Thanks to over-the-counter teeth whitening, millions of people can smile brighter every year. But at-home whitening kits aren’t perfect — a full treatment can take a week or more, and the results are often less dramatic than professional options.
Professional whitening formulas are powerful and fast-acting, and Opalescence Boost is one of the best. But is it the best for you? We have all the details you need to decide right here.
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Opalescence Boost at a Glance
Opalescence was founded in 1990, at the dawn of professional teeth whitening’s mainstream emergence. Created by Ultradent, an oral healthcare industry giant, it’s backed by in-depth research and decades of use in clinical settings. Many competitors have emerged over the years, but Opalescence remains one of the most widely available and in-demand professional teeth whitening systems.
Opalescence Boost is their signature product. It features a double-syringe design, strategically separating ingredients until your whitening session. This keeps them fresh and maximizes their effectiveness — and your results.
An award-winning system, there is a lot to love about Opalescence Boost. It uses a powerful peroxide concentration, takes an hour and twenty minutes per session, and contains potassium nitrate and fluoride to reduce sensitivity. It’s a convenient, gentle treatment that delivers serious whitening power.
Pros and Cons of Opalescence Boost
Even though Opalescence Boost has a ton of impressive features, it’s not a perfect treatment. Like every professional whitening system, Boost has some key benefits and drawbacks you should keep in mind.
Pros of Opalescence Boost
- Impressive Results: Thanks to its formula’s potent hydrogen peroxide concentration, Boost can deliver dramatic results in just one session.
- Minimal Sensitivity: Boost contains fluoride and potassium nitrate, which help strengthen the enamel and keep peroxide out of the tubules of the teeth, preventing sensitivity.
- Fast Treatments: With prep and wrap-up, this treatment takes about an hour and twenty minutes.
Cons of Opalescence Boost
- Regular Touch-Ups: Whitening results aren’t forever — you’ll need to complete maintenance treatments in order to keep your smile bright. Many Opalescence Boost patients complete at least one 20-minute touch-up session per year.
- Gel Reapplications: During each treatment, the dentist reapplies Boost’s gel every twenty minutes. This can be annoying if you’re hoping to spend your treatment streaming content on your phone.
Opalescence Boost Professional Whitening: The Verdict
This is one of the best professional whitening treatments out there, providing significantly whiter teeth in quick sessions and without much sensitivity. If you don’t mind getting touch-ups to maintain your results, you should go for it.
If you’re going to pay hundreds for in-office whitening, you’ll want to know that it can deliver the dazzling smile you want. Great news: Opalescence Boost is quite effective.
Many Opalescence Boost providers claim it can whiten your teeth eight shades in just one session.
To measure the treatment’s effect, your dentist first needs to define your tooth’s starting shade. To establish this baseline, they use a shade guide to find the option that most accurately represents your smile. They use the same guide after treatment to determine your new shade. Not all dentists use the same reference for tooth shade, but many use the VITA shade guide — which features 26 or 29 different shades.
The Boost formula uses a 40% concentration of hydrogen peroxide.
That’s higher than many treatments, and it works quickly too. Treatment breaks down into 20-minute sessions where the doctor or technician will remove the gel, check your tooth shade, and then reapply the gel if necessary. Some people only need the first 20 minutes; others need three applications to get to the shade they want.
Of course, effectiveness only matters if the treatment comes at a reasonable price. Professional whitening treatments can cost thousands of dollars — and most budgets can’t sustain that — but Boost can be slightly more affordable.
Prices vary between dentists, but Opalescence Boost typically costs somewhere between $400 and $800.
There are factors that can impact that price, though. For example, you might choose to whiten just one arch of teeth rather than both, or you might prefer to whiten over multiple visits instead of all at once.
For a professional whitening treatment, Opalescence Boost represents a solid value.
If you’re looking for effective professional whitening that goes easy on your bank account, Opalescence Boost could be your ideal solution. But if you’re looking for affordability above all else, a home whitening kit will offer greater savings.
Quality of Ingredients
A whitening system is only as good as its ingredients. Like other professional treatments, Opalescence doesn’t disclose all the details of its ingredients. However, they are transparent about Boost’s active whitening ingredient.
Boost’s active whitening agent is hydrogen peroxide, and the gel has a 40% concentration.
Hydrogen peroxide is the most common whitening agent in both professional and at-home treatments. It’s fast-acting and effective at various concentrations, making it perfect for professional systems. While it’s somewhat harsh, it isn’t dangerous when used properly and the risks are pretty much non-existent in a clinical setting.
With a 40% concentration, Boost is one of the most powerful formulas on the market. Not all professional treatments use hydrogen peroxide as their active whitening agent. A common alternative is carbamide peroxide, which has about one-third the strength of hydrogen peroxide. Of the professional whitening treatments we review, Boost has the highest concentration of hydrogen peroxide.
|Opalescence Boost||40% hydrogen peroxide|
|KӧR||34% hydremide peroxide, 16% carbamide peroxide|
|Philips Zoom||25% hydrogen peroxide|
|Invisalign||45% carbamide peroxide (the equivalent of 15% hydrogen peroxide)|
There are two other ingredients we know Boost uses: fluoride and potassium nitrate.
They both help reduce tooth sensitivity by strengthening the enamel, which makes it harder for the peroxide to reach the tubules in the teeth — the source of sensitivity after whitening. Plus, Boost is also vegan and certified gluten-free.
Professional whitening requires office visits. And that means carving out time for the commute, prep, treatment, and wrap-up. But there is more to convenience than just scheduling appointments.
Opalescence Boost doesn’t demand much of your time; treatment takes about an hour and twenty minutes from start to finish.
