How much will a cosmetic dentist charge to whiten my teeth if my parents won’t pay for it?


My parents don’t want me to go to a cosmetic dentist to whiten my teeth until I’m 21. I’m 16 and have my own job. They didn’t exactly say that I can’t do it, so I know I would need to get it done on my own. I’ve been trying to talk my dad into it and I told him I will pay for it. He said he would talk to my mom and they will discuss whether or not I can get it done if I pay for it. He’s not making any promises though. For now they would never take me to the dentist themselves and put it through on their dental insurance so I’m planning on getting it done myself. I want to save enough money to cover the cost so that my parents will never get a bill. Will you please tell how much a cosmetic dentist will charge me to whiten my teeth? Thanks. Brooks

Brooks – We understand that you want a bright smile, but please understand that dentists, doctors, and other healthcare professionals must obey the law. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, this means that a minor cannot receive restorative or cosmetic treatment without the consent of his or her parent or legal guardian.

Translation: A cosmetic dentist won’t whiten your teeth without approval from your parents.

Informed Consent Process

The informed consent process requires a dentist to have a discussion with your parent or legal guardian before you receive treatment. This requires a cosmetic dentist to explain treatment options, risks, and outcomes for the treatment you’re receiving. Depending on the dentist, verbal consent or a signature will be required from a parent or legal guardian.

How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?

If your parents agree that you can have your teeth whitened as long as you pay for it, your dentist will let you know the fees associated with it. Your cosmetic dentist will require you to have a recent dental cleaning before your teeth are whitened. The cost of teeth whitening depends on the dentist and his or her location in the U.S.

The average cost in the U.S. is below. Your actual cost might differ.

Take-home whitening: $250-$400

In-office whitening: $450-$650

Keep in mind that although most people have no problems with teeth whitening, it isn’t for everyone.

  • Your cosmetic dentist needs to examine your teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy enough for whitening.
  • If there are stains in your teeth, the cause of the stains will be determined before your teeth are whitened.
  •  In some cases, teeth whitening doesn’t help stains at all. It can even make stains worse.
  • Your dentist will let you know the results you can expect from bleaching your teeth.

It’s best to speak with your parents and calmly discuss the reasons you want your teeth whitened. Respect their decision. If you try to sneak and get it done anyway, the consequences might not be worth it.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.




I hate my porcelain veneers and want to go back to my natural teeth


I hate my porcelain veneers. I want them removed and I want to go back to my natural teeth. I’ve been seeing this dentist for about 7 years. He is quite confident in his skills. If you ask him, he can do any and everything that has to do with dentistry. He does implants, cosmetic dentistry. You name it. He received extra training to learn how to do porcelain veneers. He showed me some pictures of patients he did veneers on. Although he says he has done hundreds of veneers, I probably saw about 20 to 30 sets of photos for different patients. The pics looked good to me but my veneers don’t look good. And something about them is not right. When I floss my teeth, the floss gets hung up on on the side of 3 of my 8 veneers. There is another issue that is difficult to explain to my dentist but the veneers seem to create a lisp in my speech. The lisp is inconsistent so of course when I complained about it to my dentist, he had me read a few paragraphs and never once could we hear the lisp. So far nothing has been done. Just a series of appointments and exams where my dentist can’t find anything wrong. I’m exhausted. Can I just ask him to take off the veneers so I can go back to my natural teeth? What do patients usually do when their veneers are a hassle? Thanks. Janet

Janet – When your porcelain veneers are causing more stress than enjoyment, and your dentist doesn’t know what to do about it, the best thing to do is to get a second opinion.

Usually, your natural teeth are prepared before porcelain veneers are placed. If that’s true in your case, a small amount of your outer tooth structure was removed to ensure the veneers fit well and don’t look bulky. Some of the reasons you can’t go back to your natural teeth are listed below.

  • Removing the outer layer leaves unprotected teeth vulnerable to decay.
  • Your tooth structure is altered, so your natural teeth won’t look normal.
  • Your teeth will be very sensitive to heat and cold.

Although your dentist has received training in cosmetic dentistry, it wasn’t enough to give him insight on how to properly place veneers. Both your speech and the structure of the veneers are affected, so it’s time to get a second opinion.

You could ask your dentist to remove and replace the veneers, but you might get the same results. Schedule a consultation with at least two cosmetic dentists to help you select a provider to restore your teeth. If you can find an accredited cosmetic dentist in your area, his or her expertise will help you get the best results.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.