Q: Does tooth whitening cause permanent tooth sensitivity?
A: Sensitivity from tooth whitening is always transient. If there is any sensitivity caused by the whitening, it goes away within one to two days after the treatment, and the patient returns to the state of sensitivity he or she had prior to starting the whitening process.
Q: Can I get my teeth whitened?
A: Most people are candidates for tooth whitening, but again, each situation is unique and it’s best to contact your dental professional.
Q: How long does tooth whitening last?
A: Typically you can expect whitening to last from six months to two years, although some studies report results lasting up to 10 years. Avoiding red wine, coffee, and smoking—all of which can cause staining—helps preserve the results.
Q: Is tooth bleaching safe?
A: Yes, many studies have proven that tooth whitening is safe. You can protect your tooth enamel by using calcium sulfate and fluoride.
Q: How much does tooth whitening cost?
A: Prices vary widely for tooth whitening. Over-the-counter kits can cost as little as $20, with extensive in-office procedures approaching up to $1,000. If you want professional whitening, expect the price to be around $300 to $800. If you want an at-home bleaching kit from your dentist, expect to pay between $300 and $600. Learn more about dental insurance and financing.
Q: Does tooth whitening affect fillings, veneers, or crowns?
A: Tooth whitening has little or no effect on restorative materials such as porcelain or crowns, but it may temporarily reduce the bond strength between enamel and composite restorations. This is why it is a good idea to check with your dental professional before beginning any course of tooth whitening.
Q: Is the agent used in tooth whitening toxic?
A: Products developed from carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, and urea (substances found in every human cell), should be used cautiously to alleviate concern. Those who have issues are the ones who don’t follow instructions and overuse the products for months or years.