How much does teeth whitening cost with/without insurance?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: January 12, 2023
Teeth whitening cost

A bright smile not only enhances your personality but also boosts your self-confidence. Achieving brighter, shiner and whiter teeth is not a tough task. You can easily have whiter teeth within a few hours. Yes! This is possible, you can achieve your smile makeover with whiter teeth the very same day. The in-office whitening treatment (zoom teeth whitening) can help you get the whitest teeth if you want them urgently. Now, if you are wondering how much this miracle treatment would cost, continue to read this article. This article will throw light on how much teeth whitening procedure costs with and without insurance.

Does insurance cover Teeth Whitening?

Now, the foremost important question comes, does your insurance cover the in-office teeth whitening procedure? The answer is almost no. The teeth whitening procedure is a cosmetic procedure and most dental insurance does not cover cosmetic treatments. This is because dental insurance only pays for the procedure that is required to prevent or treat oral disease. For example, X-rays, scaling, root canal treatment, wisdom tooth surgery, fillings, tooth extraction, fractured tooth repair, etc. On the other hand, cosmetic procedures are meant to improve esthetics. Hence, these procedures are regarded as elective treatments and not as medically necessary. That is why the patient must pay for their dental cosmetic procedures.

How much does teeth whitening cost without insurance?

The in-office teeth whitening is quite an expensive treatment because of the results it provides in a shorter duration of time. It will cost you approximately $300 to $1000. This range totally depends on the area where the dental office is located, and the product used for whitening. In some cases, you can get it at a lower price if there are any special offers or discounts going on. So, you have to keep an eye on all the offers.

How much does teeth whitening cost with insurance?

As mentioned earlier, in-office teeth whitening treatment is not covered by most dental insurance. However, there are some dental saving plans which can provide some benefits and you can save 20 to 25% on the price of in-office whitening treatments with their plans. These plans come with some terms and conditions. Hence, before undergoing the whitening procedure, always check the details of these planes.

How can you whiten your teeth at a lower cost?

Now, if you want to whiten your teeth but cannot afford the in-office whitening treatment, then what are the alternative options you have? The other options are discussed below.

1. Take-Home Whitening Trays

These are custom-made trays (opalescence) made at the dental office. The dentist takes an impression of your teeth and a custom tray that fits your teeth will be fabricated. Once you receive your tray, you will be given whitening gel in a syringe. You will have to load the gel in the tray and wear the tray as per the recommended time and duration (30 to 60 min for 10 to 14 days). The results that it provides are nearly identical to those of in-office teeth whitening. The only difference is the process is spread out over many days. They will cost you around $100 to $600.

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2. At-Home Teeth Whitening

The most affordable type of teeth whitening is at-home whitening. However, it is not quick as an in-office treatment. It will not give you instant results on the very same day. This procedure takes several days to show its results.

  • The available options for at-home teeth whitening include whitening strips that you have to wear on your upper and lower arch and leave for the recommended duration and time for several days. It will cost you around $10 to $22.
  • Another option includes a whitening tray which is one size that can cost you around $40 to $200. The trays may already be loaded with gel, or you may need to apply it each time you wear them.
  • Apart from these, LED teeth whitening products are available that will cost you around $40 to $300. These light-activated LED whitening kits include whitening trays that may be purchased over the counter and a compact handheld lighting device. They function by causing oxidation, which speeds up the removal of stain particles. However, they take a little bit more time and effort to use, which is why some people find them more difficult to work with. In comparison to alternative trays or strips on the market, home LED whitening kits usually work faster.
  • Whitening toothpaste can cost you around $3 to $18. It is the cheapest option for teeth whitening. However, the results may not be that appealing. You can easily find them in any store or e-commerce platform.

Are there any side -effects of teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening procedures might come with some side effects. The major side effect is teeth sensitivity. Every whitening method does result in some kind of sensitivity. In the case of in-office teeth whitening, the sensitivity is more as compared to at-home whitening. This is because the percentage of concentration of the whitening gel (peroxide) is high in in-office treatment. Also, it is left on the tooth surface for a longer duration of time.

