It's no secret that teeth whitening has become an incredibly popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. Many people are eager to restore their bright, white smile and feel more confident in their appearance. As of 2023, the global teeth whitening market was estimated at USD 10565.84 million and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5% leading up to 2030. But is this method of beautification affordable for the average individual?
In this article, we'll explore the costs associated with teeth whitening and help you understand what to expect when undergoing the procedure.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Cost
At-home teeth whitening is one of the most popular teeth whitening options due to its convenience and affordability. If you've never heard of at-home teeth whitening, it's an easy and cost-effective way to whiten your teeth without having to visit a dentist. There are a few different methods, including:
- Over-the-counter whitening strips. Whitening strips use a peroxide-based gel to whiten your teeth. You leave them in place for a specified amount of time and then remove them. Strips can range in price from $20-$40. Smilie is one of the most popular brands for whitening strips; they cost around $20, while a high-end brand like Hismile can cost around $35.
- Teeth whitening kits. Brands like SmileDirectClub and Auraglow offer at-home teeth whitening kits that include a gel solution combined with special LED lights. The lights are similar to a mouth guard; they cover the teeth and activate the gel. While these kits are more expensive than whitening strips, they can still be found for around $50-100.
- Whitening toothpaste. A tooth-whitening paste uses abrasives to remove surface stains and is the least costly option, costing anywhere from $5-15. Some brands use 100% natural ingredients, while others may include special whitening agents.
At-home methods of teeth whitening are undoubtedly cheaper than visiting a specialist, but you may not get quite the same results as if you were to go to a professional.
In-Office Teeth Whitening Cost
When it comes to professional teeth whitening, the cost varies greatly depending on the type of procedure and your geographic location. Generally speaking, in-office teeth whitening can range from $500-$1,000 per session, with the average being around $650.
The type of procedure can also affect the cost. Laser teeth whitening is one of the most popular procedures, and it typically costs around $400-600 per session. Zoom whitening is another popular option; it uses a special light to activate a hydrogen peroxide gel and results in brighter, whiter teeth in about an hour. This procedure can cost anywhere from $500-1,000, depending on geographical location and other factors.
Another important factor to consider when undergoing professional whitening is whether or not you need any additional treatments, such as teeth cleaning or fillings. Extra procedures will, of course, increase the cost of the overall procedure.
Teeth whitening insurance is not generally available, but some plans may include it.
Factors Affecting The Teeth Whitening Cost
The cost of whitening your teeth can be unpredictable at times, especially if you’re unsure about the type of procedure you want. However, there are several factors that can affect the cost of your treatment:
Type Of Whitening Treatment
As we've already covered, there are many different types of professional teeth whitening treatments available, from laser to Zoom! Whitening. The cost of each type will vary depending on the complexity and time needed for the procedure.
To reiterate: whitening strips range anywhere from $20 to $40, whitening toothpaste costs around $5 to $15, and take-home kits are a little more expensive at $50 to $100. In-office whitening treatments are more intense and therefore cost more; they range from $400 to $1,000 per session, plus any additional treatments.
Dentist Skill And Expertise
When considering the cost of professional teeth whitening, it’s important to take into account the dentist's skill and expertise. Some dentists may charge more than others due to their experience, so it pays off to do your research. There's a toss-up to consider here – a less experienced dentist may be cheaper, but the results could wind up less impressive than with a more experienced dentist. Your best bet is to get a recommendation from your dentist or friends and colleagues.
Location Of Dental Practice
The cost of teeth whitening can also vary depending on the location of the dental practice. Generally speaking, dentists in larger cities tend to charge more than those in smaller towns or rural areas. It's not a blanket rule, of course – but it can be an important factor to consider when budgeting for your teeth whitening procedure.
Number Of Follow-Up Visits
Your dentist may request follow-up visits to check on the progress of your teeth whitening. Depending on the type of procedure and your individual needs, you may need anywhere from one to four additional visits. This will naturally increase the cost of your treatment, so factor this into your budget when considering professional whitening services.
Additional Procedures Before Whitening
In some cases, your dentist might recommend additional procedures before teeth whitening. This could include:
- Dental cleanings. There's no point moving ahead with whitening if you have tartar and plaque buildup on your teeth. A dental cleaning will help remove layers of tartar and plaque so the whitening can be more effective.
- Composite fillings. If you have cavities or old, stained fillings, your dentist may need to replace them with composite fillings before whitening.
Every dental situation is unique and requires an individualized treatment plan. Your dentist will let you know if any additional procedures are necessary before whitening.
Teeth Whitening Alternatives
Cosmetic teeth whitening costs vary depending on the type of procedure you choose. Many people opt for over-the-counter kits that can be purchased at a local pharmacy or grocery store, while others may prefer to visit a professional dental office for treatments. Still, there are a number of reasons why you might not want to commit to teeth whitening treatments:
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding. Bleaching agents should be completely avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding, according to Healthline – so if you’re expecting or nursing, you may want to consider alternative whitening options.
- Sensitivity. Some people have very sensitive teeth and gums. Harsher whitening solutions may cause teeth whitening side effects like irritation and even pain – which means you’ll need to look at other teeth whitening options.
- Long-term costs. Depending on the type of treatment you choose, there may be hidden long-term costs associated with teeth whitening treatments. For example, if you opt for over-the-counter whitening kits, replacement strips and gels can add up quickly in the long run.
So, what are your other teeth whitening options?
