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Teeth whitening procedures are a quick and convenient way to brighten your teeth. However, there are different methods that each have their own pros, cons, and costs.
Before you get your teeth whitened you should consider the price of at-home and professional treatment methods:
|Whitening Strips||$10 to $50|
|Whitening Trays||$100 to $600|
|Whitening Toothpaste||$3 to $15|
|LED Whitening Kits||$50 to $500|
|Zoom||$300 to $500|
|Boosts||$395 to $500|
|Kor Whitening||$550 and $1,200|
|Laser Teeth Whitening||$300 to $1,200|
Many products that reduce tooth discoloration are available. This includes at-home and professional whitening treatments.
However, there are significant differences in these products’ cost and effectiveness.
OTC methods make whitening easy and affordable. These products require more effort than visiting a dentist for professional whitening treatment. But treatment costs hundreds less.
Keep in mind that OTC whitening requires more upkeep than professional whitening. The results also aren't instant and may not be as drastic as those achieved by in-office whitening.
The most common OTC teeth whitening products include:
You can buy whitening strips online or from various stores. They usually cost between $10 to $50 per package for several strips. Simply place the strips over your teeth and leave them on for about 30 minutes.
Whitening strips typically work well. But some people struggle to keep them on their teeth. Many people also experience increased sensitivity after using whitening strips.
Whitening trays are an aggressive option that provides professional-level results at home. These trays contain a bleaching agent that gradually whiten your teeth. However, treatment takes longer than professional treatments like Zoom.
Custom whitening trays usually cost between $100 to $600. Some cost as low as $80. To get custom whitening trays, you’ll need to visit your dentist for an impression. They will use the impression to create custom trays that fit your mouth.
You can also get non-custom whitening trays for about $10 to $30. The downside of non-custom trays is uneven whitening and messier application.
Like many whitening options, at-home trays tend to make your teeth more sensitive. Fortunately, desensitizing gels are available. Ask your dentist about this if you're concerned about pain.
Whitening toothpastes contain low levels of peroxide or abrasives and are typically used once or twice daily. Peroxide dissolves stains, and gentle abrasives can polish teeth. However, whitening toothpastes won’t change the natural color of your teeth or lighten deeper stains.
Most whitening toothpastes cost between $3 to $15, depending on the brand and whitening intensity. This method is best if you have light surface stains or want to maintain your tooth color after a more intensive whitening treatment.
The most aggressive whitening toothpastes contain blue covarine. This chemical adheres to teeth and makes them look less yellow without removing stains. You’ll see improvements in about 2 to 6 weeks after using a whitening toothpaste daily.
LED whitening kits are a new method of at-home whitening. These kits have increased in popularity in recent years. They cost between $50 to $500.
This method is non-invasive and uses an LED light to speed up the whitening process. It’s a quick, effective way of whitening teeth and removing stubborn stains.
During the LED whitening process, the teeth are first painted with a bleaching agent (usually peroxide-based). Then, the LED light activates the whitening agent and starts the chemical reaction.
When this interaction occurs, the blue LED light penetrates the enamel and lifts existing stains.
LED lights are highly efficient. They don't have a warm-up time and switch on at their highest intensity.
Professional teeth whitening products are more expensive than at-home treatments. The price for in-office whitening ranges from $500 to $1,000 per session, with the average costing around $650.
Some popular professional whitening methods include:
Zoom Whitening whitens teeth up to 90% of their maximum brightness. It's an U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved whitening method that takes 1 hour in a dentist’s office.
Zoom also offers a less aggressive home whitening option. You'll wear custom trays filled with gel for several hours a day for up to 12 days. Treatment occurs in the comfort of your own home.
The average cost of Zoom teeth whitening ranges between $300 and $500, but in-office treatment can cost up to $1,000. Professional Zoom treatments are easy, convenient, and provide instant results. Like most whitening methods, Zoom can cause tooth sensitivity.
Opalescence Xtra Boost is a minimally invasive method for treating discolored teeth. The gel works best on discoloration caused by prescription medications, tooth trauma, and other conditions. It also helps lift surface stains.
Boost uses a 38 percent hydrogen peroxide power bleaching gel that requires no special light for activation. The gel is sticky, so you don’t need to worry about it slipping off your teeth once it’s applied.
