How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?

Dental bleaching, or teeth whitening, is a straight-forward and non-invasive cosmetic dentistry treatment that can help you achieve your dream smile.

With more and more celebrities and influencers showing off their pearly white smiles on red carpets and via social media, the popularity of whitening treatments has increased dramatically in recent years. If you have considered getting your teeth whitened you may have wondered, how much does teeth whitening cost?

Teeth can become discoloured for several reasons, but what you eat and drink are by far the biggest factors affecting changes in tooth colour. Certain food and drinks such as coffee, red wine, curries and soy sauce can leave behind chemical compounds which stain your teeth and as well as being bad for your health smoking can also cause severe discolouration.

Brushing your teeth twice a day can help keep your teeth looking clean and remove residual food or drink stains, but it is natural for teeth to lose their white colour over time, no matter how well you look after them.

Teeth whitening is not a new treatment. It can be traced all the way back to the ancient Egyptians where it was seen as a symbol of wealth and beauty to have whiter teeth; a trend that has continued throughout history. To achieve pearly whites, the Egyptians ground up pumice stone and mixed it with white vinegar to produce a paste which they then applied to their teeth to whiten their smiles.

Teeth whitening as we know it today evolved from dentists prescribing peroxide gels as a treatment for gum disease. In the 1980s dentists were trying to figure out a technique that would keep the gel on the gums for longer. Through their experiments they also realised that a side effect of using the gel was that patients ended up with whiter teeth.

This discovery changed how teeth whitening products are administered and impacted the way that new treatments have evolved since the 80’s. In this blog post, we will be exploring the different ways to achieve whiter teeth and factors that can affect the cost.

Cost of Teeth Whitening

How much teeth whitening costs depends entirely on the type of treatment you choose and how discoloured your teeth are to start with. Here at Revitalise Dental Centre, our teeth whitening treatments start from £500 and we are an official provider of the highly regarded Boutique Whitening solution.

Boutique Whitening is a home whitening kit provided to you by your dentist. They have two different treatment options; a day treatment and a night treatment; the only difference between the two treatments is the length of time they are worn. The night time treatment is designed to be worn for 4 hours or overnight, whereas the day treatment is to be worn for 1 hour a day. This treatment is flexible and can fit around your lifestyle.

Part of the cost of paying to get your teeth whitened professionally is the manufacture of bespoke trays compared with home whitening kits which include trays that are ‘one size fits all’.

With Boutique Whitening, a mold will be taken of your teeth and sent to the laboratory where a tray will be created that is designed to fit you perfectly. By creating bespoke trays for your teeth, you can feel confident that they will not slip or irritate your gums and will be comfortable to wear and easy to use.

Even though Boutique Whitening is an at home whitening kit, you will have initial appointments at Revitalise Dental Centre before you start your teeth whitening treatment. Your initial appointment provides us with the opportunity to assess your oral health and make sure that there are no underlying issues that need attending to first.

Once it has been determined that your oral health is in good condition, your Boutique Whitening treatment will begin, an impression will be taken of your teeth to allow your custom trays to be created. In your second session, you will be given your home whitening kit, including your bespoke trays. Your dental practitioner will demonstrate how to correctly and safely apply the gel and how much you should be using.

Upkeep

It is important to understand that dental bleaching is not a permanent treatment. While you will start to see a difference in your smile within just a few short weeks, you will need to keep doing the treatments to maintain the effect. If you were to stop your treatments, even after you had achieved the desired level of whitening, your teeth will start to gradually become discoloured again.

As with all the services we provide at Revitalise, your care does not stop when your treatment is complete. The superior aftercare we provide focuses on making sure that your treatment is successful and the results are long lasting.

To keep your smile white and bright, we can provide you with refill kits for your whitening treatments. Each refill kit is an additional price to your initial treatment and can be ordered in singles or packs of 2 or 3 to suit your needs and budget.

Why Are Over the Counter Kits So Much Cheaper?

If you are considering a teeth whitening treatment, you may be wondering why over the counter at home kits are so much cheaper. They both use peroxide gels and trays, so are they not the same thing?

While yes, the treatments are administered the same way, there are several differences between kits bought on the high-street or online and professional whitening.

The whitening gels used in home kits, both over the counter and from your dentist, contain hydrogen peroxide. Legally, only qualified dental professionals can administer teeth whitening treatments. The main reason over the counter whitening kits are cheaper is because they contain a lower dosage of hydrogen peroxide and can therefore be sold without the supervision of a dentist.

Professional teeth whitening treatments, using the higher dose of hydrogen peroxide, can take up to 6 weeks for you to achieve your desired shade.

Some over the counter kits claim that you will see results within 20 minutes and can get up to 8 shades whiter in just two weeks. In reality, it is likely that you will be able to notice a slight difference in the colour of your teeth within your first week of treatment, but complete results may take far longer. This is due to the lower dose of hydrogen peroxide that these kits contain.

One size fits all treatments

One of the main differences between over the counter and professional home whitening kits is how bespoke they are. With over the counter kits, you get a one-size-fits-all tray to wear. Each person’s teeth are unique to them so a universal tray designed to fit everyone will often be ill-fitting and uncomfortable to wear.

These trays may slip during your treatment or allow the gel to leak out. Not only could this cause your treatment to be ineffective, but loose gel in your mouth could also damage your teeth, gums or even be ingested.

When getting your teeth professionally whitened, there is minimal risk of this. Your custom tray, designed and manufactured to fit you perfectly, will provide a comfortable and secure fit giving you increased confidence and optimised results from your treatment.

