dental therapist will protect your gums, cheeks, tongue and lips by using a rubber apparatus and other materials. This prevents the bleach gel from moving off your teeth and onto sensitive areas such as the gums. A high concentrate bleach is then applied to the teeth and activated using a UV light.

In general, this process takes 60-80 minutes -but don’t worry about the prolonged stay in the dental chair, we have cushions, blankets, Netflix and noise cancelling headphones at the ready to entertain you throughout!

Here at Gentle Dental Hawthorn, we use Philips Zoom! In-Chair Teeth Whitening. Philips states that their product can whiten teeth by up to 8 shades.  The amount teeth whiten is dependent on the colour and type of teeth you have. Results can last between 1 and 2 years, influenced by your diet, medication and if you’re a smoker.

To maintain your whiter, brighter smile after your In-chair whitening treatment we also provide the Take-home whitening kit and custom fit trays to allow you the opportunity to touch up that colour over the years as needed – after all, it can be hard to give up red wine and coffee!

Take-home Whitening:

Custom-fit whitening trays

How Take-home Whitening works:

The process of take-home whitening is straightforward; our dental therapist or dentist takes impressions of your teeth, then constructs clear, flexible trays to fit your teeth which you then use with the whitening gel provided at home. To achieve the same results as the In-chair whitening treatment with the Take-home whitening gel, it can take quite a few days of application, this is why patients opt for in chair whitening.

For patients with sensitive teeth take-home whitening is a better option as the bleach gel is a lower concentration resulting in less sensitivity. In addition, Take-home whitening can be a more convenient option for those busy Melbournians!

Tips and tricks to minimise sensitivity and maximise results throughout your whitening experience:

– Use sensitive toothpaste for two weeks leading up to either In-Chair whitening or starting your Take-home application.
– Apply GC Tooth Mousse (available at Gentle Dental) after brushing at night and don’t rinse for the fortnight leading up to your whitening treatment. As an added bonus tooth mousse also enhances the results of the whitening gel!
– Take 2x Nurofen prior to your In-chair appointment or applying your Take-home gel
– If you are prone to grinding/clenching your teeth this can make your teeth extra sensitive, so best to wear your nightguard leading up the the appointment

– Apply GC tooth mousse direct to the sensitive tooth or spread over the custom-fit tray and wear overnight (this can also work with sensitive toothpaste)
– Avoid very hot or very cold foods and drinks
– Take Nurofen to lessen sensitivity

  • Anything that can stain a white t-shirt, can stain teeth; so avoid drinks and food such as coffee, tea, red wine and curries.
  • Obstain from smoking
  • Don’t lose those custom-made whitening trays, resuse them periodically to top up the brightness of your teeth. Run out of gel? Not a problem! Just pop in to Gentle Dental and pick up a new tube or two of the take-home whitening gel and get up to 10 more applications.

A few tips on extending the results of the whitened teeth:

Here are some real results we have achieved with whitening at Gentle Dental Hawthorn:



It must be taken into consideration that the whitening gel only works on natural teeth and external stains, and as such on occasion internal bleaching is an option to really lift those darkened teeth caused by outside impacts (such as a root filled tooth). Results may vary depending on the indivual and whitening is only temporary as lifestyle will continue to effect the colour of your teeth as time progresses. We do not recommend teeth whitening for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you’re intersted in whitening your teeth or have any queries give us a call on (03) 9818 2994.
Or you can send as an email to [email protected]