Although teeth are not made to be naturally pure white, toothpaste brands have pushed a certain image into the media, making it appear as though that is the norm. While some pursue teeth whitening in order to reach this image, others seek it out because of staining that has occurred on their teeth due to foods or products like wine and tobacco, the natural process of aging, or through dental procedures such as root canals and fillings. No matter the cause of the staining, or what has led the individual to inquire about teeth whitening, the one thing that is important to know is that teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure and therefore not covered under any form of insurance. However, there are alternative methods available for those who are unable to afford teeth whitening at the dentist’s office. Let’s take a look at all the options available.
Beginning with the treatment that can be done by your dentist, dental bleaching is by far the most expensive out of the options, but arguably the fastest and most effective method for those who want near-immediate results. There are two forms of dental bleaching available, vital and non-vital. The one that will be chosen for use depends on a few factors and the patients dental history.
The most common type of bleaching treatment, called vital bleaching, is done on teeth that are “alive”, or otherwise known as teeth that have not undergone another dental procedure such as a bridge, veneer, or have been capped with a crown. Vital bleaching is chosen for the patient who has stains due to coffee, wine, tobacco, or aging as it works on the surface of the tooth.
The second method of bleaching is called non-vital bleaching which are done on teeth that need the bleaching to work from the inside out. Stains caused by root canals and other procedures on not considered to be surface stains, and therefore a stronger bleach is needed in order to remove the discolouration.
As mentioned above, dental bleaching can be expensive and is not the best option for everyone. However, there is an alternative over-the-counter method in the form of surface whiteners. Surface whiteners are great for individuals who have only minor staining, as from the title of the product, they only work on the surface of the tooth. While it takes longer to achieve the level of white that one may desire, it certainly is the most affordable option. You can find a variety of surface whiteners in a grocery or drug store, displayed alongside the toothpastes and toothbrushes. At first, you may feel overwhelmed and confused with all of the choices presented, but rest assured that any one will work as they all generally use the same ingredients and are applied the same way–through the use of strips that cover your teeth.
If you are unsure if the product is right for you and your situation, consult with your dentist first.
If you are interested in teeth whitening services, please give us a call to book a consultation to discuss your options.