I received this question yesterday. From what I have seen, the one over the counter product that seems to show some good results is Crest White Strips. However, patients who use the product tell us that in order to keep up with the whitening - the costs eventually add up. Also, the strips cannot adhere to the teeth well if the surfaces of the teeth are not straight.
Professional whitening products are better because we fabricate custom fit trays that conform to the patient’s teeth. Whitening gels then get injected into the trays to whiten the teeth over time. Most patients do not use up all their gels, and the remaining gels can be stored and used for touch-up whitening occasionally as needed.
The upfront cost of professional whitening treatments beats the long term costs of over the counter product, and the concentration of the active whitening ingredients is much better.
Alex Nguyen, DDS - Saratoga Dentist