Teeth Whitening Cost Package: $150 – $500
Costa Rica [Dental Clinic with 90% clients from Abroad]
El Salvador [US Board-Certified Dental Surgeon & Implantologist]
India [US JCI-Accredited hospital & a Clinic run by Board-Certified Dentist]
Mexico [Reputed Dentist in Various Locations]
Teeth whitening, as the name suggests, whitens teeth by removing the brown and yellow staining. Teeth whitening abroad in Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and India is incredibly cheap and of the same quality as that in the US or UK.
The term ‘teeth whitening’ is used interchangeably with ‘teeth bleaching’. Teeth bleaching or teeth whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
When you chew, millions of very small cracks occur in the enamel. It is these cracks that slowly fill up with stains and debris. Subsequently, the teeth become dull.
There are two types of teeth stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. The former appear on the surface of the teeth. They are caused by exposure to dark-colored beverages, foods, and tobacco.
Intrinsic stains are those that form on the interior of teeth as a result of trauma, aging, exposure to minerals (like tetracycline) or excessive ingestion of fluoride. Earlier, intrinsic stains were proving too stubborn to be removed by whitening. But, thanks to the advances in cosmetic dentistry, now even the intrinsic stains can be removed.
But the results of teeth whitening are not permanent. They last for a maximum of three years, depending on the method of teeth whitening and your dental hygiene.
Teeth Whitening – Procedure Overview
Teeth whitening can be done either at the dentist’s office or at home by the individual. Heavier stains such as tetracycline-induced stains are best removed by the dentist.
Irrespective of whether the de-staining process is done at home or by the dentist, two preparatory sessions in the dentist’s office are required: first, an oral examination and, second, a thorough scaling.
Peroxide agents are applied to the teeth either directly or in trays to whiten teeth. This improves the color of the teeth by five shades or more, but can also cause some temporary sensitivity. The number of sessions required to complete the teeth whitening process depends on the extent of staining.
Teeth Whitening Products
Teeth whitening products can be divided into types on the basis of their ingredients and the different methods of use:
Teeth whitening with hydrogen peroxide: It cleans both at the surface and at a deeper level. However, it has no abrasive effect, irrespective of the level of concentration.
Teeth whitening with carbamide peroxide: These are used in home bleaching methods. When carbamide peroxide comes into contact with saliva, it breaks down slowly into urea and hydrogen peroxide. This method is best for slight staining like those brought on by age. For heavier staining like those induced by tetracycline, stronger concentrations of carbamide peroxide are used, but this should be done only at the dentist’s office.
Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser teeth whitening is the newest technique and is fast becoming the most popular, too. The procedure is very simple and has instantaneous results. A translucent gel is applied to the teeth. The gel is then activated by a laser light, which goes deep into the teeth enamel, making your teeth reflect more light. The whole process takes not more than 20 minutes.
The results of laser teeth whitening are immediate and usually require just one visit to the dentist. The disadvantages of laser teeth whitening are that the sudden change of color may draw the attention of people around you. Also, it is the most expensive method of teeth whitening.
Teeth Whitening Aftercare
After your teeth whitening treatment, you need to avoid dark foods like chocolates and dark beverages like coffee, red wine, etc. for some days. Also, do maintain dental hygiene for a longer-lasting sparkle.
Risks or Disadvantages of Teeth Whitening
There are some short term discomforts of teeth whitening like sore gums or teeth. Teeth may also become sensitive to hot and cold food for some time. However, these disadvantages stop after the teeth whitening process is complete.
Advantages or Benefits of Teeth Whitening
White, sparkling teeth are undoubted assets in creating an impression and building your image. White teeth are associated with beauty and health. Also, when you have white teeth, you can smile easily and more often, thus creating a pleasing and friendly personality.
Home Whitening vs. Professional Teeth Bleaching
Home bleaching may look like it has several advantages over going to the dentist. However, do keep these things in mind when choosing home whitening:
- The effect created by home teeth whitening kits like whitening strips, brush-on whitening products, or whitening gels does not last for more than a year in the best of cases. Compare this to professional teeth whitening done by the dentist that lasts for at least three years.
- Home whitening is a very-time consuming process. It has to be performed every day over quite a few weeks. To be effective, there should be no break in the home whitening process. If you skip the treatment for a day or two, the treatment has to be extended by that many days. In contrast, one hour of in-office whitening treatment can produce the same whitening effect as one to two weeks of at-home tray-based whitening.
- If you do not follow the instructions strictly, the hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid can have a dangerous effect on soft tissue.
- In home whitening, you need to wear the custom-made mouth trays for long periods and this can be uncomfortable for some people.
- Hone whitening does not work on stubborn or heavy stains.
Teeth Whitening vs. Teeth Veneers
Broadly speaking, a teeth veneer is also a teeth whitening process – albeit one in which a prosthetic is used. Teeth whitening and teeth veneers have their own roles to play in cosmetic dentistry and one cannot replace the other.
Here’s how teeth whitening and teeth veneers compare against each other:
Cost: Teeth veneers are more expensive, of course, with one veneer priced anywhere between $300-$2,000. The entire teeth whitening process can be done in about $500 and $1,000 if it is laser teeth whitening.
Preparatory work: The tooth has to be reduced a bit before the veneer is put on. Teeth whitening does not involve any teeth reduction, thus keeping your natural teeth intact.
Effectiveness: Teeth whitening is successful in bringing the natural color of teeth back in 70% of the cases. However, some stains like third and fourth degree tetracycline stains can prove too stubborn for teeth whitening. This is where veneers can be used to create a presentable smile.
Side-effects: Teeth veneers can make your teeth feel bulky, whereas teeth whitening can make your teeth and gums sensitive, though this is only a short-term effect.
Teeth Whitening Abroad
Procedures like teeth whitening are often not covered by dental insurance plans as they are deemed to be elective procedures. So, many people choose to go overseas to Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, or India for teeth whitening because of the low cost and high quality of treatment.
Cosmetic dentists from Mexico, Costa Rica or El Salvador are very competent and also speak fluent English, which is another advantage to English-speaking patients. Medical tourism has grown into a multi-million dollar industry in these countries because of their commitment to quality medical treatment and patient satisfaction. Below are links to cosmetic dentists who are part of Medical Tourism Corporation’s network:
Dr Vivek Iyer: He did his postgraduate studies in laser dentistry from the University of Florida, and has extensive experience.
Dr Manoj Rajan: An expert dental surgeon, Dr Rajan is Visiting Faculty at the University of Frankfurt, Germany.
Teeth whitening abroad can re-create your bright smile and add to your confidence. It is also a very safe and successful procedure.
Medical Tourism Corporation facilitates affordable teeth whitening in India, Mexico, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. Fill out the free estimate request form for a free quote & more information.