Dr. Joshua Bratt RVC Dentist

143 N Long Beach Rd, Suite 3, Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Call Us (516) 764-7333 

Call Us (516) 764-7333 

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How Much Does it Cost to Whiten Teeth

A radiant smile can speak volumes, boosting self-confidence and leaving a lasting impression on everyone you meet. But with so many teeth whitening options and costs available, you might wonder, “How much does it cost to whiten teeth?” In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different teeth whitening methods, their costs, and factors to consider when choosing a whitening treatment, so you can make an informed decision and achieve that dazzling smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Short Summary

  • Understanding tooth discoloration and the factors to consider when choosing a whitening method are key for selecting the best option.
  • Costs of professional in-office treatments, custom take-home kits from dentists, and over-the-counter products vary widely.
  • Maintaining results requires regular use of whitening toothpaste & oral care products, avoidance of staining foods & drinks, and touch up treatments as needed.

Understanding Tooth Discoloration

Two female dentists discuss and examine the x-ray image of the patient's teeth. Two female dentists discuss and examine the x-ray image of the patient's teeth. A patient considering dental implant treatment and assessing candidacy for implants stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Tooth discoloration can be attributed to two types of stains: intrinsic and extrinsic. Age plays a significant role in tooth color, as wear and tear, and stain accumulation increase over time. Teenagers may see dramatic results from teeth whitening treatments, while those in their twenties may require a bit more effort.

By the 40s, yellow casts give way to brown, and by the 50s, teeth may have absorbed stubborn stains that can be difficult, but not impossible, to remove. To combat tooth discoloration, both at-home and professional whitening treatments can be employed.

Extrinsic Stains

Extrinsic stains are surface stains that arise due to external factors. These include consumption of certain foods, drinks, and tobacco products. Common culprits include coffee, red wine, and tobacco use. Over time, these factors can lead to the appearance of brown and yellow spots on teeth.

For milder cases, regular brushing and flossing may help remove some extrinsic stains. However, for more stubborn stains, teeth whitening may be necessary to restore your smile’s sparkle. At-home kits and in-office treatments are typically effective at removing these surface stains, providing a brighter, more confident smile.

Intrinsic Stains

Intrinsic stains form internally on the teeth. They can be due to numerous factors, such as trauma, aging, exposure to minerals during tooth formation or excessive consumption of fluoride. These stains can be more challenging to remove, often requiring a supervised take-home teeth whitening program monitored over several months or even a year.

For individuals seeking a faster solution, dental veneers may be an alternative cosmetic option to conceal intrinsic stains.

Teeth Whitening Options and Costs

Female dentist in Dental office holding folder Smiling nurse writing notice at dental office A dentist performing a professional teeth whitening treatment in their office stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

When it comes to teeth whitening, there are several options to choose from: professional in-office treatments, custom take-home kits from dentists, and over-the-counter products. The costs associated with these methods can vary significantly, with professional teeth whitening treatments generally being the most expensive, while over-the-counter products tend to be the most affordable.

Before embarking on any teeth whitening journey, it is essential to consult with a dentist to gain an accurate expectation of the results you can anticipate and the duration of the process.

Professional In-Office Whitening

In-office teeth whitening treatments, administered by a dental professional, provide fast and effective results, albeit at a higher cost. The process typically begins with a prophylactic cleaning to ensure optimal whitening outcomes. A bleaching agent or customized paste is then applied to the teeth, and a light may be used to activate the agent.

The average cost of in-office teeth whitening at a dentist’s office is approximately $650. However, prices can vary depending on the specific treatment and location. For example, Zoom teeth whitening, a popular in-office treatment, can range from $300 to $600. Laser whitening treatments, which typically yield the most remarkable results, can cost anywhere between $300 to $1800.

Custom Take-Home Kits from Dentists

A more cost-effective option, custom take-home whitening kits provided by dentists offer the advantage of professional guidance at a fraction of the cost of in-office treatments. These kits typically include custom-fitted trays and a dental-grade bleaching gel, which the dentist will instruct you on how to use appropriately and safely.

