Dentist Vs. Dental Spa: Best for Teeth Whitening?

near me is a place called a "dental spa".  i am wondering can they do teeth whitening just as effective as the dentist i go to

Doctor Answers 2

Dental spas are just dental offices with extra non-dental services available

Dental spas are a trend in dental offices offering amenities like massage, paraffin wax treatments and other non-dental treatments along with their dentistry.  The intent is to make patients feel more comfortable and add revenue.  It can be a nice thing if that's what you want.  If you are willing to pay more to receive other services along with your dentistry, they may provide good dentistry for you while you get other services, too.  If you don't need the frills, another office can do exactly the same whitening treatment for you at a lower cost.

There are three main types of whitening treatments - in office, take home custom trays, and white-strips.  

1.  White strips can be bought in the drug store.  Some of patients report pretty good results.  Most say it takes a long time. Others say they can't tell that it did anything.  If you have fifty bucks to burn, give it a try and see how they do for you.

2. In office treatments, like Zoom! allow you to lay down in a dental chair for an hour and a half and leave with whiter teeth.  Results vary greatly, so we now give all our in office whitening patients trays in case they need more.  In my mind this is great if you are getting married tomorrow or don't want to have to keep up with trays every night for two weeks or more.

3.  Custom whitening trays work every time.  Even in tough tetracycline stained cases (you just have to do it for a long time - KEEP GOING, you'll get there!!!)

Memphis Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Before beginning any new whitening treatment, we...

Before beginning any new whitening treatment, we recommend that all of our clients visit their dentist for a check-up and to determine if the whitening treatment is appropriate. If you have the teeth whitening treatment done at your dental office, then everything can be done in one trip. However, having your whitening treatment done in a salon or spa can be a more relaxing and pleasant experience. You can combine treatments, such as having your nails done or getting a massage at the same time. There is also less fear associated with salons or spas for some people.

Additionally, most dental offices use a higher strength whitening gel. This requires the additional application of the gingival barrier which some clients can find uncomfortable. There is also more of a risk of sensitivity associated with the higher strength whitening gels used in dental offices. However the results are comparable, regardless if the treatment is done in a dental office or the salon.

Jenny Shen, DDS
Bay Area Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.