In-Office vs. Take-Home Teeth Whitening

If you want to enhance the brightness of your smile, you may have already considered teeth whitening. Now the next step is to decide whether in-office tooth whitening or take-home is a better fit for you. 

At Jerry Hancock, DMD, Dr. Jerry Hancock can help you explore your options and decide which cosmetic dentistry treatment will best meet your needs. We use the Sapphire™ Whitening System for treatments at our Nashville, TN, office and Philips Zoom! for take-home treatments. Both options can help you safely and effectively achieve a noticeably whiter smile.  

In-office vs. take-home teeth whitening

Where in-office teeth whitening offers immediate results, take-home whitening can achieve a more gradual change in the comfort of your own home. 

Differences between In-Office and Take-Home

Treatment Timeline 

After you have met with Dr. Hancock and received your customized whitening trays, the actual whitening process can differ significantly between the two options. While in-office teeth whitening can be completed in a single office visit that lasts less than one hour, take-home teeth whitening typically takes at least seven days to complete.

Treatment Process

During an in-office whitening treatment, we will begin by cleaning the surface of your teeth to remove any debris. We will then place a protective barrier around your gums and apply the powerful hydrogen peroxide whitening solution to combat stain particles. To complete the treatment, we will use a special light to speed up the whitening process before rinsing away the solution. The results are almost immediately visible. 

Both options are customized to help you safely and effectively achieve a noticeably whiter smile. 

During a take-home treatment, you will be given a set of whitening trays that are custom-fit to your teeth. On a daily basis, you will use pre-filled syringes to fill your trays with whitening solution. The trays can be worn overnight or for approximately 30 minutes each day. 


Because the in-office whitening system special light to accelerate the whitening process, it can help you achieve your desired results much faster than take-home treatments. Each treatment also offers different final results. Where an in-office treatment can lighten your teeth by seven to 12 shades in less than an hour, the take-home method takes about a week to lighten it by eight shades. 

Similarities between In-Office and Take-Home 


When administered by a professional dentist, both treatment options are very safe. Because both treatments are customized to your needs, they should not trigger significant tooth sensitivity. 


Dr. Hancock can customize your treatment to your current shade and desired shade based on how dramatic you want your end results to be. Meanwhile, store-bought treatments are one-size-fits-all and can deliver unpredictable results. 

Noticeable Results 

Although the treatment timelines are different, both take-home and in-office treatments offer noticeable results and are a great option for patients who want to simply enhance the look of their smile. 

Factors to Consider 

If you cannot decide whether take-home treatments or in-office whitening treatments are a better fit for you, ask yourself: 

  • Are you in a hurry to whiten your smile? 
  • Are you willing to commit to a teeth whitening routine at home? 
  • Do you have trouble sitting still during visits to the dentist? 
  • Are you only unhappy with the brightness of your teeth or do you have other concerns? 

Ultimately, the best way to determine which option is right for you is to visit our office for a consultation. During your consultation, Dr. Hancock can also discuss your other cosmetic dentistry options. 

Call Today to Learn More 

No matter what option you choose, you can enjoy a noticeably whiter smile in just days. To get started today, request a consultation online or call us at (615) 383-0132.

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The staff is super friendly and efficient, and I always walk out of their office with a smile…a much brighter one! —Kate

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2505 21st Ave, Ste 101
Nashville, TN 37212

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