Getting your teeth whitened at the dentist is much more expensive than using whitening strips, whitening toothpaste, or baking soda at home. However, treatment at the dentist can also work better.
Most stains are treatable. Don’t think that your teeth will never be white again because whitening strips didn’t do the job. A dentist can use more powerful treatments that require a professional’s skill. How affordable are in-office treatments for most people?
How Much Is Teeth Whitening At The Dentist?
The average cost for a single in-office treatment in the United States is about $650. Usually, in-office treatments cost between $450 and $1000, with prices outside of that range being less common. The more stained your teeth are, the more expensive it is to treat them. However, you might get very dramatic results with badly stained teeth.
Laser treatment, although relatively expensive, is the most effective method. Laser treatments are more expensive, with the average being about $1000, and significantly more than that if you need to make more than one appointment.
A cheaper alternative to laser whitening is LED whitening, which can cost between $300 and $1000. LED whitening, also known as zoom whitening, can make your teeth up to 90% as white as possible. Zoom whitening uses blue LED light but not lasers to help whiten your teeth. The blue light activates the hydrogen peroxide whitening solution and helps it clean your teeth better.
There is also opalescence teeth whitening, which you can get done in-office rather than at home. Opalescence teeth whitening uses a very strong gel but contains a mix of potassium nitrate and fluoride, which protects your teeth and prevents sensitivity. It only costs about $500 per treatment.
If you have a lot of money to spend, you might get veneers put over your teeth. These veneers are caps that make your teeth look white. While they look very good and natural, they cost hundreds to more than 2000 dollars per tooth, and they won’t make your teeth immune to damage. However, veneers last for a very long time, so they might be worth it if you have enough money.
Why Do Teeth Get Stained Over Time?
Keeping your teeth white all the time without getting your teeth cleaned/whitened is not realistic. Your teeth will stain over time, and you will need to get them whitened once in a while.
Certain foods and drinks such as coffee, dark tea, red wine, sports drinks with a lot of food coloring, vinegar, and citrus fruits can all stain your teeth. Sometimes, acidic foods and drinks can wear away the enamel, exposing the darker-colored dentin underneath.
Smoking can damage your teeth and gums and can stain them even if it does not cause any serious damage. Anything that either:
1) Discolors your teeth with dyes/chemicals or
2) Thinks and weakens your enamel can make your teeth look worse.
Injuries can also crack your teeth, and the cracks can stain quickly. Tooth grinding, sports injuries, falls, and other accidents can crack your teeth. Even small cracks that you don’t notice right away can make your teeth more vulnerable to staining.
Some people have naturally thinner enamel than others, which makes it harder for them to keep their teeth white. If you have thin enamel, which becomes more common later in life, it becomes possible to see the yellow dentin through the enamel coating. Teeth whitening can work for people of all ages, but it might take more than one treatment for older people.
How Effective is Teeth Whitening?
Your teeth are measured on a scale of 16 shades, from very white to dark. Teeth whitening can get your teeth anywhere from two to eight shades whiter.
Having whiter teeth can make you more attractive and likable. Treatment can make your teeth look quite noticeably better in a single session. Other people will notice. It is worth it even if you have to be careful with money for a while to be able to afford it.