The average cost for custom take-home kits in the US ranges from $200 to $400, while in the Boston area, it can be between $300 to $600.

Over-the-Counter Whitening Products

For those seeking a more budget-friendly option, over-the-counter whitening products are widely available and can provide noticeable results. These products include whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, gels, strips, and trays, with costs ranging from $15 to $400.

While these at-home options may not provide the same level of whitening as professional treatments, they can still significantly improve the appearance of your teeth and remove surface stains. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of these products depends on the strength of the whitening agent and the duration of treatment.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Whitening Method

Before and after Before and after A woman comparing the color of her teeth before and after a whitening treatment stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

When selecting a teeth whitening method, it’s crucial to consider factors such as peroxide concentration, procedure intensity, and professional vs. at-home treatments. Each of these factors can affect the overall cost, effectiveness, and potential side effects of the whitening treatment.

By understanding the factors that influence the outcome of your teeth whitening procedure, you can make an informed decision that best suits your dental history, the degree of discoloration, and your budget.

Peroxide Concentration

The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in a teeth whitening product, known as peroxide concentration, plays a significant role in the effectiveness of the treatment. The FDA and ADA have approved 10% carbamide peroxide as a safe and effective concentration for tooth whitening, which is similar to 3.6% hydrogen peroxide.

Higher concentrations of peroxide typically yield faster and more noticeable results, but may also increase the risk of tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.

Procedure Intensity

Procedure intensity refers to the degree of difficulty and invasiveness involved in the treatment, which can impact the cost and potential side effects. Mild intensity procedures, such as over-the-counter whitening products, are generally the most economical option, while aggressive intensity procedures, like laser whitening, tend to be the most expensive.

It’s essential to weigh the potential benefits and side effects, such as sensitivity and gum irritation, against the desired results when considering the intensity of a teeth whitening treatment.

Professional vs. At-Home Treatments

Professional teeth whitening treatments, administered by a dental professional, typically utilize more potent whitening agents than at-home treatments, allowing for faster and more effective results. However, professional treatments can be more costly and may cause potential side effects, such as teeth sensitivity and gum irritation.

On the other hand, at-home treatments, which are generally more affordable, may not provide the same level of whitening as professional treatments. Ultimately, the choice between professional and at-home treatments depends on your desired results, budget, and willingness to accept potential side effects.

Insurance and Payment Options for Teeth Whitening

Beautiful woman dentist looking at patients x ray smiling Beautiful woman dentist looking at patients x ray smiling. Shallow DOF. Developed from RAW; retouched with special care and attention; Small amount of grain added for best final impression. 16 bit Adobe RGB color profile. A woman looking at a dental insurance plan to cover the cost of her teeth whitening treatment stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Teeth whitening procedures are generally not covered by dental insurance, as they are considered cosmetic treatments. However, there are several payment options available for teeth whitening services, including dental payment plans, discounts, and financing options.

It’s essential to explore these options and discuss them with your dentist to determine the best approach for financing your teeth whitening treatment.

Dental Insurance Coverage

Dental insurance plans usually cover preventive care, basic care, major restorative care, and orthodontics. However, most plans do not include coverage for cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, as they are considered non-essential treatments.

As a result, it’s crucial to be prepared for out-of-pocket expenses when considering teeth whitening treatments.

Dental Payment Plans and Discounts

Many dental practices offer payment plans and discounts for teeth whitening services, making the treatments more accessible for patients. Dental payment plans, which are often arranged through a local dentist or chain of clinics, can provide quite a significant discount. For example, they offer a fixed percentage on all treatments, including cosmetic whitening.

It’s essential to inquire about these options with your dentist to ensure you receive the best possible deal on your teeth whitening treatment.

Financing Options

For those without dental insurance or seeking additional financing options, external lenders and specialized credit cards, such as CareCredit, can be an excellent resource. CareCredit is designed specifically to assist with medical and dental expenses and can be used to cover the costs of teeth whitening and other cosmetic dental treatments.

