Is Home Teeth Whitening the Best Bleaching Choice for You?

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Is Professional Laser Teeth Whitening the Best Option?

Lazer teeth whitening is the most expensive of all of the treatments that are available for removing stains and lightening discolorations.  As with similar treatments, a bleaching agent (usually hydrogen peroxide) is used, but once the gel is applied, a professional laser is used to activate the crystals that absorb energy from the light and penetrate the teeth. This procedure can remove even the deepest of stains in a relatively short period of time.

The laser teeth whitening cost varies from region to region, but you can expect to pay at least $1000 for the treatment.  That is in addition to any other procedures that your dentist deems necessary.  Typically, cavities will be checked for, as well as any gum disease or abrasion.  If an abrasion is present, the procedure will need to be postponed.

Most dentists recommend a regular cleaning first.  This could be all that you really need.  But, if additional bleaching is desired, cleaning will make it more effective and less time consuming.  The laser teeth whitening cost is not covered by dental insurance plans, but other necessary procedures, including the cleaning are typically covered.

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There are many less expensive alternatives, including over-the-counter teeth whitening and at-home teeth bleaching kits.  Even in-office bleaching, without the use of a laser costs a great deal less and may be just as effective.  The average nationwide cost is $650 per visit.  It’s still not covered by insurance, but the savings are substantial.  The take home kits typically cost between $100 and $400.  Many doctors prefer them, because they are less irritating and seem to be more effective in the long run.

In cases where bleaching will not work (for example in discolorations caused by medications or mineral exposure during the tooth’s formation) a veneer is an option.  Before a dentist resorts to a veneer, he will usually do a cleaning and recommend a whitener.  Once the veneer is matched to the shade of the other teeth, it cannot be whitened further.

People that have veneers in place will find that the other teeth look whiter, because the bleach does not affect the veneer.  Some insurance plans cover veneers, even though they are technically cosmetic.

Over-the-counter products have a varying degree of effectiveness. Whitening toothpastes are the least effective and tray-gels or strips are the most effective.  Of all the treatments available, laser teeth whitening is generally recognized as the most effective, but not all dentists offer the option.