13 07 tooth whiteningDescription: Age, smoking, staining foods and beverages all contribute toward teeth losing their shine and whiteness. Bonding and porcelain veneers will restore, and perhaps even enhance the appearance of your teeth; but whitening is the easiest, least invasive and most affordable of the procedures available. It is also effective in 75 per cent of all patients.

How it's done: Your dentist will likely offer you the choice between an at-home program or an in-office procedure. Whitening gel — activated by high-intensity UV light — is applied to your teeth three times and left on for 15 minutes per application.

Complications: Temporary increased tooth sensitivity and tenderness in the tongue and gums, depending on the individual.

Recovery: One to two days. Patient may have certain food restrictions for 48 hours.

Cost: At-home kit: $450; in-office: $495.

Considering this procedure? Browse a list of Dentists in Canada.