What is tooth whitening / dental bleaching?
Tooth whitening (also called dental bleaching) is a procedure that brightens the color of a patient’s teeth, most frequently for cosmetic reasons. Nowadays, many kinds of commonly available tooth pastes have whitening capabilities that can help with minor tooth staining but that have a minimal...
Tooth whitening (also called dental bleaching) is a procedure that brightens the color of a patient’s teeth, most frequently for cosmetic reasons. Nowadays, many kinds of commonly available tooth pastes have whitening capabilities that can help with minor tooth staining but that have a minimal effect on severely discolored teeth. To regain their bright smiles even in such severe cases, patients can choose from several whitening options:
* Whitestrips – The most widely available and cheapest option consists of clear plastic films covered with bleaching gel that need to be used for up to 14 days in a row every 12 months to have a visible effect.
* Home Bleaching – Requires custom-made application rails for each individual patient that need to be coated with peroxide gel and worn for 7-8 hours at a time (usually overnight) for a time period of up to 2 weeks. This option, while more efficacious than Whitestrips, comes at a higher price.
* In-Office Bleaching – The most effective and fastest option is performed right in the dentist’s office and involves a strong bleaching solution and a high-intensity lamp which the dentist uses in up to 3 short sessions (roughly 15 minutes each) to brighten the teeth. On the flip side, the costs associated with this option are higher than those of other whitening options. Also, the highly-concentrated bleaching solution can sometimes cause temporary discomfort and sensitivity to sweet, sour, hot, and cold foods and drinks.
When do I need a tooth whitening / dental bleaching?
The majority of tooth whitening procedures are performed for purely aesthetic reasons in order to return visibly discolored (“yellow”) teeth to their previously white glory. An effective dental bleaching can brighten the natural color of a patient’s teeth by up to a full shade level. However, in some cases, tooth whitening may be necessary for medical reasons – for example to restore the natural appearance of teeth with visibly damaged dental enamel. A dental bleaching may also be required to brighten “dead” discolored teeth that have undergone a root canal procedure or to prevent psychological damage caused by visibly stained teeth.
How much does tooth whitening / dental bleaching cost?
The costs of tooth whitening depend directly on the method that is used and generally fall into one of the following price categories:
* Whitestrips – starting at € 16-20 and available in most drug stores over the counter
* Home Bleaching – starting at € 200 and up to € 500
* In-Office Bleaching – up to € 800
We hope that you found this primer helpful and invite you to take a look at our blog for more interesting and hopefully helpful information.