Teeth Whitening FAQ

Whitening toothpastes typically only clean surface stains and don’t actually change the color of the teeth. There may be some visible results but the teeth aren’t actually being whitened.

Products developed from carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, and urea (substances found in every human cell), should be used cautiously to alleviate concern. Those who have issues are the ones who don’t follow instructions and overuse the products for months or years.

Tooth whitening has little or no effect on restorative materials such as porcelain or crowns, but it may temporarily reduce the bond strength between enamel and composite restorations. This is why it’s a good idea to check with your dental professional, like Dr. Liddle before beginning any course of tooth whitening.

Prices vary widely for tooth whitening. Over-the-counter kits can cost as little as $20, with extensive in-office procedures approaching up to $1,000. If you want professional whitening, expect the price to be around $300 to $800. If you want an at-home bleaching kit from your dental professional, expect to pay between $300 and $600.

Yes, many studies have proven that tooth whitening is safe. You can protect your tooth enamel by using calcium sulfate and fluoride.

Typically you can expect whitening to last from six months to two years, although some studies report results lasting up to 10 years. Avoiding red wine, coffee, and smoking—all of which can cause staining—helps preserve the results.

Most people are candidates for tooth whitening, but again, each situation is unique and it’s best to contact your dental professional like Dr. Liddle a prosthodontist.

Sensitivity from tooth whitening is always transient. That means if there is any sensitivity caused by the whitening, it goes away within one to two days after the treatment, and the patient returns to the state of sensitivity he or she had prior to starting the whitening process.

There is no permanent damage caused to the enamel or any other tooth structures by tooth whitening.