Additionally, patients who already have sensitivity issues, root cavities, tooth decay, and gum diseases are not eligible candidates for this procedure. Because whitening can make their dental problems worsen. Furthermore, whitening cannot work on caps or fluorosis stains, and teeth with internal discolorations. For these kinds of discolorations, dental veneers are the best option.

How long does teeth whitening lasts?

The in-office whitening treatment lasts for around one year or maybe more than that. Custom whitening trays usually last for six months to one year. Whitening strips retain their results for up to six months. The results of the whitening toothpaste can last up to three to four months only if used consistently.

To conclude, teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that can cost you according to your urgency. You can choose cheaper options like at-home whitening if you can wait to see the results. On the other hand, if you have a big event to attend like a wedding or show, you should choose the expensive and instant in-office whitening.

If you are living in the nearby area of Pleasanton, then you should contact Dr. Sharda Patel. At Dental Oasis Family Dentistry, we accept many dental insurances to make your smile beautiful. You can contact us at or schedule a dental appointment now to make your teeth whiten.

Pineapple Juice Before Wisdom Teeth: What Dentists Say About This?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: January 4, 2023
pineapple juice before wisdom teeth

Everyone gets scared when they find out that they need to undergo wisdom tooth extraction. When wisdom teeth are embedded in the jawbone either partially or completely, they are called impacted wisdom teeth, and they require extraction. Everything related to wisdom teeth makes people anxious because wisdom tooth removal is associated with swelling and pain. Although post-operative pain and swelling can be effectively managed by medications, still from time to time, people come up with their ideas to help in reducing these discomforts. With reference to this, a hack has become viral on the internet, which claims that drinking pineapple juice before wisdom tooth surgery can reduce post-operative pain and swelling and aid in rapid recovery. If you want to know whether the hack actually works or is a false claim and what dentists have to say about it, continue to read this article.

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Pineapple juice before wisdom teeth: What is the hack?

The pineapple juice hack was introduced in a very famous application called “Tik Tok.” A TikTok user shared a video where she showed how drinking pineapple juice before wisdom tooth surgery helped her in reducing post-operative pain and swelling to a greater extent. According to the hack, drinking a full 64 ounces of pineapple juice the night before will help users avoid the terrible days of swelling following surgery. TikTok users who post photos from the days after surgery show a noticeable reduction in swelling. In fact, some people appear to have absolutely no swelling. This is currently a trending hack on the internet.

Pineapple juice hack: What is the science behind it?

There is actually a science behind this pineapple juice hack. Pineapple juice has an enzyme called “bromelain.” This enzyme has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can help reduce the signs of inflammation, pain, and swelling. The stem and fruit of the pineapple plant are used to make bromelain supplements. It has been used as a substitute for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications in people with osteoarthritis (NSAIDs). 

In addition, the use of proteolytic enzymes such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, papain, serratiopeptidase, and bromelain (pineapple enzyme) in the form of pills has been suggested by surgeons as a means of preventing or reducing postoperative complications such as pain, swelling, and restricted mouth opening. Enzyme administration after surgical procedures has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects reducing postoperative problems.

Drinking pineapple juice before wisdom tooth extraction: What do studies say?

There are no studies that can prove that drinking pineapple juice before wisdom tooth extraction surgery can actually reduce postoperative swelling. However, there are studies on the bromelain enzyme which is found in pineapple juice.

One study was done to determine how well the enzyme bromelain controlled pain and swelling following the removal of wisdom teeth surgically. In that study, all patients were given tablets of Bromozyme DT 200 mg BD (two times a day) and antibiotic amoxicillin 500 mg TID (three times a day) for five days following surgery. And they found that in 28 out of 40 instances, bromelain successfully decreased pain and swelling. In addition, a type of wisdom tooth impaction (wisdom tooth embedded in bone) called mesioangular impaction responded better to bromelain as compared to other impactions. Therefore, this study concluded that bromelain is effective in reducing pain and swelling after wisdom tooth surgery. However, it is not universal. It does not work the same for every individual and every case of wisdom tooth. Some might benefit from it; some might not.

Another study which was done for a similar purpose to determine the efficacy of bromelain pills in reducing postoperative discomfort of wisdom tooth surgery shows a similar result. This study reveals that using the right dosage regimen and oral administration of bromelain may reduce postoperative pain and inflammation associated with impacted wisdom teeth. The fact is that in all the studies, the participants were given bromelain pills, not pineapple juice. Moreover, these tablets were given after the surgery, not the night before the surgery. Therefore, there is no scientific evidence that supports that drinking pineapple juice before surgery can help you reduce pain and swelling. 

