How Much Does It Cost For Teeth Whitening?


The cost of teeth whitening will depend on multiple variables. The method chosen will be a key component to the final price and the result. Where the whitening is done is another essential part of the amount you will be paying. The product brand and supplied amount will either increase or decrease the expense. To understand the cost breakdown, let’s examine different teeth whitening methods.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening can be as cheap as $3 for a tube of whitening toothpaste, up to $1000 for professionally done treatment, or somewhere between the two costs for different whitening methods. The amount of staining and discoloration on the teeth can lead you in the general direction for a preferred product or dental service.

On the lower end, teeth whitening toothpaste will cost between $3 and $15. Individual tubes, double packs, and even triple packs can be purchased to help extend the length of time the product is used and the time between purchases. To ensure you choose a stain removal toothpaste, make sure to look for the American Dental Association seal of approval on the product packaging.

Over-the-counter teeth whitening strips are frequently sold at drugstores, supercenters, and traditional grocery stores. Whitening strips average between $10 and $50 per package. The number of strips sold in each box can range from a few days to a couple of weeks to a month. Sometimes whitening strips are sold with a recommended toothpaste to prolong the whitening effect.

An up-and-coming trend for teeth whitening products are LED teeth whitening kits. These can be purchased from drugstores, supercenters, select grocery stores, or directly from your dentist’s office. Ranging in price from $50 to $300, these kits use a unique LED light that activates and enhances the whitening effect of the active ingredient used in the bleaching gel.

Custom whitening trays can be purchased through your dentist for a more personal whitening approach rather than a one-size-fits-most that is found from over-the-counter products. Custom-made whitening trays will usually start around $100 and upwards of $600. Using impressions, the trays are designed to fit your mouth and teeth. A whitening gel is provided to be applied while in the comfort of your own home.

How Much Does Professional Teeth Whitening Cost?

Teeth whitening treatments completed in-office will be done by a professionally trained dentist and are the most expensive option. The number of whitening treatments will vary for everyone, so the final cost will also be different. The national average price per appointment is $650, but some dental clinics have prices as low as $450 or as high as $1000.

How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost With Insurance?

Teeth whitening is generally an out-of-pocket expense. Since teeth whitening is not considered to be medically necessary, insurance providers will not cover the cost. However, some dental insurance plans will offer discounts or specials for specific cosmetic treatments, so it would be in your best interest to contact your insurance carrier and the dental office to see if there are any unique benefits or special pricing available.

How Many Teeth Whitening Treatments Will I Need?

The amount of care needed to obtain a white smile will be determined by how stained and discolored the teeth are. If there is minor discoloration and only small surface stains, a single tube of stain removal toothpaste, one month supply of whitening strips, or a single dentist visit could be enough to return the teeth to their white color. If the discoloration is more severe and noticeable, multiple products or appointments may be necessary to reach your goal.

A few things to be aware of that could increase the amount of discoloration are:

  •  Coffee
  •  Dark-colored soda
  •  Red wines
  •  Dark-colored teas
  •  Dark-colored fruits such as beets or cherries
  •  Tobacco
  •  Underlying health conditions
  •  Oral trauma
  •  Genetics
  •  Medications
  •  Age
  •  Oral Hygiene

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

The longevity of teeth whitening will vary for each person by the chosen method used and the amount of after-care given to the newly whitened smile. Typically, mild discoloration that can be cleaned with stain removal toothpaste or whitening strips will start to appear whiter after two to six weeks of use and can last for weeks to months with proper care.

Custom-made impression trays and LED whitening kits purchased through your dental office will have a quicker whitening time than cheaper options. The LED light used in whitening kits does not take any time to warm up, works quickly to lift stains, and does not get hot when in use. Whether purchased from the dentist or over the counter, you will have a noticeably whiter smile that can last for months after just a few sessions.

While the most expensive and time-consuming, professionally whitened teeth have the longest results. A single appointment can take up to an hour, but once the desired shade of white has been achieved, the effect can last for one year or longer with proper attention and oral hygiene practices.

Are There Side Effects To Teeth Whitening?

Like other medical and cosmetic procedures, teeth whitening has a few risks to be wary of. During and after any teeth whitening session, tooth sensitivity is a concern. The peroxides used in bleaching agents can cause a new onset or increase a prior sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Sometimes pressure or touch on any of the bleached teeth can cause irritation. Pain known as a zinger can affect one or multiple teeth but usually only last for a few days. Zingers are spontaneous pains that are felt mainly in the middle of the front teeth.

Gum irritation is another risk to watch for. When the gums are not adequately shielded with a protective barrier, the bleaching agent has a better chance of getting onto the gum area. Irritation may last from hours to days.

What Are The After Care Steps For Teeth Whitening?

It is crucial to follow good oral hygiene methods after whitening your teeth. This will not only keep your teeth healthy but will extend the length of time your teeth will remain white. Avoiding foods and drinks that cause surface stains is a great start. If you cannot avoid certain foods or beverages, try to find a way to reduce the amount of contact with your teeth, such as using straws or brushing your teeth right after eating.

Brush with a whitening toothpaste and floss at least twice a day. Do not overuse your toothbrush, instead create calendar reminders to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Reduce or quit smoking and using tobacco products. Most of all, maintain a dental check-up schedule for routine cleanings.

Jason Smith

I am a Marine who now works as a Web Developer. I have five US States left to visit. I like whiskey, wine, and coffee, soaking in hot springs or in my hot tub.

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