Teeth Whitening Options and Costs

Teeth Whitening Options and Costs

by Holly (SU)

From commercials advertising whitening tools to the gleaming white smiles of celebrities twinkling on the silver screen, whitest teeth have become synonymous with beauty, youth, good health and great dental hygiene. Unfortunately, the temptations of red wine, morning double espressos, genetics, certain medications, or smoking cigarettes (we know you are meaning to quit) can cause teeth to take on a stained or darkened hue. Whether you’re prepping for an upcoming high school reunion or your best friend’s wedding, there are many simple solutions for transforming tarnished teeth into envy-inducing pearly whites. Here are some teeth whitening options and costs you can expect to pay to achieve whiter, brighter teeth.

At Home Bleaching Kits

In recent years, several at-home kits have hit the market for teeth whitening. While you may be tempted to try these bleaching products, they can be ineffective and cause undue irritation and gum sensitivity if applied incorrectly or for too long. Additionally, their subtle results only last about four months, making them a fleeting fix.  And, at around $50 for a box containing 28 strips, the costs can add up.

Specialty Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste can remove surface stains while keeping teeth clean through regular brushing. Most brands of toothpaste that contain whitening factors will run from a few dollars to high-end “optic” brands around $20. These kinds of toothpaste will not give you a deep, bright white like professional treatments, but they will help your mouth achieve a healthy, white look.

More recently, toothpaste containing “activated charcoal” – an age-old solution for whiter teeth – have become a trend. The charcoal in these kinds of toothpaste is heated with a gas to increase the size and number of pores that absorb chemicals and other impurities. The charcoal then binds to the impurities, removing stains and plaque and even freshening your breath.  Charcoal toothpaste does not contain fluoride that protects teeth from decay or plaque, nor are there any sensitizing agents for those with sensitive teeth.  That’s why dentists recommend using charcoal toothpaste as a supplement to regular fluoridated toothpaste, not exclusively as the sole source of brushing. If you do purchase charcoal toothpaste, expect to pay anywhere between $5 and $20.

Home Gels

For those seeking a more gradual, go-at-your-own-pace solution, several companies now offer at-home gels that are more powerful than strips, yet excellent for those who tend to experience that dreaded tooth sensitivity. From Philips Zoom! NiteWhite to LumiBrite’s pack of teeth-whitening syringes, the possibilities are endless. Most gels such as these require that you have custom whitening trays made; trays such as these can cost around $74, while the Zoom! Gel is approximately $33.99 and will differ depending on the retailer.

Professional Whitening

Professional whitening is the most cost-effective and foolproof procedure to ensure a pearly smile, plus, it takes the guesswork out of which procedure is best for you. A reputable dentist can work with you to discuss myriad options available to you.

Harnessing powerful, clinically formulated 25% hydrogen peroxide gel and your dentist’s professional whitening lamp, your dentist can make your teeth more radiant with just one visit. Those with sensitive teeth will appreciate the sensitivity-reducing fluoride paste-gel that is applied to the teeth. Best of all, a one-time visit promises results that can last up to one year – a far cry from the short-lived results produced by strips and other trays. Plus, take-home trays are provided by your dentist to extend your results. The approximate cost for this procedure – including the take-home trays – is $500.

The first step to obtaining the smile of your dreams is by calling your dentist. If you live or work in the greater Eugene area, Dr. Binder and the staff at 360 Dental offer safe and effective teeth whitening in the comfort of his office, and will provide all of the information and tools necessary to keep those teeth sparkling. For more information, or to schedule your consultation, call Dr. Binder at 541-689-1645.