BOOST has a slightly lower risk of sensitivity because it contains PF. This is a mixture of potassium nitrate and fluoride. Opalescence is cheaper than Zoom, costing around $395 to $500 per treatment.
Kor restores oxygen in teeth, removing all stains and discoloration. It's especially effective for treating tetracycline-discolored teeth. Kor’s initial treatment is done in a dentist’s office.
The follow-up treatments are done at home. After completing this phase, you'll wear the trays monthly to maintain results. Kor gets high ratings from dentists for its effectiveness, partly because the whitening trays fit snugly over teeth.
This reduces the risk of saliva diluting the whitening gel. The gel is also refrigerated to maintain its potency. KöR is slightly cheaper than Zoom. Treatment costs between $550 and $1,200.
Laser teeth whitening uses bleaching gel and lasers to reduce tooth discoloration, resulting in brighter teeth. It’s equally effective and safe as other in-office whitening procedures that use UV light or whitening gels.
However, like other tooth whitening procedures it can cause tooth sensitivity. Talk to your dentist to determine if laser teeth whitening is for you.
The cost of laser teeth whitening can range between $300 to $1,200. This is about the same price as other professional teeth whitening procedures.
Learn about the safest ways to whiten your teeth.
No, whitening is considered a cosmetic treatment. This means its main purpose is to improve the appearance of teeth. It's not medically necessary.
Like most treatments that are not medically necessary, you are responsible for the full cost. However, some dental practices offer payment plans to make whitening procedures more affordable.
There are also some credit options available for whitening and other cosmetic procedures.
You’ll still pay for the services out of pocket, but you can stretch the payments out over time. Interest may or may not apply.
Here are a few (more expensive) teeth whitening alternatives:
A veneer is a thin, tooth-colored shell that fits over the front of your tooth. The shell can change the tooth's color, shape, and size. Veneers fix many cosmetic issues but can't repair damaged teeth.
The most common veneer materials include porcelain and composite. Porcelain veneers are the strongest and most natural-looking option.
Veneers are much more expensive than teeth whitening treatments. They cost between $400 to $1,800 per tooth. Although pricey, the results can last up to 25 years.
Dental bonding solves minor damage or gaps between teeth. It's usually used to fix dental issues such as tooth chips, fractures, or gaps.
Similar to teeth whitening treatment, bonding can improve tooth discoloration. Dental bonding procedures cost around $100 to $550 per tooth without insurance.
See NewMouth’s top 10 teeth whitening products of 2022.
Teeth whitening treatment is a dental procedure that makes your teeth lighter. It’s a convenient, affordable way to brighten your smile and remove discoloration.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure. A dentist or regulated dental professional such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist can perform it.
The procedure involves applying hydrogen peroxide or a carbamide peroxide-based gel to stained teeth’s surface. The bleach breaks up stains, resulting in whiter teeth.
A brighter and whiter smile can make you feel confident and improve your mood. Removing teeth stains can also significantly enhance your appearance.
You may also want to take better care of your teeth after having your teeth whitened professionally. When your teeth look healthier, you’ll have more incentive to maintain their health.It’s also a painless procedure that lasts for a long time.
Tooth discoloration occurs for many different reasons. The most common is exposure to certain foods and drinks, but many other things can also affect tooth color.
Tooth stains can be either extrinsic (affecting tooth surfaces) or intrinsic (affecting inside the tooth).
Extrinsic stains, or surface stains, are the easiest to remove with bleaching. These stains are often the result of exposure to certain foods, drinks, and tobacco products.
The pits and grooves in teeth can soak up color from these substances. This causes brown and yellow spots over time.
The most common foods and beverages that cause surface stains include:
Tobacco use and smoking can also result in surface stains over time. Plaque and tooth decay can also cause teeth to appear yellow or brown. At-home kits and in-office treatments are usually effective at removing these kinds of stains.
Intrinsic stains are deeper than surface stains and are harder to get rid of. Rather than a colorful substance leaching into the enamel, these stains result from changes inside of the tooth.
Causes of intrinsic stains include:
An injury to a tooth can also cause an extrinsic stain to become intrinsic. Colorful foods or other substances can pass through fractures in the enamel. These stains won’t always respond as well to whitening treatment.
Dental restorations such as veneers, crowns, or dental bonding may be necessary to provide a fully restored appearance. Note that your teeth can also appear yellow due to worn enamel. Dentin, the layer of tissue beneath the enamel, is naturally yellow.
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