Teeth Whitening – How Much Does it Cost?
It is only natural for teeth to become stained or discolored with age. Our lifestyle and the food we eat contribute to these stains and discolorations. While we would all like to have whiter teeth, a professional teeth whitening procedure may cost too much for most of us. Fortunately, there are a number of teeth-whitening products and methods that are more affordable.
The cost to whiten teeth can vary depending on where you live and the teeth whitening treatment that you choose. Laser teeth whitening can cost several hundred up to a thousand dollars and your insurance may not cover the procedure. For the average person, there is at least one effective option that you will find affordable.
Whitening toothpaste has the lowest cost but is probably the least effective method. A tube of whitening toothpaste costs less than $20 and can often be purchased at grocery stores or drugstores for about four to five dollars. Toothpaste only removes surface stains and may not be able to whiten your teeth if the stains go all the way to the middle of the teeth.
Teeth whitening strips work better than toothpaste because they contain bleaching agents. The strips usually cost from $20 to $40.
Many dentists recommend professionally dispensed whitening kits for home use. A dentist prescribes a customized form-fitted tray or mouth guard along with a gel containing a strong bleaching agent. Using the tray or mouth guard, the gel is applied to the teeth for an hour or more. The teeth whitening kit can cost anywhere from $100 to $400.
Over-the-counter tray kits can also be purchased at most drugstores. These one-size-fits-all trays are not as effective as customized trays. They usually cost less than a hundred dollars.
For the quickest results with the most significant color change, an in-office whitening treatment is recommended. A dentist or trained technician will apply a high-concentration peroxide gel to the teeth. The gums are protected with a paint-on rubber dam. The peroxide is allowed to remain on the teeth for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
One treatment may last up to one hour. Severely stained teeth may require an additional bleaching session, or the dentist may prescribe a follow-up home-use whitening procedure. On the average, in-office teeth whitening costs $650.
Don’t forget that teeth whitening procedures can cost a lot but are not permanent. They typically last up to three years and you must avoid lifestyle practices that will cause your teeth to become discolored quickly, such as smoking or drinking coffee.