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Teeth Whitening in Pittsburgh

By Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Dan Rairigh

Closeup of smile half before and half after teeth whitening

Teeth whitening, which is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures, is used to improve the beauty of your natural smile. It’s safe and provides fast results. Contact us today for more details.

What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a great way to brighten up your smile and restore a youthful appearance. Over time, coffee, tea, tobacco, wine, foods, and medicines (tetracycline) can cause stains that result in our youthful white smiles fading to a darker yellow and less appealing smile.

Teeth whitening always works. Everyone who elects to have this cosmetic dentistry procedure will see moderate to substantial improvements in the brightness and whiteness of their smile.

It usually takes about two weeks to see the full results of whitening. This should be taken into consideration if you are whitening your teeth for s special occasion, such as your wedding or an important meeting.

Teeth Whitening Options

In-Office and take-home Whitening Combination

This whitening combination is by far the greatest technique for long-lasting teeth whitening. While the other techniques are effective, a whitening plateau is often reached if they’re performed alone. This combination method can break these plateaus and achieve an overall whiter smile. The process typically takes 2-4 weeks depending on the tooth whitening goals, the severity of the stains, and the severity of tooth sensitivity. Dr. Dan Rairigh will provide a treatment plan that best suits you and your budget. This is the best whitening option for long-lasting results.

Professionally Dispensed Custom Whitening Trays

Custom trays are fabricated from dental impressions taken at your dentist’s office. Customized trays are then made from the models that allow for even distribution of gel and allow for less waste due to a precise fit. The great fit decreases the chances of gel burning your cheeks, lips, or gums. Various concentrations can be selected to fit the patient’s tooth whitening goals and sensitivity. The results are very good and take 1-4 weeks depending of the severity of tooth staining.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

This process is also called ZOOM!®and Sapphire&trade. At your dentist’s office, a protective barrier is placed over your gums and lips, and a tooth whitening agent is applied to the teeth and is activated by a whitening light. Typically, the process takes 1-2 hours. The results can be good and achieved in a very short time. This whitening technique alone may not provide long-lasting results, though.

Over-the-counter Whitening

This can include products such as Crest White Strips®. These products can slightly improve the brightness of teeth for younger patients or adults who only have slight staining. The concentration of whitening agent is often too low for more severe stains. This is the cheapest of the options.

Understanding the Cost of Teeth Whitening

a tooth and coins balancing on a scale

Teeth whitening is one of the most convenient and affordable ways to improve one’s pearly whites. Still, you’ll want to know everything that goes into the price of your treatment as well as what can impact the overall value. Our team will evaluate your situation and discuss the cost estimate during your initial consultation, but here are some things to consider beforehand.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Teeth Whitening

a patient smiling while getting her teeth checked

While this cosmetic service typically comes at a certain fee, some factors can influence how much you’ll end up paying to achieve your desired results. Some of the common ones to consider include:

  • The kind of discoloration: Extrinsic (outer) tooth stains are much easier to get rid of compared to intrinsic ones.
  • The severity of staining: More complex or extensive discoloration might require multiple applications of teeth whitening treatment, meaning you may have to pay more overall.
  • Preliminary services: Our team will want to address any underlying issues we might find, such as decay or gum disease, before moving forward with your cosmetic procedure.

Types of Teeth Whitening: What Do They Cost?

a patient undergoing the teeth whitening process

Here’s a brief look at the kinds of prices you can expect from various types of teeth whitening treatments:

  • In-office teeth whitening: Professional teeth whitening at your dentist’s office can typically go for $400 to $800—even over $1,000 in some instances.
  • Take-home teeth whitening: Using at-home professional teeth whitening kits can often cost around several hundred dollars.
  • Store-bought whitening trays: You can usually purchase teeth whitening kits at the local supermarket for $100 or less.
  • Over-the-counter gels/strips: The most affordable cosmetic option, store-bought whitening strips/gels can usually be purchased between $20 and $40.

Inexpensive vs. Professional Teeth Whitening

a person pointing at their whitened teeth

While it might seem more convenient and cost-effective to go for less expensive options for teeth whitening, you should remember that the quality of cosmetic treatment usually correlates with the price. Store-bought products often use lower-grade bleaching agents, meaning they might not provide the results you’re hoping for and may require multiple treatments to get somewhat close to what you want. Meanwhile, professional teeth whitening uses high-quality solutions that are both safe for your teeth/gums and can lift stains with ease. Furthermore, our results can also last much longer compared to store-bought products, meaning you won’t have to spend as much money on touchup treatments.

Options for Making Teeth Whitening Affordable

a dentist discussing the cost of teeth whitening

Like most cosmetic services, teeth whitening will not be covered by dental insurance. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get the help you need to make your treatment more manageable. Our team is partnered with CareCredit which offers plans so that you can get the treatment you deserve through monthly installments instead of the entire sum upfront. Additionally, these plans often come with little to zero interest, allowing you to save more in the bank!

More Questions About Teeth Whitening?

Contact us today by calling 412-854-2310 and find out more about services provided by Dr. Dan Rairigh’s office in the Pittsburgh area. Alternatively, you can let us know your schedule and simply request a cosmetic consultation. We offer 0% financing for teeth whitening procedures at our Pittsburgh office. Ask about our financing options and payment options for whitening when requesting an appointment.

Teeth Whitening FAQs

How Can I Make My Teeth Whitening Results Last?

Depending on how well you take care of your teeth, you can expect the results of your teeth whitening to last anywhere from a few months to a few years. If you want your smile to shine for as long as possible, the most important thing is consistent dental hygiene. You may also want to limit your intake of certain foods that could discolor your teeth, like coffee or dark fruit.

You should also make it a point to see us every six months for checkups and cleanings, which will help to prevent the buildup of stains as well as bacteria.

Am I a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is incredibly safe and low-impact, meaning that just about anyone who is unhappy with the color of their smile is a good candidate for the treatment. The primary exception are patients who are dealing with oral health problems like gum disease and tooth decay. This can cause complications for the treatment, which means that it’s usually necessary to treat these issues before undergoing teeth whitening.

Does Teeth Whitening Work on Dental Crowns?

Whitening solutions works because of the pores on the enamel, allowing it to penetrate deep into the tooth and remove stains. Every material used in dental crowns is non-porous—while this prevents stains from building up in the first place, it also renders teeth whitening ineffective.

If you’re interested in changing the color of your dental crown, it’s usually necessary to replace the restoration altogether. It’s thus important to be persistent with dental hygiene, preventing the buildup of stains in the first place.

Is Teeth Whitening Covered By Dental Insurance?

Teeth whitening isn’t considered to be medically necessary by insurance companies, which means that it’s virtually never covered. Every plan is different, and it’s usually worth checking anyway; however, you should plan to either pay out of pocket or rely on financing services in order to pay for your teeth whitening treatment.