If you would like to improve the look of your teeth, you may be weighing your teeth-whitening options. Not all options work for every type of tooth discoloration. In addition, the cost of a whitening procedure may not be budget-friendly. Here are a few available tooth-whitening applications:
Teeth whitening trays and strips that can be sold over-the-counter usually cost under $100, but the bleach that is used in the whitening system tends to be less effective than those in professional whitening applications. Only low-dose bleaching agents are typically used, so whitening results may not be as noticeable.
In-Office Tooth Whitening
If you decide to have your teeth chemically whitened in a dental office, you are choosing the safest type of tooth bleaching. In addition, in-office whitening produces faster results than at-home procedures.
Desensitizing chemicals, such as fluoride and potassium nitrate, may be used to help decrease tooth sensitivity that used to result from office bleaching. In addition, your dentist may use a thicker peroxide gel to prevent the solution form soaking too deeply into your teeth.
Nevertheless, in-office whitening may cost about $650, and it is not permanent. Thus, your dentist may prescribe home maintenance products to prevent the teeth from re-staining. This type of tooth whitening works best on stains that are caused by age, tobacco or food and drink.
Bleaching or chemically whitening may not be prescribed because of tooth-colored dental work, such as crowns, caps or fillings. The color of the dental material used will not change with a whitening application. In addition, if the discoloration of your teeth is due to a congenital disorder or occurred early in childhood, the staining may not respond to bleaching. Likewise, discoloration from trauma, excess fluoride or antibiotics cannot be bleached away.
Veneers can be used to whiten teeth by covering discoloration. Each veneer is actually a tooth-shaped sliver of porcelain or plastic that is glued to the front of a tooth.
Porcelain - Porcelain veneers are created and customized in a dental lab to conform to your teeth. They cost up to $2,500 per tooth, but they can last up to 15 years.
Composite - Composite veneers, which are also called "chairside" veneers, only cost about $250 per tooth. They don't require lab construction, but they only last up to seven years.
If you are planning to have your teeth whitened, weigh your options, and schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist, like those at Nitro Family Dentistry. The dental professional will be able to discuss the pros and cons of the various types of whitening procedures.