Today, teeth whitening has become one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures, as it offers quick, affordable, and non-invasive ways to improve a smile. Generally, teeth whitening is valued by both men and women, and different whitening procedures for every time frame, budget, as well as temperament.
Whether you are searching for professional whitening sessions by a dentist, or at-home whitening with OTC bleaching kits, there are numerous teeth whitening solutions out there. However, what makes these solutions different is the cost and how they are administered.
Who’s the ideal candidate for teeth whitening?
Although it’s possible to purchase OTC teeth whitening kits for at-home teeth whitening procedures, you are not guaranteed that the treatments will work or give you the results you want. The major challenge with at-home teeth whitening kits is that they are not ideal for people with certain oral health conditions.
Also, when you choose in-office teeth whitening, there are a few limitations of who should undergo the treatment. However, your dentist will advise you more on this during your first consultation. With that said, let’s look at the different teeth whitening procedures and their respective costs.
In-office teeth whitening
Generally, in-office teeth whitening costs $650 – $1000+. However, the total cost depends on the type of teeth whitening product you choose, as well as the rates of your dentist. Most people love in-office teeth whitening procedures because of their effectiveness. Statistics indicate that most people start to notice the results of their in-office procedures within a few days—unlike with at-home teeth whitening.
The products and bleaching agents used by professional dentists are much stronger and effective compared to the whitening agents found in over-the-counter teeth whitening strips. In-office teeth whitening procedures involve the careful and controlled use of a fairly high-concentration (25% – 40%) peroxide gel, unlike the OTC whitening products which have 10% at most. Mostly, dentists use a paint-on rubber dam to protect the gums before starting this procedure.
During an in-office teeth whitening procedure, the peroxide will stay on your teeth for intervals of 15 – 20 minutes, but the whole procedure takes an average of 1 hour. In case you have stubborn stains, your dentist might ask you to come back for an additional session.
Professionally dispensed kits
If you don’t prefer either over-the-counter whitening products or in-office whitening procedures, there are other options—professionally dispensed whitening kits. With this option, your dentist will give you a take-home whitening kit, which is as effective as an in-office whitening procedure.
These kits have a lower-concentration peroxide gel, which stays on your teeth for at least an hour—and sometimes overnight. The lower the peroxide percentage levels, the longer the kit can stay in your mouth. Typically, the kit has a bleaching tray that resembles mouth guards, and it makes it easier to apply the gel. Professionally dispensed kits cost an average of $100 – $400.
Other alternatives (Over-the-counter teeth whitening products)
Gels and strips
Using over-the-counter products like gels or strips to whiten your teeth at home is one of the most pocket-friendly options. Typically, whitening strips cost an average of $60 – $100 per box, and each box has enough strips to use for 1 – 2 weeks.
Teeth whitening pens, resembling strips, cost around $10 – $60. However, with teeth whitening pens, you pain the whitening gel into the teeth instead of administering it in a tray or strip. After that, you place a lip guard in your mouth for 1 – 2 hours. When you opt to use teeth whitening pens, you should expect to see results within a week, so long as you are consistent with the 2-hour sessions. Typically, teeth whitening pens are ideal for people with irregularly colored teeth, since they can be missed by strips.
Toothpaste and rinses
These will cost you around $4 – $7, and you can use an OTC toothpaste or rinse to replace or supplement your normal toothpaste or rinse. Typically, it takes an average of 12 weeks to start seeing results. But, if you choose to follow this path, you will need to use the whitening toothpaste as your ordinary toothpaste, and then use the whitening rinse to swish your mouth for 60 seconds two times every day, and brush your teeth afterward.
Trays Also, you can use over-the-counter trays, which can fill with a teeth whitening solution, and then place them over the teeth. These trays will cost you around $100.
It’s important to note that teeth whitening or bleaching is not permanent—regardless of whether you choose San Diego teeth whitening from Bajars Dental or over-the-counter whitening products. Although you should start seeing the results within a few weeks, you must maintain your treatment to achieve the maximum effect. Thus, in case you stop your treatment, even after achieving your results, your teeth will become discolored again with time.
Because of this, most dentists provide superior aftercare services, which focus on ensuring that your teeth whitening procedure is successful, and you have long-lasting results. This is one of the major reasons why it’s recommended you choose professional teeth whitening procedures over OTC products.