Drinking pineapple juice, a night before wisdom tooth extraction: What does dentist say?

According to the viral hack, you must drink 64 ounces of pineapple juice a night before your wisdom tooth surgery.  Practically, this is too much liquid. There can be some negative consequences if you drink this much pineapple juice before the surgery. Here is some reason to explain the same.

  • Consuming 64 ounces of pineapple juice is not at all recommended, as health experts advise consuming a maximum of 8 ounces only. Too much pineapple juice consumption might have adverse effects like nausea, blood sugar increases, gastrointestinal distress, and bloating.
  • 64 ounces of pineapple juice contains a lot of sugar and acid, which can cause enamel erosion and raise your risk of cavities which is not good for your surgery.
  • If you are diabetic, then drinking this much juice will be extremely harmful to you and may increase your sugar level. Elevating blood sugar levels before surgery will interfere with healing. Hence keep this hack at bay.

Therefore, dentists do not recommend this hack because of the above reasons and the lack of scientific evidence.

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What can you do to reduce pain and swelling after wisdom tooth surgery?

Instead of trying the unpredictable pineapple juice hack, you can try these tricks, which are evidence-based and recommended by dentists.

  • Use ice packs for the first 24 hours following surgery, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.
  • Warm saline rinses 3 to 4 times a day.
  • Taking antibiotics and other medications (that may have bromelain supplement) prescribed by the dentist.
  • Using a double pillow to keep the head elevated to help reduce swelling.


To conclude, drinking pineapple juice before wisdom tooth surgery is not good for your health. Moreover, if this hack might have worked for a few people, it is not guaranteed that it will work the same way for each and every individual. Therefore, before experimenting, think twice and always go for an approach that has any scientific evidence besides it.

If you are facing any oral problems because of your wisdom tooth, then contact Dr. Sharda Patel. She provides extremely comfortable and stress-free tooth extraction procedure to residents of Pleasanton and other nearby areas. Schedule a dental appointment now or call us on 925-846-4491.

Cavity vs Stain: Detection, Cause, and Prevention

By | Date posted: | Last updated: December 30, 2022
cavity vs stain

Stains & Cavities impact your teeth in different ways. A cavity begins as a small hole in the tooth and can permanently damage the enamel if left unattended. An extrinsic stain, on the other hand, causes discoloration on the surface of the tooth. These are primarily caused on account of lifestyle issues & can mostly be corrected.

Stained teeth & cavities can have quite a similar appearance, though. How does one then tell the difference between the cavity and stain? Here is help.

What does a cavity look like vs stain?

  • Is what you see appears as one spot on the tooth or is the entire tooth discolored? If your answer is that the issue is widespread, it is likely to be a stain.
  • Do you see a single spot on the tooth, which is brown, black, gray in color? In such cases it is likely to be a cavity.
  • Along with the spot on the tooth are you experiencing other symptoms? Like sensitivity in the tooth or pain in the tooth that even spreads to your jaw, ear, or cheek? In such cases, you likely have a cavity.

Causes of Cavity & Stains

Cause of Cavities

Frequent snacking and most importantly not maintaining oral hygiene are some of the factors that can lead to the formation of plaque on your teeth. The bacteria, in the plaque, in turn, produces acids that break down the enamel & forms a cavity. As the cavity deepens, you tend to experience several other symptoms such as:

  • Toothache
  • Sensitivity in the tooth
  • Visible Holes
  • Pain in biting down, and more

Cause of Tooth Stains

Typically tooth stains are caused on account of consumption of certain tooth & drinks such as tea, coffee, wine, chocolate, candies, pickles, soy sauce & more. In addition, smoking & the consumption of tobacco are also a major source of staining.

While the above factors are responsible for extrinsic tooth staining, in some cases, the tooth staining may also be intrinsic which implies that it is caused not by external agents but on account of intrinsic factors within the body. Certain treatments such as radiation & chemotherapy can also cause tooth discoloration. Similarly, certain medications such as tetracycline & Doxycycline can cause tooth discoloration in children. Tooth discoloration, on the other hand, sometimes, can also be age related as the enamel on the teeth tends to wear away with age. Trauma & damage from a fall, for example, could also lead to teeth discoloration.

