The Ultimate Guide to Whitening

Last fact-checked: 14 March 2020

Looking for a good deal on teeth whitening at a global dental clinic? The treatment is perfect for dental tourists for sprucing up a smile quickly, easily and painlessly—it is one of the most effective treatments available and is great to get on holiday.

What Are the Different Types of Teeth Whitening Treatments?

There are various teeth whitening treatments available–some more effective than others.

  • Whitening toothpastes are probably the most common, but even with regular use the whitening effect is minimal.
  • At-home whitening kits can be obtained from the dentist. You will need to have impressions of your teeth made which are used to make trays that will fit over your teeth. The whitening gel is placed in the trays and worn overnight–usually for a couple of weeks, or until the right degree of whiteness has been achieved. It is not as effective as laser teeth whitening.
  • Laser teeth whitening is carried out in your dentist’s office. The process takes a couple of hours but the effect is dramatic as teeth can be made up to 14 shades lighter. There are various brands of laser teeth whitening, including Zoom! and Brite Smile, but while there may be slight differences in the process there isn’t in the lightening effects.

Am I Suitable for Teeth Whitening Treatments?

Not everyone is suitable for teeth whitening, and the color of your teeth can be affected by a number of factors, including:

  • Tobacco use
  • Food and drink that stains, such as red wine and coffee
  • Not cleaning teeth
  • Age (as we age the enamel becomes thinner)
  • Intrinsic stains (these are stains inside the tooth caused by exposure to drugs, like Tetracycline)

Teeth whitening is most effective on extrinsic stains – the ones on the surface of the tooth.

Is Teeth Whitening a Good Treatment to Have as a Dental Tourist?

Yes, teeth whitening is popular among dental travelers, particularly laser teeth whitening, which is a lot less expensive than at home. Laser teeth whiting will only take a couple of hours out of your holiday while giving you very noticeable results.

There is very little downtime with the procedure, although some people have said their teeth are sensitive for several afterward, which does settle down in time.

In order to keep your smile white, you may also want to get a home teeth whitening kit from the dentist – you can always go to a local dentist to get more gel.

What Is the Procedure for Teeth Whitening at the Dentist?

Laser Teeth Whitening:

The treatment typically takes around two hours:

1:  The dentist uses a chart to check the existing shade of your teeth

2:  Your teeth will be cleaned to remove tartar and stains

3:  Your mouth is prepared. A rubber dam is placed over the teeth so that only the teeth - and not the soft tissues of the mouth – are exposed to the bleaching gel. You will be given protective goggles to shield your eyes from the laser.

4:  Bleaching gel is applied to the teeth and the laser applied to activate the bleaching agents in the gel

5:  After a wait of 15 minutes the gel is removed

6:  Repeat steps 5 and 6 twice

7:  After all traces of gel have been removed the dentist will clean your teeth again and compare the number of shades your teeth have lightened on the shade chart.

At-home whitening kits:

This treatment necessitates two trips to the dentist:

1:  Your dentist will assess your suitability for home-whitening. If you are suitable, impressions of your teeth are made and sent to the laboratory where made-to-measure trays are made for your mouth.

2:  At the next visit, when the dentist has received the trays back from the lab, you will be shown how to apply the gel into the trays and fit them over your teeth

What Is the Cost of Teeth Whitening at the Dentist?

Laser teeth whitening typically costs:

In the United States, laser teeth whitening costs, on average, $668; At a Mexico dentist, it costs $200 at the Sani Dental Group in Los Algodones. 

In the United Kingdom, laser teeth whitening costs £500; At a dentist in Spain it costs £320. Check out Clinica Dental Smalia in Barcelona.

In Australia, laser teeth whitening costs AUD $870; At a Bali dentist, it costs AUD $368. Take a look at BIMC Nusa Dua.

What about the Quality of Dental Care? Is it Reliable?

Dental providers that offer services to international patients are generally highly skilled and reliable. If the services weren’t, then dental tourists would soon stop going to them. But, that’s not to say that you should assume every dental clinic offering dental care to international patients is reliable – there’s good and bad wherever you go, so weigh the pros and cons of getting dental care abroad and book your appointment with a reliable facility. 

What's Next?

Getting your teeth whitened as a dental tourist is a good choice if you want to improve your appearance in a reasonably inexpensive and quick way.

Get in touch with our Customer Care team to find out more about our clinics offering teeth whitening, or if you’re ready to book see below for ways you can arrange your appointment. There is never a charge to you for our services and appointments are fully cancellable.


Fletcher, Becky. Teeth Whitening: The Facts. Net Doctor. 7 November 2018. https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/beauty/dental/a29127/teeth-whitening-dentist-recommendation/

Li, Yiming. Tooth Whitening Safety Tips. Dear Doctor. 11 January 2011. https://www.deardoctor.com/inside-the-magazine/issue-19/tooth-whitening-safety-tips/.

Balasubramanian, M and Holden, A. Dental Tourism: Things to Consider. Medical Express. 25 October 2018. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-10-dental-tourism-extra-mile.html