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Dental Whitening

Dental Whitening

Everybody longs for the brightly white, carefree smile of film stars and to tell the truth, we are willing to pay quite a sum to whiten a few shades on the natural color of our teeth. Teeth whitening or bleaching is one of the most frequently performed aesthetic dental procedures. The widening market of dental whitening products is shared by professional products for dentists, dentist-prescribed home-applied products and over-the-counter, non professional products.

There are certain genetic and age related factors that decide the natural shade of our teeth enamel, which can range from grayish or yellowish white to completely white. Reasons for internally and externally discolored teeth that call for dental whitening are:

  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Taking tetracycline anti-biotics
  • Smoking, certain food
  • Trauma and nerve death in the tooth
  • Root canal treatment 

Dental Whitening Procedures

Most dentists offer several dental whitening procedures, which can be divided into two groups:

  • Vital dental whitening (for teeth that have live nerves)
  • Non-vital dental whitening (for teeth that do not have live nerves)

Vital Dental Whitening Procedures

  1. A photo is usually taken of your teeth before and also after the process.
  2. The dentist cleans your teeth form bacteria and food.
  3. He will cover the gums with a protective film.
  4. A gel containing hydrogen proxide is applied on the surface of the teeth.
  5. A special light or laser is directed on the gel to activate the whitening agents.
  6.  The whitening gel is removed.

The whole procedure takes around 30-60 minutes and if the desired shade is not achieved, you have two options. Return to the dentist’s office to repeat the dental whitening session, or ask for a prescription home-whitening kit. In the latter case, the doctor will provide you with the whitening gel and a custom-made mouthpiece and will give you instructions about the frequency you need to wear the mouthpiece with the gel inside.

Non-vital Dental Whitening

It requires different whitening agents and a method that is able to reach the teeth from the inside.

Dental Whitening Cost

Dental whitening cost varies depending on the procedure and whether you wish to do it at home or at the dentist. Professional dental whitening cost ranges between $300 and $1000 at the dentist and a prescribed home kit can cost up to $600.