Cosmetic dentistry is becoming a popular reason for people to seek out dental treatments. Procedures such as teeth whitening are simple ways to improve your smile quickly, easily, and affordably!
Whitening treatments are accessible over the counter. Of course, these department store items are often cheaper than professional treatments.
But by using lower-grade products, users take the chance that they might not get the results they want. It’s also possible for those products to cause damage to the user’s teeth and gums.
To avoid the problems that can come with OTC bleaching products, more people are turning to dental experts for their teeth whitening procedures. Here at Dr. Lin’s office, the quality of your results and professional care are worth the teeth whitening cost.
Any whitening solution is going to give you a little bit of a brighter smile. The trick is to find a method that is healthy, safe, and long-lasting.
When you work with a professional, they don’t just focus on getting your teeth whiter. They get down into the “why” of why your teeth were stained in the first place. This way, they can give you a customized care plan to whiten your teeth optimally and prevent future stains.
You may be interested in getting your teeth back to their dazzling pearly whites, but are concerned about the dental whitening costs. If so, here is everything you need to know about professional whitening.
The Difference Between Bleaching and Whitening
You’ll see these two terms used almost interchangeably when you start looking into teeth whitening products. But there is a difference between the two.
The term “bleaching” is used to describe products that can whiten your teeth beyond what would be the natural color. The only products that can do this have bleach in them. These are usually those that are made with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the main whitening ingredient.
“Whitening” is used to describe a technique that restores your tooth’s natural surface color. This is done by removing the dirt and debris that accumulate over time and discolor the enamel.
Products that are used to clean your teeth are considered whiteners. Even your basic toothpaste is a whitener, by definition. However, bleaching is actually what is done when you use a product that brightens your teeth by removing stains.
How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?
When you’re comparing the cost of an OTC kit with the teeth whitening costs at the dentists, you need to understand how each works.
In order to be approved by the American Dental Administration, OTC kits can’t have a powerful ingredient in them as their main bleaching agent. They are still effective but they’re slower and weaker than a professional treatment.
The problem with this technique is that you have to use your kit more frequently to get the desired results. You might not mind the slow process, but the fact is that every time you put a bleaching agent on your teeth and gums, you may be causing damage to them. This damage could be short-term and just show up as sensitivity in your teeth and gums. Or it could be long-term damage to the enamel itself.
The enamel in your teeth is worn down over time, which causes the dentin in it to stain. Dentin is the main material in your teeth. As it is exposed to chewing, grinding, and acidic foods, it becomes yellow.
Teeth whitening products work by expanding the pores in the dentin, leaving them open so that the bleaching agent can get inside. With OTC products, you have to apply them frequently in order to get the results you want. However, with professional teeth whitening, you get the same or better results.
The products the dentists use are professional-grade, so they’re stronger and you don’t have to keep them on your teeth as long. Part of the procedure includes protecting your gums from the bleaching agent. This decreases the risk of side effects and sensitivity.
Most dental offices also use a special light that helps the bleaching agent absorb into the dentin faster. You can be on your way and back to your regular day quickly!
As long as you follow the aftercare instructions for the first 48 hours after your whitening treatment, you’ll get the best results. Your new, brighter teeth will last much longer than they would with an OTC kit, too.
How Much is Teeth Whitening?
There are different types of options for professional teeth whitening at Dr. Lin’s office. In-office treatments include laser teeth whitening for a fast, effective result.
Laser teeth whitening uses a laser to non-invasively whiten your teeth. The laser activates the chemicals in the bleaching agent to give you faster results and whiter teeth. The laser teeth whitening costs can vary. It’s a cosmetic procedure, so it’s usually not covered by your insurance.
The average cost can range from $400 to $1500, depending on your dentist and location. The price covers the supplies the dentist needs, plus the hour or longer of your appointment.
Zoom teeth whitening is another option. The procedure takes under an hour, in which the Zoom’s unique hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied to your teeth. The Zoom treatment uses a special Zoom light to penetrate the dentin in your teeth. You’ll sit with the agent on your enamel for 15 minutes, but it takes three sessions with the light activator to get the final results. The typical Zoom whitening treatment cost is around $500. It includes the take-home trays you’ll need to get the optimal results, plus the appointment times.
What’s Next to Get Your Whiter Teeth?
After your procedure, you’ll want to maximize the results of your new, whiter smile. At-home care will be explained to you, and you may want to include maintenance whitening with Dr. Lin.
Taking care of your teeth with your home oral hygiene routine and follow-up dental exams is the key to keeping your mouth healthy. Get started today by calling Dr. Lin’s office to see how we can help you not only get whiter teeth, but keep your oral health in tiptop shape!