Cosmetic dentistry procedures allow you to be more confident about your smile. A quick visit to the dentist for a teeth whitening procedure can help you make a great first impression on important occasions such as business meetings and first dates.
Despite brushing your teeth regularly, it is possible to encounter stains and discolouration, which may prevent you from putting your best smile forward. While it often results from beverages such as tea and coffee, there are many other food items that can cause staining.
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure requested by patients over the last 50 years. Modern technology and advancements in dentistry have become much more efficient at removing these stains and bringing out pearly white teeth for a perfect smile.
A Closer Look at the Enamel
Everyone is born with perfectly white teeth, thanks to an intact enamel layer. This is made of crystalline rods at the microscopic level and is meant to protect your teeth from everyday wear and tear caused by chewing, acidic foods, and trauma. However, in the process of protecting your teeth, the enamel itself gets damaged and is worn down as you age.
This results in the revelation of the dentin, which is the yellowish core of your teeth. Thanks to the enamel, your dentin remains protected, which gets thousands of microscopic cracks each time you chew. These micro-cracks eventually absorb particles from various foods and beverages and create stains and a dull appearance in your teeth.
Types of Discolouration
Tooth discolouration can be either intrinsic or extrinsic, and both occur due to different causes and require different methods of whitening to bring back the perfect appearance of your teeth.
Extrinsic stains appear on the surface of your teeth and are caused by beverages and foods which tend to stain surfaces. Tobacco usage and smoking result in extrinsic stains which can be more stubborn than those caused by food.
Minor extrinsic stains may not need whitening at all and can be removed with prophylactic dental cleaning procedures and thorough brushing. However, stubborn ones may need an appropriate whitening treatment. If the extrinsic stains remain for long, they can seep into the dentin and become intrinsic.
These are severe stains resulting from the general wear down of the enamel, trauma, and even excessive fluoride usage. These stains were thought to be impossible to remove in the past, but modern dentistry has found more robust whitening solutions which can deal with intrinsic stains.
Causes of Staining
By learning about the most common causes of tooth discolouration, you may be able to prevent it from happening for a very long time. However, basic dental hygiene may not always be enough for this, and you may also need regular visits to your dentist for cleaning procedures.
Ageing is the most common cause of tooth discolouration and is the only one of three causes that cannot be prevented. As you age, the discolouration will be more prominent, and you will require more robust whitening procedures.
Every person is born with an initial tooth colour which can be yellowish or greyish, and it tends to be more visible as your enamel wears down. However, this can be removed for a few years with a quick bleach.
The thickness of your teeth will also affect how discoloured they appear with time. While everyone has a slightly translucent enamel, those born with a thin one can find their teeth showing signs of discolouration even at a very young age.
Your lifestyle habits can be a significant contributor to tooth staining. These habits include drinking red wine, tea, coffee, and cola, or smoking, chewing tobacco, and eating meals with an excess of turmeric and other spices.
Injuries and blunt impacts on your teeth can result in chipped or broken teeth while also causing your enamel to wear down much faster and cause intrinsic discolouration.
Grinding your teeth under stress may help you calm down for a short while, but it will result in millions of micro-cracks in your teeth and cause the edges to darken and turn yellowish.
Whitening Vs. Bleaching
While visiting your dentist to treat tooth discolouration, you may be recommended either a bleaching or whitening procedure depending upon the severity of the stains.
- Restores the natural colour of the teeth
- Involves removing dirt and debris from the enamel
- It is commonly called cleaning since the term whitening is commonly used for bleaching
- It can be carried out at home
- Whitens teeth beyond their original colour
- Involves bleaches such as hydrogen peroxide
- It is commonly called whitening since it sounds better than bleaching
- Requires a visit to your dentist
Types of Teeth Whitening
There are several kinds of teeth whitening methods, and each comes with its benefits and disadvantages. When you ask how much does teeth whitening cost, you are most likely referring to the in-office dental procedure. However, other methods may be equally viable for you, depending on the level of discolouration in your teeth.
Zoom In-House Whitening
In-office whitening is the most effective technique, which involves the controlled use of a potent bleaching agent such as hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations. This is applied to your teeth only after the gums are first protected with a rubber dam. The agent is left on your teeth for a duration between 15 minutes to 1 hour, and stubborn intrinsic stains may need to return for another session.
|Highly Effective||More Expensive|
|Quickest Treatment||Can Cause Temporary Sensitivity|
Being an in-house professional treatment, zoom in-house whitening can cost you anywhere between £395 and £660. This is the average teeth whitening cost when conducted at a dental practice.
Professional Home Whitening Kits
If you’re short on time to visit your dentist or need your whitening treatment done at odd hours, this is the best option for you. You can visit your dentist to discuss the appropriate kit and then take it home. The concentration of the peroxide is lower in this case and therefore needs to be used for longer. The kits also include gum protectors and a weak UV light.
|Cost-Effective||Takes Longer for Results to Show|
|Convenient, At-Home Procedure||May Not Work on Intrinsic Stains|
While this procedure is convenient and does not require the supervision of your dentist, it has the same effectiveness as in-house whitening. While it may be similarly priced, at £300, it is the cheapest professional teeth whitening cost you would have to pay for sparkling white teeth.
Over-the-Counter Whitening Products
Using over-the-counter whitening products can be your cheapest teeth whitening option. This usually works like professional home whitening kits, except it has an even weaker bleaching agent, which doesn’t completely restore the colour of your teeth. Moreover, these products come with trays meant for the front teeth and cannot help your entire smile. These kits are great for emergency usage, such as when you have a meeting and don’t have enough time to visit the dentist.
|Cheapest Whitening Treatment||Not Very Effective|
|Instant Results for Emergency Situations||Only Affects the Front Teeth|
These kits start at £20, and they can be the cheapest teeth whitening price you’ll find. However, unlike professional treatments, they aren’t very effective and only affect your front teeth.
Which is the Best Kind of Teeth Whitening?
After knowing about all the teeth whitening methods out there, it should be easy for you to identify the best one. Whilst the best method may be different depending on your situation and how much does it cost to get teeth whitened with said method, there is an objective answer for it.
Zoom In-House Whitening offers you quality and effectiveness, which cannot be found with any method in the market. It is even effective at eliminating intrinsic stains from your teeth and helps mineralise the cracks in your enamel with multiple sessions. Moreover, it costs only slightly more than professional home whitening kits and shows instant results in comparison.
Since whitening is a relatively costly cosmetic dentistry procedure, you may want to make the effects last as long as possible. You can accomplish this with a few tips recommended by the highly qualified dentists at Perfect Smile:
- Get an appointment for a follow-up session after a few months or a year
- Avoid dark coloured foods and drinks for at least a week after treatment
- Try sipping dark coloured beverages with a straw as much as possible
- Follow good oral hygiene habits with brushing and flossing after each meal
When Should You Get Your Teeth Whitened?
The above information should help you learn how much does professional teeth whitening costs, and which whitening method would be most suitable for you. However, it can be hard to decide when the right time to get your teeth whitened is.
If you need assistance in deciding whether to get your teeth whitened or have any queries regarding teeth whitening, we’re here for you. Please visit your nearest practice or book a free consultation online.