A beautiful smile usually leaves an excellent first impression, and your teeth play a significant role in the appearance of your smile. Most people do not have the perfect set of teeth they need, so they opt for cosmetic dental procedures like teeth whitening to make their smile perfect.
Teeth whitening is quite common, and it provides an excellent result that enhances the appearance and smile. There are various teeth whitening options to remove stains on the teeth and improve their shade, but the cost of these whitening options is a determining factor for most persons.
Professional tooth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure carried out by most persons to lighten the shade of the teeth. If you are considering teeth whitening, it is best to speak to your dentist to get a safe and effective treatment because there are several other types of ineffective teeth whitening treatments offered by unqualified persons.
These treatment options involve applying a bleach solution to the outer layer of the teeth (enamel), which penetrates the main structure of the teeth (dentine). The whitening solution then removes the stains on the teeth that cause discoloration. This makes the dentine lighter, and the teeth look whiter.
For professional teeth whitening, the dentist will either suggest an in-chair or home teeth whitening trays.
- In-chair teeth whitening
The dentist applies a bleaching solution to the teeth then activates it using laser, heat, or light. It usually requires more than one dental visit, but your dentist will tell you if you need a second appointment. Laser-based teeth whitening treatments require only one whitening session, but this comes at a higher cost.
- Tray whitening
The dentist customizes the treatment, but you apply the whitening gel at home. Tray whitening involves a lower percentage of the bleaching agent which you will use on custom-made trays. The trays prevent the whitening gel from touching your gum, and you can wear them whenever you like for about 7 – 14 days, depending on the result you want.
What Is the Cost of Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening prices vary, depending on the dentist carrying out the treatment, the degree of staining, and location. The cost of home whitening trays ranges from £260 – £380, while in-chair whitening starts from £500.
Over-the-counter whitening solutions are less expensive, and you can get them at a drug store or local supermarket from about £3 – £40. Most dental insurance plans do not cover the cost of teeth whitening, so you may likely pay for it yourself.
WhatIs Over-The-Counter Whitening Different From Teeth Whitening?
The cost of professional and over-the-counter teeth whitening is different. A significant difference between these two whitening treatments is the chemicals used and their mode of application.
In professional teeth whitening, the dentist uses a whitening chemical with a lower concentration of the bleaching agent then uses light to activate the whitening agent. For your teeth to get whiter and remain white for long, the whitening agent needs to be in contact with your teeth for some time. You cannot use over-the-counter teeth whitening on your teeth for a long time, so they may not be effective.
However, you can start whitening your teeth with an over-the-counter teeth whitening solution, but ensure you get a well-known brand with high quality.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
Professional teeth whitening does not give a permanent result, but the whitened teeth would last longer than over-the-counter teeth whitening. Over-the-counter teeth whitening usually lasts for only a few weeks, but professional teeth whitening can last for about six months to a few years.
How long your teeth remain white after a professional teeth whitening depends on some factors known to cause discoloration such as
- Drinking dark-colored beverages like coffee and consuming soft drinks or alcohol
- Poor oral hygiene
After a professional teeth whitening, you may need another whitening session after 2 – 5 years. When you whiten your teeth, try to avoid colored foods, especially for the first 2 – 7 days after the whitening treatment. Drinking a lot of water helps you wash off food and drinks stains. You can also use a home whitening kit for periodic top-ups to keep your teeth white.
What Are The Risks Of Teeth Whitening?
There are a few risks associated with teeth whitening, but all other dental and medical treatments also have risks.
After your teeth whitening, you may experience gum irritation and teeth sensitivity. If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, you may not be able to whiten your teeth. People with gum diseases, sensitive teeth, exposed or cracked dentine may not be suitable for teeth whitening.
Before your teeth whitening, ensure you discuss the risks and procedures involved in the treatment. You can also ask your dentist questions to be sure you are suitable for teeth whitening and get another opinion if you are in doubt.