By exploring various financing options, you can ensure that your teeth whitening treatment is both affordable and accessible.

Maintaining Your Whitened Teeth

Ready for clening teeth Ready for clening teeth, toothbrush and toothpaste close up A woman brushing her teeth with a whitening toothpaste stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

After investing in the perfect smile, it’s essential to maintain your newly whitened teeth to prolong the results and keep your smile radiant. This can be achieved by using whitening toothpaste and oral care products, avoiding staining foods and drinks, and scheduling touch-up treatments as needed.

Whitening Toothpaste and Oral Care Products

Regular brushing and flossing, combined with the use of a teeth whitening toothpaste, can help maintain the results of your whitening treatment and prevent surface stains from reappearing. Popular brands of whitening toothpaste include Crest, Sensodyne, Colgate, and Tom’s of Maine.

By incorporating these products into your daily oral care routine, you can keep your smile shining brightly.

Avoiding Staining Foods and Drinks

To minimize the risk of staining your newly whitened teeth, it’s important to reduce the consumption of dark berries, coffee, tea, soda, wine, candy, and sweets, as these are known to cause staining.

To further protect your teeth, consider drinking through a straw or brushing your teeth after consuming staining foods and drinks. By adopting these preventive measures, you can help preserve the results of your teeth whitening treatment.

Touch-Up Treatments

small conversation between a patient and a dentist, preparing for a dental checkup in a dental office. Regular visits to the orthodontist. A small conversation between a patient and a dentist, preparing for a dental checkup in a dental office. Regular visits to the orthodontist. A person receiving a touch-up teeth whitening treatment, which can help maintain the results of a professional teeth whitening procedure that typically costs around the same as how much does it cost to whiten teeth. stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Touch-up treatments are an effective way to extend the effects of your teeth whitening treatment and inhibit minor discoloration from becoming more visible stains. These treatments can be performed using whitening gel refills, which can be used with the tray from a previous whitening treatment.

It is generally advised to schedule touch-ups every 6 to 12 months, depending on your individual needs and the condition of your teeth.


In conclusion, achieving a bright and confident smile through teeth whitening is an investment in your appearance and self-esteem. With various teeth whitening options and costs available, it’s essential to carefully consider factors such as peroxide concentration, procedure intensity, professional vs. at-home treatments, and payment options when choosing the best method for your needs. By maintaining your newly whitened teeth with proper oral care, avoiding staining foods and drinks, and scheduling touch-up treatments as needed, you can continue to enjoy your radiant smile for years to come. So, take the first step towards a brighter, more confident smile and explore the teeth whitening options that best suit your needs and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to make your teeth white?

Teeth whitening costs can range from free to up to $1,000. Professional in-office treatment generally starts around $650 and at-home whitening kits average around $250 to $500.

Regular maintenance is usually around $30 a year.

How long does whitening teeth last?

With professional teeth whitening treatments, you can expect to enjoy noticeably whiter teeth for up to three years. When done in a dental office, these treatments provide long-lasting results, giving you a beautiful, confident smile for years.

Can I get my teeth permanently whitened?

Teeth whitening may produce temporary results that may last several months to a few years depending on your lifestyle and oral hygiene habits.

However, if you’re looking for permanent teeth whitening, veneers are a better choice.

Is it good to whiten your teeth at the dentist?

Overall, it is a good idea to whiten your teeth at the dentist’s office. Professional teeth whitening is one of the safest dental procedures available and significantly more safe than using over-the-counter products.

Therefore, if you are looking to whiten your teeth, it is advised that you consult with your dentist first.

How much is a teeth whitening?

The cost of a teeth whitening procedure will vary depending on the individual’s specific needs, however it generally ranges between $99-$367.

It is important to research and discuss your options with a dental professional before undergoing any kind of teeth whitening treatment.


Dr Joshua Bratt

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