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The ultimate patient guide to teeth whitening costs and treatments

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Dr Teresa Li
April 23, 2024

What do coffee, tea, chocolate and wine have in common? Aside from being delicious, these daily treats can wreak havoc on our pearly whites. Thankfully, advanced teeth whitening techniques can work wonders to give you the bright, radiant smile you’ve been craving. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re wondering how much does teeth whitening cost in Australia? 

What options are available? How does it work? And - perhaps most importantly - is it worth it? Let’s discuss. 

How much does teeth whitening cost in Australia?

There are a number of methods of teeth whitening available, and the cost of each varies. So, how much is teeth whitening? In Australia, professional teeth whitening is estimated to cost anywhere from $350 - $600+ for take-home kits and $600 - $2000+ for in-chair treatments. Store-bought whitening kits have a lower price tag, but are far less effective and can even be dangerous (more on that soon). 

Here at TL Dental we know every smile is unique, which means our whitening packages are too. Our tailored teeth whitening plans - which are designed for you by a qualified dentist - can include either in-chair treatments, take-home kits, or a combination of the two.

Dentists Port Macquarie packages start at $560 and come with flexible payment plans so you don’t have to delay your dazzle. 

What impacts the cost of teeth whitening? 

Like most worthwhile investments in life, the cost of teeth whitening is influenced by quality and effectiveness - and who delivers the treatment. If you’re wondering how much does it cost to get your teeth whitened and what impacts that cost, read on. 

The dentist assesses the patient's teeth to determine what teeth whitening solution is suitable for them.
Here at TL Dental we know every smile is unique, which means our whitening packages are too. Our tailored teeth whitening plans - which are designed for you by a qualified dentist - can include either in-chair treatments, take-home kits, or a combination of the two

Here are a few factors impacting the cost of teeth whitening: 

The type of treatment: The method of teeth whitening you choose will have the biggest impact on its cost. In-clinic treatments performed by dentists tend to be more expensive than store-bought or at-home options, as they involve higher concentrations of bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide.

They also tend to involve more advanced technology such as Zoom laser treatment, which also means more advanced results. 

The expertise of your dentist: Highly experienced dentists may charge a higher price for in-clinic treatments, as they are more likely to help you achieve the best and brightest results. 

Customisation and care: Custom-fitted trays will cost more than store-bought trays, as they require dentists to create them for your unique needs. Custom-built trays have been proven to be a far more effective teeth whitening solution, as they cover the entire surface area of your teeth and don’t risk damaging gums. 

Treatment duration: The length of the treatment required can impact the cost. In-chair teeth whitening can produce immediate results and a slightly higher price tag than at-home treatments that require multiple applications over a longer period.

Additional dental services: Depending on your unique needs, there may be additional dental services - such as a professional clean or restoration - required. In these cases, the cost of your overall treatment will be higher as it will include these services.

How does teeth whitening work?

Teeth whitening works by using bleaching agents to break down and remove stains and discolouration from the enamel of the tooth. Each method of teeth whitening treatment varies slightly. Here’s a breakdown:

Patient receives Zoom in-chair teeth whitening at TL Dental.
In-clinic treatments performed by dentist involve higher concentrations of bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide and more advanced technology such as Zoom laser treatment, which also means more advanced results.

In-chair teeth whitening: This style of teeth whitening is performed by your dentist in-clinic. It involves applying a highly concentrated bleaching agent to the teeth, and activating it with a special light or laser.

The laser has a wattage that can only be used by a trained professional, and isn’t available over the counter. 

Take-home teeth whitening: At-home teeth whitening options include the use of custom-fitted trays that are filled with a lower concentration whitening gel. The trays are then applied at home daily for a certain period of time, as prescribed by your dentist.

While you can buy teeth whitening trays and strips over the counter, they use lower quality ingredients and typically deliver shorter-lasting, less dazzling results. 

What’s the difference between a dentist-grade whitening treatment and store bought?

Before succumbing to the allure of cheaper teeth whitening options advertised on your social media feed or found on supermarket shelves, it’s important to be aware of the differences between store-bought whitening treatments and the professional treatment.

Teeth whitening at your dentist involves using a higher concentration of whitening agent than what you'll find in store-bought products. These ingredients are well researched, safe, and can actually break down stains.

If you opt for an in-chair treatment, the dentist may also use a professional-grade (and fully tested) LED light to enhance the whitening effect. Your gums and other sensitive areas will also be protected from potential damage during this procedure. 

As we’ve mentioned, store-bought whitening products contain a lower concentration of bleaching agent than what's used in dentist-grade treatments. This means they won’t be as effective at removing tough stains as professional whitening, and the results won’t last long. 

Importantly, some over-the-counter products may contain harmful ingredients, and improper use could lead to tooth sensitivity or other dental problems.

That’s why It's always a good idea to consult with your dentist before starting any whitening treatment, whether it's professional or store-bought.

Ready to experience your whitest smile yet?

Teeth whitening is best left to professionals. Book in with our expert team to receive a treatment plan tailored to your unique smile.

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How long does dentist-grade teeth whitening last?

If you’re investing in making your pearly whites even brighter, you want to ensure their shine will go the distance. We get it!

The duration of professional teeth whitening can vary with each individual, lasting on average from several months to a couple of years. While the results can be transformative, it’s important to remember professional teeth whitening is not permanent and not immune to your lifestyle choices and oral hygiene.

The best way to increase the longevity of your glowing grin is to moderate your consumption of stain-causing foods (remember coffee, tea, chocolate and wine?) where possible.

Of course, life is there to be lived and cutting out these foods may be too difficult. To combat them and maximise the shine of your new pearlers, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene practices. This means brushing at least twice a day, flossing regularly, and drinking water after each meal. 

The dentist protects the patient's gums and other sensitive areas during Zoom in-chair teeth whitening treatment.
The duration of professional teeth whitening can vary with each individual, lasting on average from several months to a couple of years

Are you a suitable candidate for teeth whitening treatment? 

Teeth whitening is a highly effective treatment for patients who have noticed stains or discolouration on the teeth. While dentist-grade teeth whitening is the optimum solution in many cases, there are a few instances when you’ll need to use other methods to get the results you’re after.

Whitening products won’t work on veneers or crowns made of porcelain or composite (tooth coloured material). Replacement is the only option if they get stained, so take great care of them.

Stains that are ‘inside out’ that originate from the root of the tooth have limited effect with tooth bleaching. Tetracycline stains caused by antibiotics taken in childhood are common. These are very difficult to fix with teeth bleaching. Veneers are the most effective way to cover up dark Tetracycline stains.

If you have a discoloured non-vital tooth from past trauma, like being hit with a tennis racket or an accident, the only thing that may help is internal bleaching done by a dentist.  This is different to regular tooth whitening procedures. 

Whitening gel is placed inside the tooth after a small opening is made, this normally takes a few weeks and may require several tops ups of the whitening gel.

Whiter teeth fast at TL Dental, Port Macquarie

If you want brighter, whiter teeth without the wait, the best option is to use professional grade products provided by your dentist.

At TL Dental we offer ‘power bleaching’ if you have an event and want whiter teeth super fast!  If you have time and can wait a little longer for the result we can also have professional take-home tooth whitening. You can even consider interest free payment options to spread the cost of your teeth whitening over a few repayments.

Ready for that stop-and-stare smile? Book your appointment online today to give us a call (02) 6583 4055 discuss your options with our friendly team.

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