This is pretty standard for professional whitening options. Each Boost session includes three applications, one every 20 minutes — but if you are satisfied with your results after 20 or 40 minutes, you don’t have to keep going. You can also choose to break those sessions up over multiple days, but that’s more of a time commitment.
Opalescence Boost requires a gum barrier to prevent chemical burns while whitening. This takes time to apply and cure, and the dentist has to remove it at the end. Additionally, the dentist needs to clean and floss your teeth before whitening, but this step is standard with all whitening treatments.
Whitening results don’t last forever; but Opalescence offers at-home kits which you can use to turn Boost into a hybrid treatment or for maintenance.
Their home whitening kit has a powerful formula; their whitening trays are available in either a 10% or 15% hydrogen peroxide concentration. Of all the home kits we review, Opalescence Go’s 15% trays have the highest peroxide concentration. This can enhance your results and keep your teeth looking whiter for longer.
You won’t need to devote a ton of time to Boost, but not everyone will like the frequent touch-ups. Thankfully, their powerful home kit can help you maintain your results and potentially delay in-person touch-ups.
Here’s an uncomfortable truth: professional teeth whitening is kind of awkward. Having gel on your teeth already feels a little weird, but in-office treatments kick it up a notch. Overall, though, we’d say Boost is about as comfortable as the average treatment.
Sensitivity is a major issue with tooth whitening, but Boost is formulated to prevent it.
Whitening gels open up the pores in your enamel, letting the peroxide get inside and oxidize stains. But it can also penetrate tubules in the dentin, resulting in nerve pain and general soreness. Boost contains potassium nitrate and fluoride, which help to reinforce the enamel and reduce the likelihood that you’ll experience this pain.
The whitening experience can feel uncomfortable, but this isn’t exclusive to Opalescence Boost.
During treatment, you will need to wear a bite opener that both pulls your cheeks and lips away from the teeth and gives the tongue a place to rest. This is essential to your treatment, but it looks — and feels — awkward.
On top of this, your dentist and their team will be watching the whole time. You might drool, your lips will get a little chapped, and we all know how dental treatments can get messy. Still, the team sees this all the time, so you might feel a little weird, but no one will judge you.
What Are the Best Alternatives to Opalescence Boost?
Not sold on Opalescence Boost just yet? No worries! There are plenty of alternatives to consider — both professional treatments and kits you can use at home. Here are a few of our top picks.
People long thought that deep, dark stains from things like tetracycline were untreatable. Then KöR hit the scene. Using a hybrid of 1–2 in-office whitening sessions plus 2–8 weeks of at-home whitening, it can address even the most stubborn stains. The downside? It costs an average of $1,250.
Learn more about KöR in our in-depth review.
Sometimes, a well-known brand name goes a long way to inspire confidence, and Philips is one of the biggest names there is. Their professional whitening system, Zoom, is known for its combination of effective and affordable treatment. They claim it can brighten your smile up to 8 shades in just a single 45-minute session.
Interested in Philips Zoom? Read our Philips Zoom review to learn more.
GLO Brilliant is one of our favorite home whitening kits. Although it doesn’t offer as dramatic of results as an in-office treatment, its comparably affordable price tag makes this a compelling alternative. Their kit uses an LED mouthpiece that combines light and heat — resulting in a faster and deeper whitening than many at-home kits can deliver.
Visit our GLO Brilliant review to learn more.
Is Opalescence Boost Right for You?
Opalescence Boost is an excellent treatment that achieves significant results in a single session. While it will cost you hundreds of dollars, it’s one of the most affordable professional treatments on the market. Pair that with a strong formula that prevents sensitivity and it’s a pretty great choice.
But it isn’t perfect. If you aren’t sure it’s right for you, there are plenty of other in-office and at-home treatments to consider. Once you find the perfect one for you, you’ll be smiling bright.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of in-office whitening?
Essentially, you get more noticeable results in less time when compared to at-home treatments. Professional whitening costs more, but if you have a deadline in mind or need significant changes to your tooth color, it might be worth it.
How much whiter will my teeth be after Opalescence Boost?
Many Opalescence Boost providers claim it can whiten eight shades in a single session.
How much does Opalescence Boost cost?
Every dentist sets their own pricing, but typically Opalescence Boost costs between $400 and $800.
How long should I expect my Opalescence Boost results to last?
Many patients complete at least one 20-minute touch-up session per year.
Are there things I can do to maintain my results?
Yes! First, use products designed for maintaining a whiter smile. Whitening toothpastes, pens, and mouthwashes can help keep your smile bright. Opalescence sells a home whitening kit called Opalescence Go, which you can use in between in-person whitening sessions. Also, be sure to avoid habits that stain the teeth, like smoking, drinking wine, and drinking coffee.
Will my teeth go too white with professional teeth whitening?
No, when people picture too-white teeth, they’re usually picturing veneers or dentures. Your natural enamel won’t reach a shade of white that looks fake.
How will the dentist protect my gums during treatment?
Many dentists will apply a protective barrier to the gums and cure it with a special light. Others will just use vitamin E oil. If you have a preference, let your dentist know when you book your appointment.
Can I whiten cosmetic or restorative dentistry?
You can eliminate surface stains but you cannot lighten the color of the material.
Can whitening my teeth damage the enamel?
In a professional setting on healthy teeth, whitening should not cause any harm. With at-home kits, if you use them according to directions and have healthy teeth, you should not damage your enamel.
Should I get a dental cleaning before or after teeth whitening?
You need to get one before. Usually, you schedule whitening with your twice-yearly cleaning so you can take care of everything in a single appointment.