Teeth Whitening At Home

For a large part, media has been instrumental in creating the hype towards whiter teeth. But the fact is that blindingly white teeth aren’t the norm; human teeth naturally discolour over time as the outer enamel thins, and as they absorb liquids from your food. A healthy adult’s teeth will have a pale, barely noticeable yellow tinge; that’s perfectly healthy. That’s why those toothpaste commercials seem so surreal—those teeth simply don’t exist in everyday life.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no credit to teeth whitening. Some people opt for the procedure because their dental colouring has significantly changed, either from smoking, gum problems, or some other condition. If you think you’re a good candidate for it, start with something simple: try teeth whitening at home.

Home teeth whitening products range from specialized toothpastes to strips that you leave on your teeth for a while. The key to most of these products is peroxide, a well-known mild bleaching agent. It works by creating bubbles on tooth enamel that help lift away the stains. While its use has room for improvement, it’s generally regarded as the best way to whiten teeth without going to the dentist.

Hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening is proven safe for the mouth, but some side effects are possible. The most common is temporary tooth sensitivity. This happens when some of the bleaching agent gets trapped in the tooth’s nerve passages. The sensation usually lasts no more than a couple of days.

Another common method is the use of whitening strips. These strips are held against the tooth enamel for about half an hour every day, providing maximum contact with hydrogen peroxide. The treatment lasts about a week, or until you get the desired shade. Not all strips work the same way, but most will contain instructions on how to whiten teeth at home using the product. This method isn’t as popular because the strips can be uncomfortable to wear, although the whitening tends to be more efficient.

Doctors recommend teeth whitening at home only to people with healthy teeth who have seen their dentist in the past year. People with especially sensitive teeth, those with crowns or fillings on the front, and those with gray rather than yellow teeth should opt for more professional procedures. If you fall under one of these categories, your dentist can tell you how to whiten your teeth at home safely, or recommend a professional who can do it for you.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost

Most people develop wisdom teeth around age 10, but the teeth themselves can surface anywhere from two to 15 years later. This unpredictability makes them tricky—you never how the tooth will grow, and there’s always a chance that it will grow the wrong way. The most common problem is impacting, where the molar grows into adjacent teeth and keeps them from emerging. In this case, the tooth must be removed; otherwise they can get very painful and even affect neighboring organs, such as the sinus.

Wisdom teeth extraction is considered minor surgery. It is performed with strong local anesthesia and usually a local sedative to help keep the patient still. While it’s a fairly safe procedure, not all people are good candidates for wisdom teeth extraction. For instance, older people are usually more prone to complications, which is why dentists recommend having wisdom teeth removed by age 18. As you get older, your teeth become fused to your facial bone, and removing them becomes increasingly risky.

Some side effects can occur both as a result of the medication and the extraction itself. If you were given a strong sedative, you may feel lightheaded for a while after the procedure. After the operation, you may feel some pain and swelling on the side of your face, and your lower lip may be a little sensitive. Depending on how long the extraction took, you may also feel some stiffness in your jaw. These are often no cause for concern, but if the pain lasts more than two weeks, call your dentist for a follow-up.

Extraction costs $150 to $350 per tooth, but this doesn’t include related services such as X-rays, anesthesia, sedation, and medications. The total price can be anywhere between $500 and $1,000, or more for complicated procedures. Factors affecting wisdom teeth removal cost include your location (dentists in some areas charge more than others), your dentist (more experienced dentists charge more), and the scope of the procedure (complicated cases take more of the dentist’s time and thus cost more).

Dental insurance usually covers part or all of the cost of extraction. The coverage ranges from 15% to 50%. You can cut costs by opting out of some services; for example, you can ask to be sedated instead of asleep during the procedure. If you’re not covered by insurance, you can look into financing, or ask your clinic if they have alternative payment plans. Most will accept deferred payment for costly extractions. The terms may be based on your credit history, so be ready to provide any necessary information.

