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What is the Cost of Teeth Whitening in Toronto?


August 13th, 2021

Girl with teeth whitening

As dental technology continues to improve, more emphasis is being put on having “good” teeth and more and more portions of society begin to judge people with “bad” teeth. Bad teeth obviously do not mean a person actually is bad, but the weight of society’s assumptions can be a heavy cross for someone to bear. Increasingly, people are turning to cosmetic dentistry to not just improve dental health, but the overall appearance of their teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is any procedure that focuses on the appearance of the patient’s teeth. Most people’s minds would first jump to braces and straightening teeth out, but cosmetic dentistry is more than making sure teeth are straight. Increasingly, more people are beginning to decide to reshape their teeth or fill in gaps with implants, creating a drastic change in the patient’s appearance. Many of these procedures can be life-changing for people who are shy about smiling because of their teeth and find it affects their quality of life.

In some cases, cosmetic dentistry can also mean whitening a patient’s teeth in a variety of different ways to achieve the “perfect” smile. This may mean bonding the patient’s teeth, giving them veneers, or using a form of peroxide to soak the teeth clean. Some of these procedures are covered by insurance and others are not, but coverage largely is considered on a case by case basis taking into consideration whether or not the procedure was necessary. Having dark teeth, however, can affect a person’s quality of life in ways they may not notice. They may be afraid to smile, which can have an effect on their mood and affect the people around them in turn.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Many people know what teeth whitening is, but do not know the process involved. First, the dentist will start by taking a record of how dark the patient’s teeth are before the whitening for later comparison. This is usually achieved by using a display of model teeth that are of different shades and finding the one closest to the patient’s shade. Sometimes the dentist will also ask if the patient has a desired shade based on the examples shown, so they can know how long to work on the patient’s teeth.

For the next step of whitening teeth, the dentist will then polish the patient’s teeth with pumice to remove any built-up plaque that might get in the way. Next, the dentist protects the gums by putting a guard and gauze in the patient’s mouth before moving on. It is important to protect the gums and lips because the next step uses a whitening solution on the teeth typically made of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as a bleaching agent. Sometimes, at this point, the solution may require a light or a laser to activate the ingredients.

The solution is then left to sit on the patient’s teeth for usually about 30 to 60 minutes, with some solutions requiring that they be reapplied every so often. Once the preferred shade has been reached or the max amount of time the solution can be left on has passed the solution will be rinsed off. It is common for patients to have sensitive teeth afterward, which is why fluoride is occasionally applied to the teeth after the procedure. Dentists will usually have a list of foods for the patient to avoid for at least 24 hours while teeth are sensitive to avoid heavier staining than normal.

How Do Teeth Get Dark?

While some people may be genetically predisposed to “bad” teeth or stained teeth, the truth is that it is almost impossible not to stain teeth in this modern world. Smoking will stain teeth, coffee, tea, tomatoes, wine, and so much more can stain teeth. Anything with high acidity or heavy with sugar can affect the state of a patient’s teeth as well, which is why after getting a teeth whitening dentists will typically list the foods to avoid for at least 24 hours after. Even after a tooth whitening, it is possible for a patient’s teeth to become stained again and they may go through another teeth whitening session.

Some dentists will actually recommend veneers for patients more prone to staining or tooth decay than others. Veneers are thin shells that fit over the front of the patient’s teeth to protect them from damage and improve the mouth’s overall appearance. Dentists may also recommend bonding a patient’s teeth which is similar to getting veneers applied, only the dentist bonds a tooth-colored resin to improve the appearance of the teeth while still protecting them from staining and damage. These are usually recommended for patients who struggle to prevent their teeth from staining and gaining a darker appearance, regardless of how much they brush.

Cost of Teeth Whitening in Toronto

The cost of teeth whitening will vary by a dentist’s office and whether or not the patient’s insurance covers teeth whitening. Not every dental office offers teeth whitening, either, and patients may have to go to a different dentist than their usual one. Typically it is best to contact your Toronto dentist to learn more about the costs of teeth whitening. 

Insurance and Teeth Whitening

Insurance coverage for teeth whitening, veneers, and tooth bonding is usually taken on a case-by-case basis. If the situation is particularly bad and the dentist recommends the procedure, insurance will typically cover a portion.

Conclusion

The cost of teeth whitening may vary by the dental office and by what procedure is used to give a whitened appearance to the patient’s teeth. Having veneers applied or having a tooth bonding done can raise the price if the patient’s teeth are prone to staining. However, by choosing a dentist that offers financing, many patients will have access to these types of treatments. This makes it more accessible to more people, giving more people the opportunity to change their lives for the better. Being afraid to smile can have a drastic impact on a person’s life and mood, but many of these procedures help people feel confident and happy again.

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