How to prevent cavities and stains?

Overall, as the above information suggests, good oral hygiene is the key to keeping both cavities as well as stains at bay. Additionally, the following precautions will help you maintain your pearly whites

How to prevent cavities?

  • Brush your teeth twice daily. Make sure you use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily
  • Stick to a healthy diet
  • Ensure you have regular dental check-ups so that any issues can be identified early.

How to prevent tooth stains?

Tooth stains can be avoided by avoiding excess consumption of tea, coffee, wine, smoking & more. Drinking with a straw can also help keep stains away. Improving dental hygiene that comprises of brushing, flossing and using mouthwash daily is extremely important. Additionally, having your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist every six months is recommended to remove any plaque or tartar.

Cavities Vs Stains – Treatment Options

Should you have developed cavities or stains, you need not worry as there are a few options available to treat them.

How are cavities treated?

1. Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride works by restoring minerals to the surface where the enamel is eroded. Additionally, it also restricts the growth of bacteria & therefore prevents more cavities from developing.

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2. Tooth Fillings

Tooth fillings are common treatments for cavities, this involves using material such as porcelain or composite resins to fill up the cavity.

3. Root Canal Treatment

In case the cavity has progressed to a point where the pulp of the tooth has been affected, a root canal treatment will be in order. This involves removing the affected pulp and cleaning the affected area. A filling is placed next to it & the area is sealed.

4. Tooth Extraction

In case the tooth cannot be saved even with a root canal treatment then tooth extraction may be the only option. Your dentist will be in the best position to suggest what replacement should be used for the extracted tooth so that the other teeth do not shift.

How to treat tooth stains?

There is a wide range of options when it comes to treating extrinsic tooth stains. These include:

1. In-office whitening procedures

Your dentist will help bleach your teeth. The process essentially involves applying a whitening agent to the teeth. Oftentimes special lighting is used that ensures great results. Alternatively, your dentist can also offer you a custom-fitted tray that you can safely use at home with a whitening gel.

2. Bonding

This involves fusing material to stained portions of the teeth so that the teeth can be brightened.

3. Dental Veneers

A very common cosmetic dentistry treatment, it involves fitting custom-made shells on the front surface of the teeth. Dental Veneers are of several different kinds including:

  • Composite Veneers
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Removable Veneers, and more.

If you have dental problems like cavities or tooth stains, then Dr. Sharda Patel can help you to improve your dental health. Dr. Sharda Patel is a Pleasanton-based dentist who provides general dental service and cosmetic dental service. Schedule a dental appointment now to make your teeth healthy.

Wisdom Tooth Abscess: Stages, Prevention, and Treatment!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: February 3, 2023
wisdom tooth abscess

The wisdom tooth is our dentition’s third and last molar. It commonly appears between the ages of 17 and 24. However, its eruption is difficult, and the fun fact is that it does not grant anyone wisdom. It appears when children become adults and mature, which is why it is known as a wisdom tooth. A wisdom tooth abscess is commonly associated with a wisdom tooth and usually presents with pain, swelling, bad taste, fever, jaw ache, ear pain, or neck pain, and difficulty opening the mouth and eating. If you want to know more about wisdom tooth abscesses, continue reading this article.

What is wisdom tooth abscess?

A wisdom tooth abscess is a painful condition, and bacteria are responsible for this. An abscess is a serious form of infection that results in the accumulation of pus around the wisdom tooth. The leading cause of an abscess is the build-up of bacteria inside the tooth, gums, or jawbone surrounding the teeth. Although abscess can occur in any tooth, wisdom teeth are the most common location for an abscess to form. 

What makes wisdom teeth more susceptible to abscess?

Wisdom teeth are more susceptible to abscesses because they can easily harbor bacteria. The reasons behind this are listed below.

