Teeth whitening is the process of removing stains and discolouration from teeth and improving the colour through a bleaching process to make them look “whiter”.
Teeth whitening in general can cost from £300 to £1,000 or more. Prices for individual procedures are as follows:
According to the FDA, the term “bleaching” is used only when the teeth can be whitened beyond their natural colour. This applies strictly to products that contain bleach – typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
The term “whitening,” on the other hand, refers to restoring a tooth's surface colour by removing dirt and debris. So any product that cleans (like a toothpaste or mouthwash) is considered a whitener.
It is rather obvious that the more prestigious the clinic, the more expensive the treatment will be. If a clinic is using the most up-to-date techniques with a high profile dentist, then this will be reflected in the cost. Costs are also dependent on whether you have in-house treatment or opt for a home whitening kit. In-surgery treatment such as laser whitening is quicker and so are more expensive than a home whitening kit. The cost depends on the type of treatment you have. It also depends on how much teeth whitening you need. Say, if your teeth is very yellow, it can cost much more to whiten them than it would cost if they are just a bit off colour. This is because it can take more treatments either at the dentist’s office or through products that offer teeth whitening.
If you are looking for a very basic teeth whitening treatment, they can be purchased for well under £50. Products like Crest Strips, Arm and Hammer tooth paste and whitening boost gel, and mouthwashes are all available at the local drugstore. However, the overall effect that they are going to have is minimal. Think of these products as more of a maintenance treatment rather than an actual treatment that will make a substantial difference.
If you are interested in using a kit, but want something that more effective than products available over the counter at a pharmacy, your dentist can provide a whitening kit that will be more customised to fit your need and will also be a bit more expensive. People have experienced great success with these and they cost from about £100-£400.
However, the most effective teeth whitening treatment will happen in the dentist's office. Again, they have several different techniques that they can use from bleaching to laser treatments. The solution they use is much stronger than those that can be found at a drug store and is only administered by the dentist or a trained technician. People who have used an over-the-counter solution will know just how strong these professional concoctions can be on their gums. These treatments are much more expensive and depending on the exact treatment that is selected, a patient can expect to spend from as little as £350 to £1,200 for a visit. However, with professional dental treatments, patients will notice a significant difference in their teeth immediately.
Teeth whitening is not available on the NHS, since it is seen along with cosmetic dentistry in general, as a ‘lifestyle’ choice. This means that it is something you choose to have done rather than a medical necessity.
If you are looking for financial help then consider dental finance. Many clinics operate their own finance scheme, whereby you can take out a loan to pay for your treatment and then repay it on a monthly basis. Check with your dentist about this.
Dental tooth whitening can last for 2 to 3 years and even longer in some patients. If you follow a regular hygiene routine and have frequent check ups then the effects can last for a long time. To achieve this you will need to have ‘maintenance’ or ‘top up’ sessions once a year or so just to preserve your white smile.