A bright, white smile is a highly sought-after feature, and teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment that can enhance the appearance of stained or discolored teeth. The cost of treatment is one of the main things to consider before seeking teeth whitening services.
This article breaks down the cost of teeth whitening in the UK by highlighting:
- What can affect the final price of your teeth whitening treatment
- The average cost of professional and at-home teeth whitening
- Determining whether insurance and NHS can cover teeth whitening costs
- How to manage and take down the cost of teeth whtiening
Summary of Teeth Whitening Cost UK
|LED Teeth Whitening||£100 - £500+||Immediate results, but may need several sessions for desired results|
|Laser teeth whitening||£300 - £1000+||Immediate results, but may need several sessions for desired results|
|Custom whitening trays||£50 - £300||You may see results after a few days or weeks of using the trays consistently|
|Whitening strips and gels||£10 - £50||You may see results after a few days or weeks of using the trays consistently|
|Whitening toothpaste||£2 to £20||You may see results after a few days or weeks of using the trays consistently|
Average Cost of Professional Teeth Whitening in The UK
Professional teeth whitening is usually performed by a trained medical dentist or a licensed dental hygienist. Dentists use highly concentrated whitening agents and sometimes the power of lasers or special light to maximize the results.
The main benefit of getting teeth whitened at the dentist is the immediate results you get. For most treatments, you will only require one whitening session, which is important for those that do not wish to commit long periods to teeth whitening.
One of the main downsides of getting teeth whitened at the dental clinic — besides the obviously higher costs — is that it may not be a good option for those suffering from teeth sensitivity. In this case, your teeth are exposed to highly concentrated bleaching agents and lasers that may increase the sensitivity of teeth. If you already have sensitive teeth, this may only aggravate the situation.
So, how much does teeth whitening at the dentist cost in the UK? Here are some different types of professional teeth whitening and their cost:
Zoom whitening is one of the most popular in-office teeth whitening treatments that use a highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening gel.
In addition, dentists use a special light to remove the stains and discoloration from the teeth, effectively giving fast results. This entire procedure takes under an hour and can lighten teeth by up to eight shades.
Depending on the factors above, including the location and severity of the condition, you may have to pay between £400 and £800 for Zoom teeth whitening.
BriteSmile Whitening is another popular in-office teeth whitening treatment that uses a hydrogen peroxide gel and a blue light to break down stains and discoloration on the teeth.
Although not as widely used as Zoom, BriteSmile whitening is also used by dentists to lighten teeth up to eight shades in a procedure that takes approximately an hour.
The cost of BriteSmile whitening in the UK generally ranges between £500 and £700.
If you do not fancy having an LED light used on you to break down the stains, you can opt for Opalescence Boost. This in-office teeth whitening treatment uses a powerful hydrogen peroxide gel that is chemically activated.
This procedure takes approximately an hour and can take you back £250 - £500 in cost.
Laser teeth whitening is a newer in-office teeth whitening treatment that uses a laser to activate a whitening gel applied to the teeth. The laser light helps to break down the stains and discoloration on the teeth, which allows the bleaching agent to penetrate the enamel and whiten the teeth.
This treatment typically takes an hour and can produce significant results within a single visit. Besides additional costs, you may be taken back £400 - £800 for laser teeth whitening in the UK.
The KOR teeth whitening treatment is a comprehensive teeth whitening system that combines both in-office and at-home treatments.
During your visits to the dentist, they will use a highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel combined with a special light to whiten teeth.
Thereafter, you will get custom take-home trays to improve and maintain the results. KOR teeth whitening in the UK costs approximately £800 - £1200.
Average Cost of At-home Teeth Whitening in the UK
With many people looking to get pearly white teeth, the use of more affordable and convenient whitening options has tremendously increased. The best teeth whitening kits you can use at home offer a more convenient and affordable option for those who want to achieve a brighter and more radiant smile from the comfort of their homes and within their preferred times.
There are numerous different types of at-home teeth whitening treatments that you can get. They range from over-the-counter products you can purchase from your local store or an online store to custom-made trays and treatments prescribed by a dentist.
The cost of these treatments varies based on various factors, including the type of treatment, where you get it from, and the brand being used.
So, how much do at-home teeth whitening cost in the UK?
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products
You can easily and readily get over-the-counter teeth whitening products, such as gels and whitening strips, online or from local or selected stores (depending on the brand).
These products often cost anywhere from £10 to £50, with some gels going up to £150. The exact cost of the product depends on factors such as the brand and the amount of whitening treatment included in the kit.
While these products are generally cheaper, they may not be as effective. Moreover, they often take longer to achieve the desired results.
Take a look at our comprehensive guide to help you choose the best teeth whitening gel.
Custom-made teeth whitening trays
Teeth whitening trays to be used at home are prescribed by a dentist or a dental hygienist. These products are often more expensive but more effective than over-the-counter solutions.
These trays fit the patient’s teeth perfectly and are filled with a whitening agent or gel, often more potent than those found on over-the-counter kits.
There are two main ways that you can use to get at-home custom whitening trays. The first method is visiting the dentist, who takes impressions of your mouth to create a custom tray. Moreover, they will guide you on how to use the product for the best results.
Alternatively, you can use some companies, such as Mobile teeth whitening, that operate remotely to get your custom teeth whitening trays. Whenever you order teeth whitening treatment from some brands, they will assist you in remotely taking impressions of your teeth before having the impressions sent over to their labs for the development of custom trays.
