How Much Does Professional Teeth Whitening Cost?

One of the most common things people want to change about their smile is the shade of their teeth. Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that removes surface stains and makes teeth brighter in shade. Our teeth naturally become darker over time due to dietary habits, certain medications, smoking, natural tooth enamel wear, or trauma.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening cost can vary based on the type. For instance, there are over-the-counter whitening products and professional teeth whitening kits sold on average from $5 to $400. Whereas, in office teeth whitening cost, which is the safest and most effective teeth whitening method is often between $300 and $1,000. In this article we will discuss the facts about teeth whitening and the associated costs.

Understanding Different Teeth Whitening Methods and Their Costs

In-office teeth whitening is often the most expensive method of whitening available. Although expensive, in-office teeth whitening is applied and monitored by a dental professional, uses state-of-the art technology, and is the most effective in whitening your teeth by lightening your teeth approximately 5-8 shades in an hour.

Whereas, home whitening kits and over-the-counter whitening options are typically less expensive than professional in-office teeth whitening. The cost difference mainly exists due to the lesser efficacy of whitening from at-home products. These products tend to contain lower concentrations of bleaching agents and do not work as good or fast as in-office teeth whitening.

Professional In-Office Teeth Whitening

Professional in-office teeth whitening can be performed by a dental professional to provide safe, fast, and effective results in comparison to over-the-counter whitening products. A dentist will apply a high concentration bleaching gel to the teeth, which can be activated by LED light or laser technology. In-office whitening sessions tend to take approximately 60 to 90 minutes to achieve the desired shade of whiteness. In one visit, tooth shades can potentially become up to 8 shades lighter.

Procedure and Technology Used

There are many different types of technology that can be used for professional in-office teeth whitening, including Zoom and laser teeth whitening. Philips Zoom in-office whitening uses a hydrogen peroxide based whitening gel and LED light to bleach the teeth over a specific time. Zoom teeth whitening cost is usually around $500 per session.

Similarly, laser whitening treatment involves using a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide bleaching gel, but uses a laser instead of LED light to activate the bleaching process. The cost of laser teeth whitening ranges typically between $400 and $1,500. Laser teeth whitening cost tends to be more expensive than whitening methods using LED light due to its faster speed and greater intensity of whitening.

Cost Breakdown and Factors

Professional teeth whitening cost ranges on average between $300 and $1,000. The average cost of teeth whitening is influenced by factors such as the type of whitening procedure and technology used, the dentist's experience, and the geographical location of the dental practice. Some dental offices may also charge an additional fee for whitening consultations or touch-up treatments.

Home Whitening Kits from Dentists

Your dental professional may offer at-home whitening kits that can produce excellent results. These whitening kits also contain high concentrations of peroxide-based whitening gels. You will also be provided custom-made bleaching trays or a mouthguard to place the bleaching gel inside. Since the whitening kits will be used at home without the supervision of a dental professional, extra-care in following instructions must be implemented to damaging your tooth enamel and gums. At-home whitening kits cost on average between$100 to $600.

At-home whitening kits are often used for about two weeks for a specified amount of time per day. Depending on the concentration of bleaching agents in the whitening kits, these products may produce similar results to professional in-office teeth whitening.

Types and Effectiveness

There are various brands of at-home whitening kits that dental professionals may prescribe. Common at-home whitening kits include Opalescence Go ($87), Colgate Optic White LED Teeth Whitening Kit ($50), SmileDirectClub Teeth Whitening Kit ($67), and Crest Whitening Emulsions with LED Accelerator ($50). These whitening products typically contain peroxides (carbamide, hydrogen) that help remove intrinsic and extrinsic stains. These whitening products are effective in whitening teeth several shades brighter due to their high concentrations of bleaching agents. However, they often contain less concentrations of the bleaching agents than in-office teeth whitening and are thus less effective.

Cost Comparison with Professional Treatments

So, how much does teeth whitening cost? Teeth whitening cost is vastly different between professional in-office treatments and at-home whitening kits. Professional treatments range on average between $300 and $1,000. This method of whitening can produce results that last approximately 6 months to 3 years. In contrast, at-home whitening kits provided by a dental professional cost on average between $100 to $600. Professional at-home whitening kits produce results that last around four to six months.

Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Options

Over-the-counter whitening products, including whitening strips, gels, rinses, and toothpastes are generally most effective at removing surface stains. These products often contain low levels of peroxide bleaching agents, and thus do not produce long-lasting whitening results. The average price ranges of over-the-counter whitening products include $10 to $55 for strips and gels, $5 to $10 for rinses, and $1 to $20 for toothpastes.

Range of Products and Their Ingredients

  • Whitening strips and gels can be applied directly to the teeth to bleach them with varying strengths of peroxides (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide).
  • Whitening rinses can be used as a daily mouthwash to provide some whitening benefit. Since mouth rinses do not remain in contact with the teeth for very long, these whitening products are often least effective. Mouth rinses also contain low concentrations of peroxides (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide).
  • Whitening toothpastes contain mild abrasives designed to remove superficial surface stains. Some whitening toothpastes contain very low concentrations of bleaching peroxides (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide).

Effectiveness and Safety Concerns

Teeth Whitening MethodEstimated CostPeroxide LevelTreatment DurationWhitening ProcessSatisfaction RateLongevity of Results
In-Office Teeth Whitening$300 to $1,00035-40%60-90 minutes per sessionApplication of bleaching agents activated by LED light or Laser.High satisfaction rate6 months to 3 years
At-Home Whitening Kits$100 to $60010-35%2 weeksApplication of bleaching agents through custom-trays. May include light activation.High satisfaction rate4 to 6 months
Over-The-Counter Whitening Pens$5 to $400< 10%2 weeksApplication of bleaching agents directly to tooth via pen. May include light activation.Low-medium satisfaction rate3 weeks to 2 months

Factors Affecting Teeth Whitening Costs

There are many different factors that can affect teeth whitening costs. These factors include geographic location, number of sessions, initial teeth condition, and any additional required procedures. Continue reading to learn more.

Geographic Location Variations

The location in which you live can impact the cost of teeth whitening based on the cost of living. Dental practices in major cities tend to have increased prices for in-office whitening treatment and professional kits. Whereas, dental practices in more rural areas often charge less for teeth whitening services.

New EnglandAverage Low CostAverage High Cost
New Hampshire$300$600
Rhode Island$100$400

Number of Sessions and Teeth Condition

Costs of teeth whitening are charged per session. Some teeth whitening methods will require a number of sessions to achieve your desired teeth shade, which can increase costs. The number of sessions needed can also depend on the initial condition of the teeth prior to whitening. Teeth that have deeper stains may require additional sessions.

Additional Dental Procedures

Prior to teeth whitening, your teeth and gums must be in a stable healthy condition. Your dentist may recommend having your teeth cleaned and any additional necessary treatment prior to teeth whitening. Most dental insurances offer some coverage (often between 80-100%) of the costs for preventative services such as routine exams, dental cleanings, X-rays, and fillings.

Insurance and Teeth Whitening Costs

How much does teeth whitening cost with insurance? In general, teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by most dental insurance plans. However, some insurance plans may offer coverage if teeth whitening is deemed medically necessary. Contact your insurance provider to determine what dental procedures have coverage.

Coverage and Limitations

How much does teeth whitening cost without insurance? Although most dental insurance plans do not cover teeth whitening, your dental provider may offer special discounts, promotions, or a financing plan to help make teeth whitening more affordable. Without dental insurance, professional teeth whitening and at-home whitening kits provided by your dentist can cost around $100 to $1000.

Making an Informed Decision: Which Method Suits You?

Balancing Cost and Effectiveness

Your dental professional can help you choose the most cost-effective method to meet your smile goals. Their professional advice can help ensure that you are choosing the right method based on your individual needs and finances.

Consulting with Dental Professionals

Our team of dentists and specialists at Gentle Dental can help you achieve the smile of your dreams. You can trust our team of experts to direct you to the best teeth whitening method for your smile. Contact us today at one of our many Gentle Dental locations for more information on teeth whitening and our personalized care approach.


Did we answer your question, ‘how much does teeth whitening cost?’ We hope that this article gives you a good summary of teeth whitening procedure cost. The increased price of professional in-office teeth whitening can be accredited to its increased safety, greater efficacy, and faster whitening results. At-home whitening kits and over-the-counter whitening products can also be a great option to whiten your smile. Although most dental insurance plans do not offer coverage for teeth whitening, there are often other affordable financing options to help you brighten your smile. There are many methods to whiten your teeth and your dental professional can help guide you to the best option for your smile.