It is also worth noting that with home whitening kits, you will have less control over how white your teeth become. While the cost of professional teeth whitening may be higher, you will receive a bespoke treatment that is specifically tailored to your needs.

Before you begin your dentist will discuss the results that you want to achieve and educate you on how to apply the whitening gel and trays properly. You will have the chance to decide how white you want your teeth to be and will be given the correct dosage of whitening gel.

Can Anyone Get Their Teeth Whitened?

While anyone can buy at home teeth whitening kits from a high street store or online, there is no guarantee that the treatments will either deliver the results you want or even work at all. At home kits do not take into consideration the fact that teeth whitening is not suitable for some people with specific oral health issues.

When getting your teeth whitened professionally, there are some limitations as to who can undergo the treatment and your individual practitioner will be able to advise you on this during your initial consultation.

Underlying health issues

If you suffer from gum disease, have cavities, dental crowns or chronic sensitivity, then you would not be a suitable candidate for tooth whitening treatment.

Whitening solutions can make the treated teeth and the surrounding areas sensitive so if you already suffer from sensitive teeth or gums, then the products used may irritate them further and could cause additional issues.

Before you get your teeth whitened, you should visit your dentist for a general check-up. At the appointment, your dentist will be able to check the overall condition of your mouth, teeth and gums. Your dentist will also be able to properly clean and prepare your teeth before the whitening treatment begins.

If you do suffer from gum disease or tooth decay, these must be treated first before commencing any whitening process.

The healthier your teeth are before the whitening treatment is applied, the better your results will be. There is also less chance of your teeth or gums being aggravated by the whitening gel if they are healthy to begin with.

It is also very important that you tell your dentist if you have other health issues or are taking certain medications, before undergoing the treatment as these could make your teeth and gums extra sensitive.

Extrinsic vs Intrinsic

The best treatment to whiten your teeth depends entirely on the type of stains or discolouration you are trying to remedy.

Extrinsic stains appear on the outer surface of your tooth and are often caused by lifestyle factors such as the food you eat, what you drink and whether you smoke.

While extrinsic stains can be limited by simply remembering to brush your teeth twice a day, they can also be improved through dental bleaching. Treating extrinsic stains with teeth whitening can help restore your teeth to their natural white colour, or even make them up to eight shades brighter!

Intrinsic stains refer to stains that develop within the tooth itself. These types of stains are usually a result of injury or exposure to high levels of fluoride and tetracycline antibiotics while your teeth were still developing.

Occurring within the dentin, or the inner layer, of a tooth, intrinsic stains are much harder to treat and are a more permanent stain. Unlike extrinsic stains, these types of stains are less likely to respond to dental bleaching because the stain is inside the tooth rather than on the surface where it is easier to reach.

The best way to fix deep intrinsic stains is to have veneers or crowns fitted which will cover your natural, discoloured teeth and provide you with a brighter, whiter smile.

Dental Prosthetics

Veneers and crowns are an excellent alternative to dental bleaching for severely damaged or badly stained teeth. While these treatments are more expensive than the cost of teeth whitening, they may be your only option of whitening your teeth without damaging your teeth further.

If you already have veneers, crowns or other dental prosthetics fitted, it is important to remember that these cannot be whitened. Most crowns or veneers are made of ceramic or metal and the surfaces of these materials are not porous like your natural teeth. This means that the whitening gel is unable to penetrate the surface and create a brightening effect.

When you first have crowns or veneers fitted you will be able to choose the shade of white that you want, even colour matching them to your natural teeth. If you desire whiter teeth, you should get your natural teeth bleached before having veneers or crowns fitted. This will allow them to be created in your desired shade of white ensuring that they match the new shade of your whitened natural smile.

Using the advanced technology at Revitalise Dental Centre we can colour match your veneers or crowns allowing them to blend in with your natural teeth. If you were to get your teeth whitened after having a crown or veneer fitted, they will be a different shade to your dental prosthesis and the difference between your natural and your repaired teeth will be more noticeable.

Having veneers or crowns fitted, or re-fitted to match your new shade of white, will be an added cost on top of your teeth whitening.

Find Out More

As you can see many different factors impact on the cost of teeth whitening treatments.

While over the counter kits may be cheaper, getting your teeth professionally whitened with a bespoke treatment plan tailored to your needs can be worth the cost because of the guaranteed results and the dedicated aftercare.

If you are considering having your teeth whitened but are worried about how much it will cost, Revitalise Dental Centre is on hand to help. We offer a range of affordable patient finance schemes, helping you pay for your dream smile in manageable monthly instalments.

If your goal is a brighter, whiter smile, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us. You can call 01872 555 911 or send an email to hello@revitalisedentalcentre.co.uk to speak to a member of our team about the range of services and the five star care we provide.

About the author

Author

Jason Smithson is an internationally renowned cosmetic and reconstructive dentist formerly of London’s Harley Street Medical District, he is now based in St Agnes, Cornwall where he offers dentistry, dental-education and medico-legal expert witness services. World-class crowns, veneers and direct composite resin artistry are delivered with uncompromising standards bespoke to the patient’s individual requirements. He is considered to be the ‘Dentist’s Dentist’ and regularly treats other dentists; many of whom travel from throughout the UK to see him. Dr Smithson is an ‘In Demand’ presenter and is perhaps the most prolific in the UK. He is considered by his peers to be an authority on aesthetic dentistry and has presented to audiences on every continent over the past 10 years. He is a true innovator and pioneered the use of Dental Operating Microscope in teaching Direct Resin Artistry to other dentists in the UK; he is the author of numerous articles and a book on crowns in aesthetic dentistry.

Connect with Jason Smithson on LinkedIn.

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