How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost

Even with the best flossing and brushing routine, tooth discoloration or staining is possible over time. Things like age, medications, tea, coffee, smoking, and certain foods, can all contribute to staining or yellowing of the teeth despite diligent cleaning. Luckily, there are several options available for whitening teeth that can be done either in a dentist’s office or from the comfort of home. Like most medical or dental procedures, cost is often a consideration when determining which treatment is suitable so this article will examine the price of some of the more popular whitening treatments.

Various Whitening Procedures and Related Costs

There are three main options for teeth whitening currently available. While they all rely on bleaching agents (carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide), the strength or concentration of the whitening agents vary as do the treatment times and cost.

* Professional/In-Office Whitening: Patients seeking the fastest, most effective, and longest lasting treatment will likely opt for an in-office whitening procedure. These treatments involve the careful application of highly concentrated peroxide gel to the teeth by a dentist. Unlike at-home whitening treatments than utilize around 10 percent hydrogen peroxide, the bleaching agents used in-office are much stronger and range between 25 to 40 percent. To avoid irritating the gums, a rubber dam is painted-on to prevent contact with the whitening agent. Typically, the bleaching agent is left on the teeth for multiple 15-20 minute intervals that at most, total an hour. Patients with significant or stubborn stains, may necessitate multiple bleaching sessions or require continued treatment at home.
COST: Average cost ranged from $650 to $1,000 per visit/treatment.

* Professional Take-Home Whitening Kits: Professionally dispensed teeth whitening kits that can be used at the patient’s home are another option that some dentists feel offer the best long-term results. Resembling a mouthguard, these kits utilize a lower concentration whitening agent that remains on the teeth. Generally, the kits are worn for an hour or more (in some cases overnight) and the lower the percentage of peroxide, the longer they may safely be worn. Treatment often lasts one to two weeks depending on the extent of discoloration.
COST: Average cost ranges from $100 to $400 per whitening kit.

* Over-the-Counter Products: If cost and convenience are the primary concerns, multiple over-the-counter products are available to whiten teeth at home. Again, these options typically utilize hydrogen peroxide as the bleaching agent but are significantly less-concentrated than their professional counterparts. Whitening strips are one such product that involves applying small plastic bleaching strips directly to the teeth for 30 minutes daily for one to two weeks. Other options include gels that can be painted onto the surfaces of the teeth, whitening toothpastes that use abrasives to remove stains, or whitening mouth rinses containing hydrogen peroxide. Because these treatments are one-size-fits-all, rather than customized specifically for the patient, they are often less effective than professional treatments and do not last as long.

COST: Can range from $5 for whitening toothpastes or rinses to $100 or more for a store-bought whitening kit.

What are Teeth Whitening Kits