Teeth whitening cost will, of course, vary depending on the type of whitening you do. If you’re having professional teeth whitening done, that will obviously cost significantly more than if you are doing at home types. This of course leads many individuals to ask the question -how much does teeth whitening cost? If you are looking for the professional teeth whitening cost, that will be dependent on a whole variety of factors such as your individual dentist, the cost of teeth whitening by that particular facility, whether the teeth whitening dentist cost can be covered by your insurance, and whether dental teeth whitening costs are something that you and your orthodontist or dentist can work out with payment plans.
Before we dive deep into this topic, let’s check in with the experts and see what professionals have to say about teeth whitening:
A sizable proportion of over the counter (OTC) whitening products, such as whitening strips or tray-less whitening systems, paint-on-gels, gels with pre-fabricated trays, and whitening toothpaste have become popular in recent years because of their relatively low cost to the patient (Majeed A et al., 2015). Some patients may experience side effects like gingival or mucosal irritation with bleaching procedures (Majeed A et al., 2015). And that is true whether you use commercially available products, or if you have your teeth whitened at the dentist. That’s why dentists recommend that those with existing sensitivity should be treated and desensitized before commencing bleaching treatment (Majeed A et al., 2015).
As you can see, this is clearly a complex subject and it depends on a wide variety of factors. Other things to consider are can individuals have side effects from at-home treatments? What about individuals who are sensitive? But then there are other costs to consider as well when you think about how much is teeth whitening. Because cost can mean so many different things, we’re going to split it up into its main categories, starting off with the monetary cost.
Monetary has a huge spectrum of what that means, as you can get some teeth whitening products such as a bottle of teeth whitening mouthwash for $6, up to the professional services that can cost $600 and more. The cost can be truly extensive from one end of the scale to the other, but not all of these things are important.
Certainly you can buy low-cost teeth whitening products but this is one of those cases where oftentimes the lower the cost, the lower the quality or effectiveness. Few to no studies have shown that teeth whitening mouthwashes whiten teeth completely. Although this may be one of your cheapest options, if it doesn’t actually whiten the teeth at all then it’s really no option.
Contrast this with some of the trays, gels, and even some teeth whitening toothpastes. But again, not all of these things are created equal and while some might appear to give good results, the results can oftentimes be fleeting as we will get into at a later section. Although professional teeth whitening is most definitely the most expensive of all the options, it is also the safest as it will be done by a professional and is guaranteed to be the most effective.
How much is teeth whitening – effectiveness cost
As mentioned earlier, although the monetary price for treatments can vary, the effectiveness will also vary, oftentimes in relation to the cost. While gels, strips, and some toothpaste may indeed whiten your teeth, the long-term effects are going to be less noticeable than if they were done by a professional.
This is because professional bleaching can utilize processes and agents that are not really available from the over-the-counter versions. So although your teeth whitening strips and gels may whiten your teeth for a couple of months, by utilizing professional teeth whiteners from your orthodontist or dentist you can whiten your teeth for many months and in some cases years before they start to return to the prior colouring.
One of the things that individuals also need to remember that no treatment is permanent. Because of this, although you might initially spend less by only spending $100 per month on strips and trays to get that whiter smile, if you have to keep on applying them regularly, eventually the cost will be significantly more than if you had simply gone for a one-time higher expense with your orthodontic office.
The $600 to $1,000 that you spend once every year or two will be far less than a few hundred dollars that you end up spending every couple months over the same time frame. So though the initial cost will be lower, the long-term cost can end up being far higher which is something many individuals do not realize. Many people are not aware that teeth whitening is not a one-time thing but rather if you want to maintain that beautiful white smile, it needs to be done on a regular basis.
One of the other big cost factors that individuals do not take into account when thinking about the cost of teeth whitening is the time cost. Oftentimes the cheaper the product and the less effective it is, the longer it will take for you to see any results. If you’re using a tooth whitening toothpaste then it may take weeks or even months to see results versus if you utilize gels or trays and you can see results within only a week or two.
Contrast this again with professional teeth whitening where your teeth will come out several shades whiter after the first treatment from your orthodontist or dental office. That makes time investment a big factor for many individuals.
However it is not only the time investment when it comes to the actual treatment time itself, but the time it takes you to do it. Having a professional office that is not only able to do it safer and better is one thing, but they can also do it faster. Treatment times for teeth whitening from your orthodontic office are usually well under an hour. Contrast this with needing to wear trays for 15, 20, or even 30 minutes at a time several times a week to be able to get to the same effects that you would get in only a couple of sessions with your orthodontic office.
Not only is there the cost of having to find and buy the trays but also the cost of then applying them yourself and making sure it is done correctly and evenly. You definitely do not want to have teeth that are whitened irregularly. Going with a professional on this can save you the trouble of a bad whitening attempt, get it done faster, and in many cases get it done cheaper than it would be for you to maintain the whitening over a long period of time.
With so many pros and so few cons, it is little wonder then that professional teeth whitening is gaining in popularity when compared to over the counter methods.
If you’re looking to get your teeth professionally whitened, it is always best to speak to your dentist about their professional opinion. It is possible to find a range of teeth whitening products that you can use yourself at home or you may seek professional assistance.
If you opt for over the counter products, such as strips or gels, you may find them a little bit tedious to use, but they generally work when you apply them correctly. Alternatively, you may choose to use whitening treatments supplied by your dentist for home use but the results may vary. Whitening treatments do also include dental-office bleaching procedures.
If you choose to go to the dentist office to get your teeth whitened, you may find that this produces the best results for you. However, you may also find that you need to get a touch up every few months to maintain the initial effect.
The bottom line is that at the end of the day, depending on your specific situation, using over the counter products might be good for you. Alternatively, depending on your situation, you may need to see a dentist to get professional help. For example, if your teeth are misaligned, or crooked, or you have other dental problems, attempting to whiten your teeth yourself may cause you more harm than good. It is best to get a professional evaluation before embarking on the journey because you may need to undergo some other dental work before whitening your teeth.
Majeed, A., Farooq, I., Grobler, S. R., & Rossouw, R. J. (2015). Tooth-Bleaching: A Review of the Efficacy and Adverse Effects of Various Tooth Whitening Products. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons–Pakistan, 25(12), 1-6. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283715456