Such trays often cost more than other over-the-counter products but are arguably less expensive than custom trays from dental clinics.
The cost of custom whitening trays from the dentist costs from £200 – £300, while teeth whitening trays from online brands like HiSmile cost from £50 – £250.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Teeth Whitening Costs?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure typically not covered under most dental insurance plans. This means that you will have to cover the entire cost out-of-pocket.
However, there are a few instances where you may be eligible to get your teeth whitening covered by dental insurance, but only when deemed medically necessary. For example, if you have a tooth whose nerves have died and have discolored the neighboring teeth, this may pass out as a medically necessary teeth whitening solution.
However, the idea of a medically necessary procedure may be subjective, and you will have to contact your dental insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage.
Does NHS Cover Teeth Whitening?
Cosmetic dentistry is not covered under the NHS. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure not covered under most traditional dental insurance policies. However, you may get teeth whitening treatment under the NHS when the procedure is proven medically necessary.
Factors Determining the Cost of Teeth Whitening
Exactly how much does teeth whitening cost? To help you understand the true cost of teeth whitening in the UK, it would be prudent first to know the factors that impact the pricing. The cost widely varies depending on various factors, including:
Type of treatment
The type of teeth whitening treatment is one of the most significant factors influencing the cost. There are two primary teeth whitening options: professional and at-home treatments.
- Professional teeth whitening: This teeth whitening treatment is carried out by a dental professional. Dentists use high-strength bleaching agents and other advanced technology like lasers to achieve better results within a shorter period. Generally, in-office or professional teeth whitening treatments are more expensive, costing between £300 and £1000.
- At-home teeth whitening: At-home teeth whitening treatments are usually available over-the-counter or online. These options are less expensive than professional in-office treatments, costing from £10 to £200.
- Custom at-home teeth whitening: You can also get a customized teeth whitening treatment option from your dentist or a dental practitioner. These treatment options are curated specifically based on your situation and needs. In most cases, it involves the use of custom-made trays that are filled with a bleaching agent. The cost of custom at-home teeth whitening treatment ranges from £100 to £500.
The location of the dental practice
As a rule of thumb, services from an urban area tend to be more expensive than in rural areas. The same applies to the cost of teeth whitening in the UK. With higher overhead costs to consider, utilities, salaries, and higher demand, dental practices in urban areas will cost more.
The severity of the discoloration
How much discolored your teeth are is another crucial consideration in determining how much your teeth whitening treatment will cost in the UK. Mild discoloration may only require a single treatment.
On the other hand, a more severe discoloration may require multiple treatments or more powerful concentrations. This ultimately impacts the total cost of treatment.
Most dental insurance companies may not cover teeth whitening. This is mainly because it is considered a cosmetic dental treatment. However, most insurance companies can offer coverage for teeth whitening, but only when it is deemed medically necessary.
In this case, the cost of teeth whitening may go lower when partially or fully covered by the insurer. Nevertheless, it would be prudent to inquire with your dental insurance provider to determine if and how teeth whitening can be covered in your plan before scheduling a visit to the dentist.
Tips For Managing Teeth Whitening Costs
Most of us want to get pearly whites, but getting that brilliant smile often comes with a hefty price tag. There are many ways to get your teeth whitened, and all these solutions have different prices.
There are also numerous factors that directly impact the cost of teeth whitening, including the treatment used, the location, the severity of the discoloration, and more.
If you are looking to manage your teeth whitening costs, here are a few tips that may come in handy:
It is important to be in the know regarding your options when it comes to teeth whitening. There are various treatments available, all with different price tags.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions like strips, gels, and whitening toothpaste are typically cheaper than professional teeth whitening from the dentist.
Although more effective than over-the-counter solutions but less effective than professional in-office teeth whitening, getting custom teeth whitening trays is a good option for those looking to balance effectiveness and pricing.
Dental offices and brands selling custom teeth whitening trays or kits may offer discounts or promotions. Some dental offices may offer discounts for new patients, while others may have seasonal promotions.
You may also get such bonuses and promotions when purchasing from an online brand that deals with custom teeth whitening trays.
It never hurts to ask your dentist if there are any current promotions or discounts that could help reduce your overall costs.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the best ways to manage the cost of whitening your teeth. Regularly brushing and flossing prevents surface stains and keeps your teeth healthy, and enables them to maintain their brilliant appearance.
Even if you use the best teeth whitening products, the results are never guaranteed to last forever. So, when you do not adhere to proper hygiene, you may need to regularly get your teeth whitened, ultimately increasing the amount you spend on teeth whitening
Getting whiter teeth is quite straightforward now in the UK. Although teeth whitening at the dentist is often pricier, it gets you fast and long-lasting results. However, besides in-office professional teeth whitening, you can also look into over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions, like strips and gels, which are quite affordable.
Custom teeth whitening trays are an excellent option for those looking for an effective yet affordable solution to help them get their pearly whites.
Teeth whitening is not available on the NHS as it is considered a cosmetic procedure. However, there may be exceptions when the procedure is considered medically necessary.
Teeth whitening is not illegal in the UK. However, it can only be performed by a qualified dental professional registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). Teeth whitening products sold for use at home should also meet certain safety requirements.
The time it takes to whiten teeth in the UK can vary depending on the method used. In-office treatments can typically be completed in a single appointment and take around one hour, while at-home treatments may take several weeks to achieve desired results.
The safest way to whiten teeth in the UK is to have it done by a qualified dental professional. At-home whitening kits purchased from reputable sources and used as directed can also be safe and effective.