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Whether it’s a date, job interview, or social event, a bright, white smile can help you make a great first impression. That's why you may be interested in treatments like teeth whitening to help boost your self-confidence and get the most out of your smile. If you’re thinking about whitening your teeth professionally, it’s important to know the associated costs and whether your dental insurance covers teeth whitening.  

What Does Dental Insurance Typically Cover? 

Routine dental visits and at-home dental care can help avoid the need for teeth whitening, so it’s beneficial to understand what your dental insurance covers to get the most out of your plan. While not all dental insurance plans are the same, they will generally cover these treatments: 

  • Preventive care - Treatments such as professional cleanings, routine X-rays, and fluoride treatments are typically fully covered. 
  • Basic services - Procedures like tooth extractions, fillings, and periodontal treatments are usually covered 80%. 
  • Major procedures - Procedures such as crowns, dentures, and bridges are generally covered 50%.  

Is Teeth Whitening Covered By Insurance? 

Generally, no. Most dental insurance plans don’t cover cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening, tooth shaping, gum contouring, and veneers. These procedures are usually not medically necessary because their main purpose is to improve the appearance of your teeth and smile. Therefore, if you decide to schedule a teeth whitening or another cosmetic procedure, you may have to pay the entire cost.  

What’s the Cost of Teeth Whitening? 

The cost of teeth whitening treatment can widely vary, from $5 toothpaste all the way up to $1,300 in-office whitening. Different factors can affect the price, so keep these considerations in mind if you’re thinking about whitening your teeth: 

How are you whitening your teeth? 

The upfront cost of over-the-counter treatments — such as whitening toothpaste, rinses, and gels — is significantly less than in-office treatments. For example, whitening strips usually cost $20-$40 per box, while the average cost of in-office teeth whitening can be around $650. However, these over-the-counter treatments may cost just as much in the long run because they take more time to achieve the same results. You might have to purchase several whitening products over many months to brighten your teeth effectively. Additionally, certain at-home whitening treatments can be abrasive on enamel, making your teeth more sensitive over time.  

In-office treatments have higher upfront costs, but the results are usually immediate and effective. Dentists coat your teeth with a high-concentration hydrogen peroxide gel and let it sit there for a certain amount of time. They may also use an activation lamp to speed up the process and make your teeth whiter, but this method does increase the treatment cost. However, if you maintain good oral hygiene, your teeth can stay white for 2-3 years after the initial treatment. 

What’s the cost of living in your area? 

Medical expenses can usually increase depending on where you live. So if you have a home in a pricier part of the country, you may have to pay more for professional teeth whitening.  

How badly are your teeth stained? 

If your teeth are severely stained, you may need multiple appointments to ensure your whitening treatment plan is successful. The more appointments you make, the higher the expenses may be.  

How Much Can I Save on Teeth Whitening with a Dental Savings Plan? 

Most dental insurance plans don’t cover cosmetic procedures such as in-office teeth whitening. However, you can save money on whitening treatments when you sign up for a dental savings plan, an affordable alternative to dental insurance. Plan members can get a discount of 20-25% off professional whitening treatments with the right dental savings plan. 

Reach out to us at 1-833-735-0399 if you have any questions about how a dental savings plan can help lower the cost of teeth whitening and other cosmetic dental procedures.




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Dentists recommend 2 cleanings, 2 check-ups and 1 set of x-rays per year. We're so confident that your plan will pay for itself*, we will refund your money if it doesn't.
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