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Affordable Teeth Whitening Options

Posted by writeradmin

As I have aged, I’ve been growing increasingly unhappy with my smile. I would love to get a smile makeover, but once I priced it I realized that getting porcelain veneers was way out of my budget. My dentist then suggested teeth whitening, but he only offers the zoom machine. That is also a bit pricey for me. Are there affordable ways to whiten your teeth?


Dear Beth,

Teeth whitening trays being placed on someone's teeth.


Life is crazy expensive, isn’t it? Combine that with the increased inflation that seems to be unending recently and it is hard to afford anything but the most basic necessities, let alone all these extras that add value and peace to our lives. Don’t feel too bad about struggling. We have all been there.

Custom Teeth Whitening Trays

Though your dentist doesn’t offer it, other dentists have professional strength teeth whitening that you can do at home. They’ll make you some custom fitted trays, like those seen in the picture above. It’s possible your dentist would be willing to do this, even though he prefers zoom. Dentists often have to make take home whitening trays with Zoom whitening for some follow up work, so he should have the means to create the trays for you.

I would start by asking him about that option first. If he says, “No,” that doesn’t mean that you will have to leave your dentist…unless you were ready to move on anyway.

Many patients go to one dentist for their general needs and another for the cosmetic procedures that their dentist either does not offer or does not have a high enough skill level for.

They will probably require you to have a cleaning done first, so you may want to wait until it is time for your next check up anyway and knock out two birds with one stone. That step is not just to get extra money out of you, but to make sure your results will be even. Without a cleaning, you could end up with splotchy whitening.

What If Even That Costs Too Much?

If even that is out of your budget, you have a few options. The first is, obviously, just to save up for it. Another option is to talk to your dentist about payment plans. Many dentists are willing to work with their patients if they communicate their needs with them. For the sake of argument, though, lets say your dentist does not offer any type of payment option.

There are over-the-counter teeth whitening kits that do work, such as Crest Whitestrips. They do have some downsides to consider, however:

  • They are much weaker than what you would get through your dentist. This means you’ll have to use a LOT of kits to get the same level of whitening.
  • They only cover the front six of your teeth. Most smiles are 8-10 teeth wide, which means you’ll have to use extra strips to cover your teeth.
  • They are not custom fit so some gel will leak, which could lead to irritation of your gums.

I’d start with communicating with your dentist and go from there.

This blog is brought to you by Arnold, MD Dentist Dr. Esposito.