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Teeth Whitening: How it Works and What it Costs
January 27, 2023  |  Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening: How it Works and What it Costs

Bleaching vs. Whitening: What’s the Difference?

Bleaching, commercially known as "tooth whitening," is a process that makes teeth lighter in color. Bleaching products work to remove stains from the tooth's surface by applying a bleaching agent such as hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, or chlorine dioxide to the teeth and then allowing time for the teeth to dry.

The benefit of bleaching is that it can lighten your teeth within an hour for ten times less than conventional dental-office treatments.

Whitening (also known as "tooth brightening") is also a method of removing discoloration from your teeth but differs from bleaching in that it employs abrasive materials like baking soda, paste, and sandpaper.

The benefits of Teeth Whitening in Didsbury are that you can control the process and that it is inexpensive compared to other cosmetic treatments. The cost of whitening is on the lower end of the dental spectrum, ranging from $500 to $1,000, although some dentists may charge up to $1,500 for "whitening" that doesn't include dental work such as bonding or veneers.

Your personal priorities and budget should help determine which procedure is best for you You'll need to decide if you want a quick fix with minimal long-term effects or a more comprehensive treatment plan, which could include bleaching of your teeth and the use of a mouthguard device or toothpaste with colored gel.

An Examination of Tooth Enamel

Teeth are composed of dentin, the inner root layer of your teeth, and enamel, the outermost layer.

Dentin is a calcium carbonate-based mineral; enamel is made of hydroxyapatite crystals. Enamel lacks its own color and takes on the color of whatever pigment or stain you may have on your teeth.

Tooth Discoloration: Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Staining

There are two types of tooth discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic teeth stains come from outside your body and can be removed through physical or chemical procedures; intrinsic staining is the result of a dental problem within your mouth and cannot be removed.

Extrinsic Stains

Extrinsic stains are mostly caused by the consumption of food or drink, such as coffee. Over time, stains gradually build up on your teeth. This type of staining can be removed through bleaching or whitening treatments at a dentist's office or over-the-counter, at-home products like whitening toothpaste or bleaching gel pens.

Intrinsic Stains

Intrinsic stains are stains that develop within your mouth, and these stains cannot be removed through bleaching or whitening procedures. Intrinsic tooth stains are more difficult to remove than extrinsic stains, but they can be treated.

What Causes Tooth Staining?

Tooth staining can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Age: As teeth become more susceptible to tooth staining, they may start giving off a brown appearance. This is especially common when you're in your teens and 20s.

  • Starting Color: Some people may be born with teeth that are already brown. In this case, tooth staining is more likely to occur on your teeth because the stain itself is darker.

  • Stain on Tooth: Even though you can't see it, extrinsic stains can still exist on your teeth. Sometimes, this type of stain may be caused by a medical condition such as a fungal infection or acne. However, other times it'll be caused by things like coffee, tea, or red wine.

  • Translucency and Thinness: When teeth are translucent and soft, they can't protect themselves against extrinsic stains. This is why teeth that are particularly prone to developing stains look more yellow or brown.

  • Bacteria: Certain bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis can cause tooth staining.

  • Use of Tobacco: Tobacco use has been shown to cause tooth discoloration, especially among women. In addition to causing mouth pain, tobacco use can also cause your teeth to become yellowish or brownish in color.

  • Eating Habits: Some people may believe that they can combat food staining by using a straw while eating. Although this may be true in some cases, it's important to remember that you should be brushing your teeth two times a day and flossing regularly to prevent harmful microbes from building up in between your teeth.

Using the right kind of toothbrush is also important–you should use soft-bristled brushes to clean your teeth and dental floss at least once a day.

What are Your Whitening Options?

  • Stain Removal Toothpaste

  • In-Office Whitening

  • Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Kits

  • Over-the-Counter Products

How Long Do Results Last?

Teeth whitening services in Alberta give results that can last for a year or two, but with proper brushing and flossing, you can maintain your desired results for five years or even longer. If you're looking for a quick fix to make your teeth appear whiter, teeth bleaching is the best solution. Bleaching agents work by lightening the color of your enamel in order to get rid of stains on your teeth and improve the appearance of discoloration.

Will Dental Insurance Cover Teeth Whitening?

No dental insurance covers teeth whitening. Many people choose to pay for the treatment themselves, usually in a discounted package deal.

Can You Use Whitening Products on Teeth that are Already White?

Yes. You can use teeth whitening products on teeth that are white, but you should be careful not to let them get too close to your gums and gum tissue area. If your dentist sees that you've accidentally placed the whitener too close to your gums, he or she may suggest not doing the same. In some instances, they may recommend using a "pre-bleaching" treatment before removing stains on the affected teeth.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Teeth Whitening Treatment?

The whitening system you choose will have a significant effect on the cost of your whitening treatment. The more options you add during your teeth whitening treatment, the more it will cost. In some cases, the expense of the various products used in your teeth whitening treatment will also affect how much it costs.


Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that improves the appearance of your teeth. It's also known as bleaching, and it can be used to remove tooth discoloration as well as stains on your teeth. Whether you've got extrinsic or intrinsic stains, teeth whitening from a teeth whitening dentist in Didsbury can help you achieve that white smile you've always wanted.


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