Cosmetic dentistry is expected to grow to 32.73 billion dollars by 2026, from 18.79 billion in 2018 - which means people genuinely care about their smile!
Teeth whitening is an increasingly popular cosmetic dental procedure that can give you a brighter, whiter smile. Whether you’ve seen discoloration from coffee, tea, certain foods, smoking, age, or just want to freshen up your smile, teeth whitening is a quick and easy way to achieve the desired result.
Laser teeth whitening is one of the quickest and most effective ways to get your desired results; however, it can be expensive. In this article, we will explore how much laser teeth whitening costs and the factors that affect its price.
Cost Of Laser Teeth Whitening
The cost of laser teeth whitening depends on multiple factors, such as the type of treatment used, the length of time it takes to complete the procedure, and where you get it done. To give you a rough estimate, laser teeth whitening can range anywhere from $400 - $1,800.
Type Of Laser Used
A few different types of lasers can be used for the procedure, including Erbium, Nd:YAG, Diode, and CO2. While we won’t go into too much science, they all work differently with teeth, and all have different properties.
Some of these products may be more expensive than others, depending on the quality and efficacy. For example, some may require multiple treatments for maximum whitening effect, while others are designed to need fewer treatments for a long-lasting result. Due to the convenience and speed of laser whitening, it is often more expensive than non-laser whitening treatments such as Zoom whitening.
Length Of Procedure
Generally speaking, it takes 30 minutes to an hour to complete the procedure.
Depending on your dental professional, they may charge you based on how long the sessions take, how many sessions you choose, or a combination of both.
Where You Get It Done
Where you receive laser teeth whitening will also impact how much you pay.
Prices will likely be higher at dental offices than at other locations such as salons or spas. Dentists have more experience and knowledge on laser whitening safety and minimizing teeth whitening side effects, while estheticians may not be as well-versed on the procedure. As well, seasoned cosmetic dentists may charge more for their services, so it’s recommended to shop around for the best price.
Does Insurance Cover Laser Teeth Whitening Costs?
Unfortunately, most insurance policies don’t cover the cost of laser teeth whitening because it's considered a cosmetic procedure. But don’t fret! You might find some plans that offer supplemental coverage or an allowance on certain services.
How To Reduce Laser Teeth Whitening Costs
Even though insurance may not cover the cost of laser teeth whitening, there are some ways to reduce the overall price - we know it can get expensive! Some dentists may offer discounts or promotions on these services, so it’s always worth asking if they have any available.
Certain credit cards or dental offices might even offer payment plans that let you pay in installments. Paying over time can help make laser teeth whitening more affordable, rather than having to hand over a chunk of change all at once.
What Is The Cheapest Teeth Whitening Method?
Still not a fan of the cost overall? If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, you’ll be pleased to know there are other options available.
We’ll start with the cheapest - natural DIY methods. Either because they want to avoid the chemicals that teeth whitening products have or to save money, many people like to create their own whitening products at home. A popular substance is baking soda, which has been shown to remove surface stains on teeth because of its abrasive qualities. However, these methods are expectedly the least effective.
Going a step up, over-the-counter methods such as teeth whitening strips and teeth whitening gels cost around $10 - $30 and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Teeth whitening kits are also available, which usually come with trays that you fill up with a whitening gel and then place over your teeth. There’s also activated charcoal teeth whitening powders, but there isn’t much evidence to back up their effectiveness.
It may take longer to get results with these methods, but they are much more affordable than laser teeth whitening. You’ll also only be able to lighten your teeth a few shades in the short-term, which won’t be suitable if you’re vying for dramatic results.
What Are Some Laser Teeth Whitening Alternatives?
Other in-office teeth whitening options include the popular Zoom! teeth whitening process and bleaching. Both of these options have been known to provide more noticeable and long-lasting results. Let’s dive into some comparisons between laser teeth whitening and these in-office whitening treatments.
Zoom Teeth Whitening
Zoom! teeth whitening is a process manufactured by Philips that uses hydrogen peroxide along with an LED light to brighten teeth. It’s typically completed in one hour, and the results can last a few months to just over a year before needing a touch-up.
Comparing laser teeth whitening vs zoom, the former does not use any chemicals or UV lights - instead, it relies on laser energy to activate the bleaching agent. While Zoom! whitens your entire set of teeth all at once, the laser tool goes one tooth at a time and therefore requires quite a bit of skill.
Both procedures take a similar amount of time, but the laser process happens in one go and Zoom! happens in stages.
Bleaching is another common teeth whitening option that uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to remove deep stains. Zoom! and laser whitening are strictly in-office procedures, but bleaching will likely be done at home.
Your dentist will give you a bleaching tray to apply the paste on the enamel of the teeth you want bleached. This chemical paste will release molecules that break down the discolored sections of your enamel. Just like at-home teeth whitening methods, you’ll have to wear it for 30 minutes to 2 hours in several sessions for a few weeks, or in some cases, sleep with it on. Note that the solutions provided by your dentist are much more concentrated than at-home systems.
When comparing laser teeth whitening vs bleaching, they both actually work quite similarly, even though the process seems different. This method uses the same paste as bleaching, but the laser heats the molecules in the paste so that it speeds up the breakdown process. It’s also shorter and less taxing, but results typically last the same as bleaching.
Laser teeth whitening is an effective and quick way to improve your smile. But it’s essential to keep in mind that the cost of laser teeth whitening will vary depending on where you receive it and the type of treatment used. Additionally, there may be certain side effects associated with the procedure, so make sure to discuss any potential risks with your dentist before undergoing treatment.