  • Unlike other teeth in the mouth, wisdom teeth are too far back in the jaw to be easily cleaned. Therefore, insufficient access to wisdom teeth makes them difficult to clean regularly. Hence, the bacteria can build up more easily here, leading to tooth decay or gum infection, resulting in abscess formation. Apart from this, a crack or fracture in the wisdom teeth can also provide a path for bacteria, resulting in abscess formation.
  • In most people, wisdom teeth do not erupt completely; they are partially or completely impacted inside the jaw. This is because the jawbone lacks the space for accumulating wisdom teeth. Therefore, when a wisdom tooth tries to erupt, it can’t do it, resulting in inflammation of the gums around it, which can harbor bacteria and result in an abscess.
  • The partially impacted wisdom teeth are either tilted at an angle, or they may lie horizontally against the adjacent molar. In either case, the space between the two molars becomes the site of infection which can harbor bacteria and result in a painful abscess.

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What are the stages of wisdom tooth abscess?

A wisdom tooth abscess can occur because of tooth decay. How an abscess is formed is discussed below.

Stage 1: Outer-Layer decay in the enamel

The enamel is the tooth’s outermost coating. As a result, it is the first to be impacted. Plaque accumulation is the cause of this. Some people might have tooth sensitivity or stains on their teeth, while others might not experience any further symptoms.

Stage 2: Decay of the dentin layer

If the decay in the enamel is not treated quickly, it advances and penetrates further into the dentin, the next layer. The person will experience greater sensitivity or a small hole in their tooth once the tooth abscess is in the second stage. Dentin is the yellow covering of the tooth.

Stage 3: Decaying pulp layer

The pulp is the tooth’s lowest layer. It is delicate and incredibly sensitive to outside stimuli. The bacteria easily attack the nerves once it penetrates this layer, resulting in excruciating pain. It dies following nerve infection, and the process of abscess formation begins.

Stage 4: Development of abscess

Following the pulp, it continues to the gum or jawbone. The gums start to swell and could develop a boil or lump. Pain in the mouth becomes intolerable.

Stage 5: Future complications

An untreated tooth abscess can lead to many consequences, including bacteria that cause sepsis and may be lethal and spread throughout the bloodstream. If the decay is not addressed, the tooth will eventually fall off.

Preventing wisdom tooth abscess: What should I do?

A wisdom tooth abscess can disturb your daily routine for a couple of days. But the good news is you can keep wisdom tooth abscesses at bay by following the preventive measures discussed below.

  • Regular dentist visits will help you prevent wisdom tooth abscesses because a dentist can identify the condition of the wisdom tooth by examining it clinically and looking at the digital dental x-rays. Hence, if the dentist feels that the wisdom tooth will create an abscess in the future, they advise its extraction as a preventive measure.
  • Regular brushing and flossing are crucial, especially in the area between the second molar and wisdom tooth. This prevents the entrapment of food particles and may prevent abscess.
  • Limiting sugar and sticky food intake, which can create dental cavities in the wisdom tooth, should be avoided.

What are the treatment options for wisdom tooth abscesses?

A wisdom tooth abscess can be treated in several ways. The goal of the treatment is to get rid of the pus. The treatment options are discussed below.

1. Antibiotics

Antibiotics are essential in treating wisdom tooth abscesses because of high levels of bacterial infection and the collection of pus. Antibiotics are required to reduce the discomfort as the patient presents with swelling on the face and severe pain. However, apart from antibiotics, more treatments are required to eliminate abscesses.

2. Incision and Drainage (I&D)

The painful swelling containing pus can be drained manually by performing a minor surgical procedure called incision and drainage. However, it is preferred when the infection is contained in the region where the abscess is located. This procedure is done under local anesthesia; the surgeon makes an incision along the swelling and drains the abscess. After that, the region is cleaned with a saline solution.

3. Wisdom Tooth Extraction

In the case of a damaged wisdom tooth or if there’s a high probability of an infection returning, wisdom tooth extraction would be the best course of action. Usually, removal of the wisdom tooth will be planned a few days after a patient starts taking antibiotics.

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To conclude, a wisdom tooth abscess is a bacterial infection that can lead to severe complications if not treated on time. The infection may spread to other areas and cause systemic infection. Therefore, it is important to treat wisdom teeth the same way as other teeth to prevent wisdom tooth abscesses. If you are unsure about your wisdom tooth condition, then contact Dr. Sharda Patel at or schedule a dental appointment.