What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a simple cosmetic procedure that effectively removes stains from teeth and leaves teeth appearing cleaner and brighter. It is also one of the most requested cosmetic dentistry treatments in a dental office – mainly because it is relatively affordable and quicker than most other treatments.
A survey commissioned by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry showed that the majority of Americans believe that an attractive smile makes a person more appealing. Furthermore, in 2015, the teeth whitening industry recorded $11 billion in sales.
Why Would I Require Teeth Whitening?
If you are looking to get rid of any stains in your teeth and make your teeth look whiter, teeth whitening is the way to go. There are plenty of reasons why your teeth appear discolored. The most common reason is the ingestion of colored drinks and foods.
The bumps, grooves, and holes in your teeth soak up the color, making your teeth appear yellower, darker, or spotted over time.
The most common consumables that cause staining are –
- Dark tea
- Carbonated drinks
- Red wine
- Dark fruits
- Fruit juices
Numerous other factors are also responsible for staining or discolored teeth –
- Medical treatments
- Amalgam restorations
- Medications like tetracycline
- Tobacco use
- Excess fluoride
These stains are usually deeper than the surface stains caused by colored consumables.
What Is The Average Cost Of Teeth Whitening?
The average cost of teeth whitening depends on the mode of whitening you opt for. You have over-the-counter whitening options as well as your professional whitening options.
Of all the options available, the most effective – and thereby, most expensive – is a laser whitening treatment. The average cost for this procedure is $1000.
Getting your teeth whitening in a dentist’s office costs around $600 and the results are 6 times more effective than any drugstore option.
Over-the-counter options are whitening toothpaste, gels, strips, rinses, etc. And while these range anywhere between $5 to $50, they aren’t as effective.
The middle ground between drugstore and professional options is take-home kits. These offer faster and better results than cheaper options but are more affordable than in-office bleaching. The take-home kits are available with your dentist. Custom trays are made and your dentist gives you instructions on how to use them at home. These kits typically cost around $250 and $500 with a small additional fee for annual maintenance.
Cost Of Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Products
The biggest pro of OTC whitening products is that they are affordable and easy to use. However, it takes a lot of effort on your behalf and the results aren’t instant. Additionally, it requires more upkeep than getting your teeth professionally whitened.
Some of the most common over-the-counter teeth whitening options are –
You can purchase whitening strips either at a store or online. They usually cost between $10 to $50 per package. Each package contains several strips.
All you have to do is place the strips on your teeth and leave them on for about half an hour.
Whitening strips usually work well. However, some people tend to struggle to keep them in place on their teeth. A lot of people also experience sensitivity after using them.
Whitening toothpaste is the simplest option of all the methods. It is typically used once or twice a day and contains low levels of peroxide.
Depending on your choice of brand and whitening intensity, these cost as little as $3 and up to $15.
Whitening toothpaste neither changes the natural color of teeth nor does it lighten deeper stains. Instead, abrasives in the toothpaste polish teeth, and peroxide dissolves stains.
Whitening trays are an aggressive option that has the convenience of using them at home along with professional-level results. However, they take longer to achieve desired results than professional treatments.
Custom trays range from $100 to $600. To get your hands on them, you will have to take a trip to the dental office. Impressions of your mouth will be taken and then sent to a dental lab. The lab creates custom trays and sends them back to the dentist.
You will use the trays along with the bleaching agent as instructed to gradually whiten your teeth.
Non-custom whitening trays are also available. And while these cost $10 to $30, they don’t fit properly and cause messy application along with uneven whitening.
LED Whitening Products
LED whitening kits have increased in popularity over the last couple of years. They are a new method of at-home whitening and cost between $50 and $300.
The method uses an LED light to hasten the whitening process and is non-invasive. This popular option removes stubborn stains and also strengthens your teeth. The results offered are quick and effective.
Cost Of Whitening At The Dentist’s Office
Depending on the type of whitening product used and the dentist’s charge, the average cost of whitening your teeth professionally costs between $650 and $1000. While an expensive option, the treatment always pays off. Patients notice an immediate change in the appearance of their teeth after one sitting than they do with drugstore options.
The bleaching agents used by professionals are much stronger than the ones found in over-the-counter options. OTC options contain less than 10% hydrogen peroxide (the bleaching agent) and in-office treatments contain 25%-40% hydrogen peroxide.
Additional Time And Maintenance Costs
No teeth-whitening option offers permanent results. In-office whitening procedures take about 60-90 minutes and a single sitting is enough to get desired results. On the other hand, OTC options have to be used over a considerable period to notice a change.
Additionally, how long the results last depend on how you care for your teeth afterward. Avoiding smoking, and colored foods and drinks go a long way in maintaining your white teeth.
To find out more information on the various teeth whitening options and costs at Dental On First, get in touch with us. Call us at (952) 758-3003 to schedule an appointment and take the first step to a brighter and healthier smile!