Modern life is not kind to our teeth. Tea, coffee, cigarette smoke, red wine and a wide range of other food and drink all cause staining and discolouration, leaving us a long way short of a sparkling smile. Not only that, but teeth become naturally darker as we get older.
Add to this the constant pressure from films stars and magazine models flashing pearly white smiles and it’s easy to see why there has been such a strong growth in the teeth whitening industry in recent years, as people try to emulate that winning white smile.
A simple Google search throws up hundreds upon hundreds of clinics offering teeth whitening services, but how do you choose the right clinic for you? And how do you make sure you’re going to get good value for money and end up with teeth to really smile about?
This article on choosing a teeth whitening clinic is written by Jackie Griffiths, a freelance journalist who writes health, medical, biological, and pharmaceutical articles for national and international journals, newsletters and web sites.
Cost of teeth whitening in UK
Teeth whitening clinics range hugely in what prices they charge, starting from as little as £49.95 and going right through to many hundreds of pounds or more. To a certain extent, you get what you pay for, and you will naturally get a lower quality service and less qualified technicians at the budget end of the scale. However, you should check exactly what you’re getting for your money at each level, as the middle range clinics may well give you everything you need without having to pay more for unnecessary extras.
As a general rule, an independent teeth whitening clinic will be cheaper than having the same procedure done at your own private dentist, although this is not always the case, especially in places like London.
Quality of care
Teeth whitening should be carried out by a fully qualified dental technician, preferably with a good deal of experience in this field. You only get one set of teeth so you want to be sure that they’re in the hands of someone you can trust.
You should visit the teeth whitening clinic before you book, to ensure you are happy with their standards of hygiene and with the overall ‘feel’ of the clinic. You will probably be spending at least an hour there, on more than one occasion, so you will want to feel relaxed and comfortable.
Personal service can be an important factor in the success of any teeth whitening treatment. Your technician should take the time to discuss your expectations and explain what is realistically achievable. That way you will not expect miracles and will not feel disappointed if the results do not leave you looking like a Hollywood star.
Ask to see recommendations from previous patients to see the quality and consistency of the clinic’s results, and perhaps ask about any guarantees they can offer. Also, ask around your friends and family to see if they can recommend a teeth whitening clinic or know of anyone who has had teeth whitening treatment.
Teeth whitening has come a long way from the days of bleach-filled moulds. You should make sure you choose a clinic that offers the latest, safest, and most effective technology. Modern systems include lasers which speed up the process, and bleach-free treatments which are much safer for the teeth and gums.
The speed of teeth whitening treatment can also vary widely, from around forty-five minutes to two hours. If you’re on a tight schedule, it’s worth shopping around to find the fastest treatment that will be effective for you.
You may wish to choose a clinic that offers other dental services, such as porcelain veneers, so that you can have all the work you need done in one place.
Convenience of the dental clinic
Make sure your chosen clinic is within easy reach of your home or work. The savings from a cheaper treatment can easily evaporate in travel costs and time off work. Check to see if your clinic offers evening or weekend appointments to fit in with your schedule.
You could also ask if they have payment schemes that suit your budget. Some clinics may offer 0% finance over a few months; others may offer plans that include regular treatments to keep your teeth white in the long-term. Make sure your clinic includes aftercare in their price plan.
You should think carefully about the aspects discussed above before you start your search for a teeth whitening clinic. As with any clinic choice, you need to decide which factors are the most important to you.
You may be prepared to travel to a clinic with a strong reputation, or you may prefer the convenience of a local clinic close to your home. You may simply want the cheapest treatment available, or you might decide that quality is everything and be prepared to spend whatever it takes.
Your ideal clinic will be a unique combination of all these factors, which make it perfect for your needs.