Top Teeth Whitening Procedures
Information About Teeth Whitening and Other Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
One of the most requested cosmetic dentistry procedures is teeth whitening. In many instances, patients are inspired by a major event to whiten their teeth and perform other cosmetic procedures. Weddings, birthdays, family reunions, class reunions and other events often motivate patients to obtain a more radiant smile for pictures and general aesthetics.
Patients can choose from three teeth whitening options: in-office teeth whitening (such as Zoom, Opalescence or Britesmile teeth whitening), professionally dispensed take-home teeth whitening kits or over-the-counter whitening kits. Cosmetic dentists perform in-office teeth whitening procedures within their facilities using advanced technologies, including highly concentrated whitening gel and sophisticated lasers. In-office teeth whitening typically yields the most dramatic results within a short period of time, but can be costly to some patients. A single in-office teeth whitening treatment can cost up to $650.
Many patients visit their cosmetic dentist to obtain a professionally dispensed take-home teeth whitening kit. These kits can only be obtained from a licensed distributer, typically a cosmetic dentist. Unlike in-office teeth whitening, patients can enjoy the luxury of applying the treatment within their own home at their own convenience. Although the kits do not offer immediate dramatic results, patients who use the kits routinely often achieve the results they desire. The cost of professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits can range anywhere from $100 to $400, depending on the concentration of whitening gel and several other factors.
The last option for patients who desire whiter teeth is over-the-counter whitening kits. Similar to professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits, the over-the-counter kits allow patients to apply the whitening treatment within their homes on their own schedules. Over-the-counter whitening kits can be obtained through any drugstore or general store and do not require a visit to a cosmetic dentist. Over-the-counter kits can provide modest results and often appeal to patients on a budget. The teeth whitening cost of over-the-counter kits is $20 to $100.
Alternatives to Teeth Whitening
Patients who struggle with discoloration or stubborn stains may not be able to obtain the whiter smile they desire through teeth whitening procedures. In some instances, teeth whitening lightens teeth, but does not even out discoloration. Patients in these situations often speak to a cosmetic dentist about other dentistry options, including porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are customized shells that are placed over the teeth and bonded using resin cement. With porcelain veneers, patients can change the size and shape of their teeth, as well as the color. An advantage of porcelain veneers is that patients can treat individual teeth that are discolored or yellowed, as opposed to treating the whole mouth with teeth whitening. The cost of porcelain veneers is about $250 to $1500 per tooth.
Many cosmetic dentists recommend Lumineers for patients who wish to receive dental veneers. Lumineers are "no-prep" veneers that are a less invasive approach than porcelain veneers. With Lumineers, the veneers are bonded to the facial fronts of the teeth and correct for severe stains and discoloration.
Additional Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
Once patients have obtained whiter, more radiant smiles, they often wish to pursue other cosmetic dentistry procedures, including dental braces or Invisalign. Orthodontic treatments straighten patients' teeth to give the beautiful looks they desire. An increasingly popular orthodontic treatment for adults is Invisalign teeth aligners, a set of clear, removable retainers. Others often choose to receive tooth-colored dental braces, a more aesthetically pleasing version of traditional dental braces. The cost of Invisalign is similar to dental braces, both ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. Both methods yield stunning results within a short period of time.