You may be embarrassed by the color of your teeth. Almost all of us have been there. We’ve all wished our teeth could be whiter than they are.
But one of the biggest deterrents to getting your teeth whitened is the cost. Typically, it’s pretty expensive, depending on the solution you go with.
So we wanted to break down the details of every type of teeth whitening option and their costs.
What Determines Teeth Whitening Cost?
The amount you spend on whitening your teeth depends on if you go to a professional or if you choose to do something at home. These costs can vary widely, depending on the type of whitening a professional gives you (more on that below), what professional you go to, or what at-home solution you choose.
But generally, here are the costs you can expect:
Type of teeth whitening solutions
Laser teeth whitening
Take-home tray from dentist
At-home teeth whitening
About $100 or less
Natural teeth whitening options
Less than $25
In-Office Professional Teeth Whitening Cost
If you want to visit a dental professional for a teeth whitening, it’s the easiest but most expensive of the options. And it can often be covered by dental insurance (if it can be categorized as preventative).
You might end up spending between $200 and $1,000, roughly $600 on average before insurance.
One way to lessen your cost is to look for new dentists in the area as they are often looking for new clients and are willing to offer a discounted rate.
Expect to pay about $600 for an in-office professional teeth whitening procedure.
Laser Teeth Whitening Cost
Laser teeth whitening is the most innovative solution in recent history. It’s becoming more popular because it’s quick, painless, and convenient. The big downside is that most insurances do not cover laser whitening, which is tough because it’s the most expensive of the options.
A typical laser whitening procedure can run about $1,500 on average. So to get this procedure, you’ll want to first check with your insurance company to see if any of it can be covered. If they won’t cover it, you can speak with your dentist about a payment plan, or look at other financing options.
Expect to pay about $1,500 for an in-office laser teeth whitening procedure.
In-Office Teeth Whitening Procedure
Whether it’s a laser treatment or another type of professionally done procedure, the steps are generally the same.
- You’ll have a check retractor put into your mouth (just a piece of plastic that opens your lips really wide)
- They’ll paint a liquid or resin onto your teeth to help protect them against irritation from the bleaching gel
- The bleaching gel that has hydrogen peroxide in it goes into your teeth and stays there for 15-30 minutes
- After that, the gel is washed or suctioned off and a new coat of gel gets painted on for another 15-30 minutes
- If you’re doing a laser whitening treatment, this is when they will use an intense light on your teeth to enhance the bleaching process
- Once done, they’ll remove the cheek retractor and you’ll rinse your mouth and they’ll compare the color of your teeth with what they were previously (they may look whiter initially, but the long-term color will emerge over the following couple days)
The steps for getting your teeth professionally whitened are the same regardless of the treatment. The whole process can take a couple of hours.
Home Teeth Whitening Kits Cost
At-home teeth whitening kits can either be recommended by your dentist or a kit you buy on your own. Sometimes, your dentist will send you home with a teeth whitening option the day you visit them.
At-home kits that you’d buy at a store or online can involve whitening strips, whitening gels, and/or whitening pens.
One home teeth whitening kit we recommend is the AuraGlow, which is a powerful system that includes whitening gel and LED light technology. You can get professional-level results from the comfort of your home. And it comes with complete instructions, so it’s not difficult to use.
Expect to pay less than $100 for an at-home teeth whitening kit.
Natural Teeth Whitening Remedies Cost
If saving money is the most important thing to you, going with a natural teeth whitening solutions may be your best shot. You could at least try this option before going the more costly routes.
The most common natural teeth whitening solutions include brushing with activated charcoal, oil pulling, rinsing with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or apple cider vinegar, and eating or not eating certain foods.
These are all super cheap options because you probably have the ingredients in your cupboard right now. The activated charcoal may be the only option where you’d need to buy a specific product, but they’re typically not much more than $20.
You can whiten your teeth naturally for less than $20.
Does Insurance Cover Teeth Whitening?
Will your dental insurance cover the cost of your teeth whitening? The short answer is “maybe”.
If the procedure is for preventative reasons, then it’s more likely that your insurance company will help out. If not, it’s very likely you won’t get any financing help from them. But it doesn’t hurt to call and ask them before you schedule an appointment.
There are other financing options, like a personal loan or a dental discount plan. With the former, you’d borrow a lump sum of cash and pay it back over a certain amount of time. With the latter, you don’t borrow anything -- you’d apply online and get approved in minutes. Then you’d pay a low annual fee and get discounts of up to 60% on every single dental visit, regardless of the reason.
Insurance doesn’t typically cover teeth whitening procedures unless it can be categorized as preventative.
The True Cost Of Whitening Teeth
As you can see, whitening your teeth can be quite expensive. Let me remind you, in-office professional procedures are about $600, $1,500 if you choose to get a laser procedure.
Contrast that with professional take home teeth whitening kits. Options like AuraGlow cost well under $100 -- and you get professional-level whitening without the hassle of scheduling an appointment, leaving the house, and footing the bill. Plus, professional whitenings take hours to complete while home kits take far less time.
So it’s worth checking out AuraGlow to see if/when it’s right for you.