Teeth whitening is the procedure that enhances the brightness of a dull, discolored smile. It is one of the most popular of all cosmetic dental treatments, that gives the smile a prominent boost in a single visit. Teeth Whitening involves the use of a peroxide-based bleaching gel that breaks down stains and removes discoloration to reveal a smile that is at least three to seven shades brighter than before.
There are a number of factors that can be responsible for causing discoloration or staining of the teeth, the most common of which include:
- Excessive consumption of highly pigmented beverages such as tea, coffee, wine and carbonated drinks.
- Smoking or chewing of tobacco
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Lack of, or improper oral hygiene
- Exposure of dentin with age
- Exposure to drugs such as tetracycline during the dental developmental stages
- Direct trauma to the teeth
- Radiation or chemotherapy
Depending upon the practitioner and the whitening system used for the treatment, the cost of teeth whitening in Australia ranges between $400 and $1000. This bracket is unusually broad, especially when compared to other dental treatments because teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure aimed at enhancing the aesthetic value of the smile – and does not aim to treat any functional issues. Another factor that must be considered when opting for the procedure is, unlike general dental treatment, teeth whitening is usually not covered by dental insurance coverage providers which is why the charges vary from office to office. However, it is possible to have your teeth professionally whitened in office for as low as $400 in certain localities.
What to expect from an in-office dental whitening treatment
Once you have figured out the cost of teeth whitening at your local dental clinic, you should have an idea of what to expect from the treatment. The procedure can be completed within a single visit and the results can be seen as soon as the gel is removed from the teeth. The dentist first creates a barrier between the gums and the teeth to protect the soft tissues from direct exposure to the whitening gel, which may cause irritation. With the barrier in place, the gel will be applied evenly on to the crowns of the teeth. Next, a dental curing light or laser will be used to activate this gel and will be shone onto the teeth for 10 to 15 minutes. Depending upon the extent of discoloration or staining present, this cycle may be repeated twice or thrice. This gel is then cleaned and the gum barrier is removed from the teeth.
A de-sensitizing gel may also be applied onto the teeth to reduce chances of post-operative discomfort or sensitivity.
It is very important to understand that the outcome of the treatment depends entirely upon the nature and degree of discoloration that was originally present on the teeth at the beginning of the procedure. This is why results vary from patient to patient.
Most teeth whitening systems guarantee results three to seven shades brighter than before, with shade cards included. The procedure is completely safe and TGA approved when performed by licensed practitioners in Australia.
Dental Insurance and the cost of teeth whitening
Dental insurance usually covers a wide range of treatments, most of which are aimed at correcting or restoring the function of the teeth. This is where teeth whitening is different – it is purely a cosmetic treatment meant only to enhance the appearance of the smile. This is why most dental insurance policy providers do not cover bleaching procedures, and also the reason why the cost of the treatment varies greatly from clinic to clinic. This is why it is important to obtain quotes from different dentists in your area, to compare them and then book an appointment with the one that fits your budget, to make the most of the treatment.
If you have questions like what is the cost of teeth whitening, what are the effects of the treatment and how can the results be maintained for years at a stretch, simply give us a call: (02) 9158 6753 and our team at Serenity Smiles will be happy to help you out in the best way we can!