If you're unfamiliar with this procedure, Cleveland Clinic explains that veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite material that are bonded to the surface of your teeth. They can help cover up discoloration and give you a brighter smile in no time. Veneers have several advantages over other whitening procedures, such as being more durable and less likely to stain over time – but they also come with a hefty price tag, usually costing between $400-$2000 per tooth (or more), according to Healthline.
There are a few different options when it comes to veneers. Composite veneers are made of resin and require less prep work than porcelain veneers, but they generally don't last as long and can stain more easily. Porcelain veneers are more expensive; however, they're also much more durable (lasting up to 15 years or longer) and won't discolor over time.
Dental bonding is another option for those looking to brighten their smile without using teeth whitening methods. This procedure involves a tooth-colored resin material being applied to the teeth, which is then hardened with a laser or ultraviolet light. Bonding can repair chips and cracks in teeth, as well as improve their overall appearance.
The cost of bonding depends on how much work needs to be done and what type of materials are used, but generally, it will run you between $100-$400 per tooth. While this is more affordable than veneers, it's also not as durable; most dental bonds last between 3-10 years before needing to be replaced.
Dental crowns are a major investment, but they may be the best option for those with severely discolored teeth. Crowns cover the entire visible portion of your tooth and can help hide any staining or discoloration. They're also made to match the color of your natural teeth, so you won't have to worry about an obvious difference in shade. Crowns are one of the most expensive options for teeth whitening, typically costing around $800 to $1700 for each tooth.
Why Should I Get My Teeth Whitened?
What are the benefits of white teeth? Having a bright, white smile can do wonders for your self-confidence and make you feel more attractive. It's amazing the impact that a bright smile can have on your overall look and even the way you feel about yourself. Not to mention, white teeth are also associated with good oral hygiene, which is important for your health.
However, your teeth whitening cost at the dentist can be a bit of a shock to the system. If you're going to invest in a brighter smile, it's important to consider all of your options and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Your teeth whitening treatment cost shouldn't be the only factor you consider, but it's certainly something to keep in mind.
Now, let’s take a peek at some popular questions on teeth whitening.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that lightens and brightens the shade of your teeth. This can be achieved through professional treatments at a dentist's office or with over-the-counter products. The most common at-home products are whitening strips, gels, and toothpastes; in-office treatments are more powerful and usually involve bleaching agents. Teeth whitening kits are also growing in popularity – they usually contain custom trays and whitening gel that you can use at home.
How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?
The cost of teeth whitening will depend on the type of treatment you choose and where you get it done. Professional treatments are usually more expensive than over-the-counter products, but they also offer better results. Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits typically range from $20 to $50, depending on the brand, while in-office treatments usually start at around $400.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Teeth Whitening?
Yes, there are certain risks associated with any teeth whitening treatment, including increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods, gum irritation, and tooth damage. If you opt for over-the-counter products or at-home kits, it's important to follow the instructions carefully in order to avoid these risks.
In terms of at-home vs in-office teeth whitening, both hold a similar level of risk.
Some people may be allergic or sensitive to certain chemicals used in professional treatments; your dentist can help you determine if this is an issue for you before proceeding with a treatment. You can usually rely on teeth whitening safety if you follow all instructions and precautions.
Is Teeth Whitening At A Dentist Worth It?
Whether or not teeth whitening at a dentist is worth it depends on your individual needs and budget. Professional treatments tend to be more expensive than over-the-counter products, but they also offer better results that last longer. If you're looking for a dramatic change in the shade of your teeth, then professional treatments may be worth the cost – however, if you don't have much money to spend, then over-the-counter products may be a better option for you.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Whiten My Teeth?
The cheapest way to whiten your teeth is with over-the-counter products. These are typically the least expensive option, but they also offer the least dramatic results. Whitening strips and gels are usually the most affordable products, while toothpastes generally have more limited teeth whitening effects. Another option is to use natural products like baking soda; you can mix it with water to create a paste and brush your teeth with it for a few minutes each day.
Should I Get My Teeth Whitened?
You should never get your teeth whitened out of pressure to look a certain way; it should be a personal decision that directly benefits you. If you feel as though having whiter teeth would improve your confidence or make you happier, then it may be worth considering. Ultimately, the decision to get your teeth whitened is up to you – just make sure that you weigh all of the costs and risks before making a final decision.
Why Is Teeth Whitening Expensive?
Teeth whitening can be expensive due to the cost of materials and professional labor involved. In-office treatments typically require special equipment, such as bleaching agents and custom trays; this raises the cost significantly compared to over-the-counter products. Furthermore, most dentists charge an additional fee for their services – which adds to the total cost of the treatment.
Can I Whiten My Teeth While Pregnant?
It is not recommended to whiten your teeth while pregnant or nursing due to the potential risks to you and your baby. The chemicals used in professional treatments may be harmful, so it's best to avoid them altogether during this time.
You can still use over-the-counter products such as gels and toothpastes; just make sure that you consult with your doctor before doing so.
Cosmetic dentistry is becoming more popular year by year. More people want to have brighter, whiter smiles – but it's important to consider the cost and risks before making a decision. Professional treatments tend to be more expensive than over-the-counter products due to the cost of materials and professional labor. At-home kits are growing in popularity as they offer a more affordable and convenient option. Ultimately, the decision to get your teeth whitened should be based on your individual needs and budget.
If you want to whiten teeth naturally, there are a few options to consider. Baking soda is a popular choice, as it can be mixed with water to create a paste that you can brush onto your teeth for several minutes each day. However, if you want more dramatic results, then professional treatments may be worth the cost – just make sure that you discuss all of the risks and costs with your dentist beforehand.