Tooth Extraction Cost

Tooth extractions are among the most common of dental procedures. It’s tempting to assume that also makes them the cheapest, but that’s not always the case. While you can get an extraction for cheap, lots of others go into it, the most prominent being the type of extraction needed and the complexity of the procedure. Extracting the tooth itself can cost you as little as $50 or as much as $1,000.

A simple extraction, wherein the tooth is fully erupted, has small roots, and isn’t growing into any neighboring teeth, will cost $100 to $150. You may be able to get it for less if you shop around, but that’s the general range. The tooth extraction cost goes up the more complicated it gets, as it takes up more of the dentist’s time. When there’s surgery involved—for example, when the tooth breaks off at the gum or it’s impacted—the price can go up to $6000.Teeth that are partially covered by bone are harder to pull out and can cost even more.

Wisdom teeth are usually the hardest and most expensive to pull out. If there are no complications, the cost can run from $150 to $300. Impacted wisdom teeth can start at $350, and the price can go up depending on how complicated the surgery will be. Very complex cases are usually handled by a specialist known as a maxillofacial surgeon. Because they are more highly trained, they may charge significantly higher than your regular dentist.

Sedation and anesthesia usually add significantly to tooth extraction costs, although patients don’t always think of it. Sedation can set you back $200 to $400. You can choose to just get local anesthesia, although the doctor may insist that you be sedated if you need to keep still for a long operation. Other related costs include the initial checkup, which can range from $50 to $150, and x-rays, which can be as low as $10 or as much as $100.

Most dental insurance policies will cover at least 50% of the tooth extraction cost, provided it isn’t for purely cosmetic purposes. If you’re not covered or the procedure costs more than they’re willing to cover, you can look into financing plans—some clinics offer different payment options for patients undergoing expensive procedures. You can also go to a university dental clinic, where students in training can do it for you at a discount.

Porcelain Veneers Cost

Porcelain veneers are a recent but fast-growing trend in cosmetic dentistry. They are basically thin films of porcelain fixed to the front of your teeth so that they look whiter and smoother. Essentially, they are a form of permanent teeth whitening. Veneers have become hugely popular because they are fairly easy to apply and require minimal maintenance. Dentists recommend them for teeth that are stained or discoloured (usually from smoking or a medical condition), chipped, worn, or misaligned.

Price is probably the procedure’s biggest drawback. Porcelain veneers cost anywhere from under $1,000 to over $30,000, depending on a long list of factors. The most important ones are the extent of the veneer (all upper teeth, a full set, etc.), the type of porcelain applied, the dentist’s training (some specialize in veneers, while others work in general dentistry and do occasional cosmetic work), your location, and whether or not there is a warranty.

The dentist can choose from different types of porcelain veneers, and different ways to bond them to your teeth. A common type, known as composite veneers, are actually made of porcelain with a mix of other materials, which makes them sturdier and easier for the dentist to work with. Pressed ceramic veneers are stronger, but less realistic (they tend to be a stark, monochromatic white). Several other types exist, offering different levels of thickness, comfort, and price.

The cost of one veneer averages about $700. Most patients need more than that, however. A set of six veneers for your upper teeth starts at $4,500; it can go up to three times that if your case requires more handiwork and artistic ability from the dentist. A full set of visible upper teeth will require about 10 veneers, and this will cost you $6,000 to over $20,000. Extending that to the lower teeth runs the price up to the $12,000 – $30,000 range. The most expensive procedure is obviously a full set of upper and lower teeth veneers.

Other related costs, such as consultations and fittings, can add $50 to $200 to the bill. However, most clinics will waive these fees if you have the veneers done by them. Make sure to shop around and look into different terms, taking into account warranties and dentist experience. It’s usually better to pay more for a clinic that specializes in the procedure than take a chance with a less experienced practitioner, especially for the price you’re paying. If you’re unsure about the cost, ask if you can enter a payment plan, or opt out of certain services to lower the quote.