Is teeth whitening covered by insurance?
Whitening your teeth is a cosmetic procedure. This indicates that it is an optional procedure rather than one that the patient's health requires. Sadly, the majority of insurance plans—including dental insurance—do not cover cosmetic dentistry.
Whiter teeth do not have to be out of the question due to insurance coverage. You can take steps to reduce the price of teeth whitening.
Avoiding Stains Before They Happen
While maintaining good dental hygiene reduces stains, occasionally they cannot be avoided. The discoloration is divided into two categories by dentists: intrinsic and extrinsic. Because intrinsic stains are a natural component of the tooth's composition, bleaching will not remove them. The causes of intrinsic stains are inheritance and ageing.
A high fever during a critical moment when tooth enamel is developing or an excessive amount of fluoride in drinking water are other potential causes. Fluoride causes white spots on the teeth. Little can be done to eliminate these intrinsic stains because they are a natural component of the tooth.
Food, drink, or smoke stains are examples of extrinsic stains. For instance, cigarettes and coffee might discolour your teeth. Additionally, microorganisms from improper oral hygiene might result in stains. Extrinsic stains are bad news, but the good news is that people can avoid them by maintaining good oral hygiene, and they can usually be eradicated.
The two primary categories of stain-removal items are. Over-the-counter solutions known as at-home products range in price from cheap (tooth whitening toothpaste, rinses, and gel strips) to more expensive (home whitening kits). Dentists are also able to whiten discoloured teeth. Although their solutions are frequently more expensive, they produce outcomes that last for a shorter period of time.
Over the Counter Items
Woman using whitening toothpaste to brush her teeth
Many people experiment with at-home whitening products while saving money for the more effective whitening procedures provided by a dentist. Before using any at-home whitening products, people should speak with a dentist.
Patients who have sensitive teeth or who have had dental work done, such as fillings, crowns, dental bridges, or implants, should be aware of this in particular. They can offer advice on what items might function best without harming already completed dental work.
Among the over-the-counter whitening products are:
Toothpaste: These clean and whiten teeth using whitening agents and abrasives.
Mouthwash: Stains can be removed by gargling with mouthwash or a whitening rinse.
Whitening strips and gels: Typically twice daily for up to two weeks, gels are placed directly to the teeth. Prices often fall between $10 and $50.
The ingredient that whitens teeth, 10–20% peroxide, is included in the majority of household goods. These have momentary advantages, and the final outcomes change from brand to brand.
Dentists utilise solutions with stronger peroxide concentrations and professional-strength formulations because they whiten teeth better and last longer.
Kits for at-home whitening
Another well-liked alternative is using at-home whitening products. These are whitening substances that are placed in a tray that conforms to a person's teeth. These typically demand more time per day for application than other DIY alternatives. For the top and bottom teeth, kits come with two trays. Many need to be used at night.
These whitening kits should be used exactly as instructed, as with all of these over-the-counter whitening solutions, as excessive usage may harm teeth. Costs for home kits typically range from $40 to $100.
Professional at-home kits, which can cost up to $400, are offered by some dentists. Professional at-home kits include stronger peroxide concentrations than store-bought kits and use mouthpieces that are customised for each person's mouth.
The dentist's office offers further whitening choices. These function faster and last longer, but they cost more. Average dental whitening operations cost $650, however many people believe the outcomes are worth the investment.
Patients could require more than one treatment, and procedures typically last 60 to 90 minutes in total. With good dental hygiene, dentists employ stronger peroxide solutions to ensure that teeth remain white for anywhere between six months and three years.
To achieve long-lasting brightness, a standard process is used during professional in-office whitening:
The dentist starts by measuring the shade. Patients can see how discoloured their teeth are now and how much brighter they will be after treatment thanks to this. This gives the procedure a benchmark.
The dentist then uses pumice to polish the teeth.
To expose teeth to the bleaching gel, he or she next inserts a cheek retractor.
The patient's lips, gums, and eyes are then covered by the dentist in order to shield these facial features from the bleaching gel.
The gums are then covered with resin, leaving only the teeth to be whitened exposed.
Finally, the teeth are treated with the fast-acting gel.
For a total of three 15-20 minute bleaching sessions, dentists repeat this process.
UV light can also be used by dentists to activate the gel. This strengthens the connection and increases the gel's efficiency.
After the operation is finished, the teeth will become completely white.