There are a number of ways that you can get your teeth whitened. The most affordable way is to purchase over-the-counter whiteners or whitening strips. However, it takes time for these products to take effect – more often than not you’ll have to wear them twice a day over the course of two weeks and even then the effect is not dramatic. These products will often put you back no more than $55. Another option is to receive take-home whitening trays from your dentist. These are sometimes used in conjunction with in-office whitening, although they can be given as an alternative as well. Although much more effective than over-the-counter products, they must be used over an extended period of time, and can cost around $400 a tray.
The best option for whitening your teeth is to have it done in-office. Although, on average, having your teeth professionally whitened in-office will cost around $650, it’s the best option for a number of reasons. The process involves the application of a whitening agent along with a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide on your teeth. An intense light is often focused on the applied solution to activate the bleaching process. This process takes between one and two hours to complete and the effects are immediate. In addition to better and faster results, in-office whitening is the safest form of tooth bleaching because the dentist has greater control over gum and tooth sensitivity and can use fluoride and potassium nitrate as desensitizers.
Although having your teeth whitened at a general or cosmetic dentist’s office is generally more expensive, it’s also a faster, safer and more effective process as well.