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Should you choose tray whitening or laser whitening?

When it comes to teeth whitening offered in your dentist's office, there are two main options: tray whitening and laser whitening. While these are both effective whitening products, as they are provided by a licensed dentist, they are not exactly the same. Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding which one is the better option for you.

How much time do you have?

This is a big consideration because laser whitening takes considerably less time than tray whitening. If you have a special occasion in just a few days, you might want to go with laser whitening. This is done in a single office visit, often in as little time as your lunch hour. Tray whitening is just as effective, but since custom trays are made, it can take weeks just to get your trays in. After that, you may use them for a few days before you achieve the desired level of whiteness.

Do you want to repeat the process at your leisure?

A benefit for tray whitening is that you can keep using the same trays over and over again. While there is longer to wait in the beginning, you will be able to keep those custom trays and repeat the whitening process as often as you want. If you get laser whitening and a few months later need a touch-up, you need to return to the dentist's office. With the trays, all you need to do is purchase another bottle of whitening gel for the trays and you're good to go.

Can you handle teeth sensitivity?

Due to the speed of the process and the high-intensity lamp used, the laser whitening process tends to cause a little more teeth sensitivity than trays do. While each of them may cause some sensitivity since the whitening gel is applied to the enamel of your teeth, you may find that you are much more sensitive to the laser process. If you are someone who already has overly sensitive teeth or thin enamel, you might want to try the trays first to see if you like them before attempting in-office laser whitening.

What does your budget look like?

Your budget is another thing to consider. Laser whitening is often around the same price as the initial visit for the trays, but since it is only done once, you actually spend more when you need touch-ups. With the tray whitening, once you have the custom trays made, all you need to pay for with future visits is more whitening gel. In the end, it ends up being less expensive. If you want to spend the least amount possible overall, you may prefer the trays. On the other hand, if speed is the most important consideration, you will prefer laser whitening.

For more information about your options, contact a local dentist