Teeth Whitening and Insurance

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Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments offering a quick, non-invasive and affordable way to enhance a smile. The color of your teeth changes over time due to aging and exposure to certain habits, including smoking, excessive drinking of coffee, staining foods, or even some medications such as tetracycline (which may require specific whitening). Many people are struggling with yellow teeth, and they only dream of a white shiny and perfect smile.

Whitening your teeth and removing the stain is a hard mission to do. You can achieve whiter teeth by using different teeth whitening products, such as a whitening rinse, whitening gel, or whitening toothpaste, but not everyone is privileged with insensitive teeth or easy-to-remove stains. Therefore, it was necessary to have an effective and immediate method of professional teeth whitening treatment by the dentist.

A smile is such an important function that it can actually trigger a chemical reaction to boost your mood and add much to your confidence, in addition to the psychological effects.

What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is simply bleaching your teeth and removing the stain over the tooth enamel. This process is said to be safe for the enamel, so no damage would be expected for your teeth. However, no matter what type of tooth whitening process you use, the results won't last forever. Some estimated that the average time range in which teeth whitening lasts is from 6 months to 3 years depending on your lifestyle habits.

Does Insurance Cover Teeth Whitening in the United States?

A teeth whitening procedure, like tooth shaping, gum contouring, and veneers are all considered to be a cosmetic dental procedure simply because they are intended to improve the look of your teeth. Therefore, they usually are not included in dental insurance policies. You will need to pay for the entire procedure, although there might be stretching for the payment over time with an interest rate. Ask your doctor for all the available payment options.

Options For a Teeth-Whitening Procedure

Regular Teeth Whitening

The dentist will first take impressions of your teeth for a custom made tray. You will use the trays as protection during the process, in addition to protecting your gums with a gel or shield. After that, the whitening product will be added, which might be Hydrogen peroxide or Carbamide peroxide.

Applying the whitening product will take 2-4 weeks, with a regular schedule for 30-60 minutes each time, either at home or with regular visits to your dentist.

Laser Teeth Whitening

Other options include Laser Whitening or Power Whitening, which use the power of Laser to speed up the chemical reaction of the product on your teeth, and the result might be your teeth becoming 5 or 6 shades lighter. Although the ADA doesn’t endorse using Laser as a method of speeding up the whitening.

Zoom Teeth Whitening

The process of Zoom Whitening is composed of a Zoom LED lamp. It’s an in-office procedure where the dentist applies a whitening gel on your teeth and turns on the Zoom WhiteSpeedLED light. It only takes a little over an hour to finish, and will give you some instruction to care for your teeth at home. Quicker tooth lightning can be achieved through in-office whitening because the products deliver higher concentrations of peroxide than over the counter products.

Whitening Trays

Tray based tooth whitening systems are available both professionally and over the counter. This method involves use of a fitted tray containing carbamide peroxide bleaching gel. Depending on the strength of the peroxide in the gel, these trays are usually worn a couple of hours a day or overnight and could take anywhere from 3 days to a couple of weeks before noticeable results.

Teeth whitening kits from the dentist produce faster and more effective results as they contain stronger peroxide bleaching agents. Kits purchased from the dentist are also custom made to fit your teeth perfectly, whereas over the counter trays are generic sized and could allow the bleaching agent to come into contact with your gums, causing irritation.

If You Are Considering Teeth Whitening

It’s important for the dentist to check the health of your teeth to determine whether it’s risky to apply the bleaching products on your teeth or not. Only your dentist can tell you if your teeth and gums are healthy enough to go through a whitening process.

Do You Have Sensitive Teeth?

In most cases, tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening is short lived and will resolve within a few days after treatment. If you have sensitive teeth, you might experience pain during the whitening process or in the following hours. To reduce this tooth sensitivity, follow these steps:

  • Reduce the frequency of your sessions
  • Avoid specific drinks and foods: Sour, acidic, or sweet foods/drinks can increase tooth sensitivity and should be avoided.
  • Use sensitive formula toothpaste: such as sensodyne. This will help desensitize the teeth.
  • Brush and rinse with fluoride based products: fluoride is an important mineral for dental health. Using a fluoride based toothpaste and mouthwash can help restore minerals to the teeth, closing dentinal tubules and reducing tooth sensitivity.

Teeth Whitening Costs

Teeth whitening costs vary from method to another. The in-office whitening costs range from $450 to $1000, depending on many factors, including the type of whitening agent the dentist uses in the process. Zoom teeth whitening from $300 to $600, Kor Whitening ranging from $500 to $1000, and other options such as LED products and toothpastes all cost less than $300.

Closing Thoughts: Why Insurance Does Not Cover Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening costs vary from method to another. The in-office whitening costs range from $450 to $1000, depending on many factors, including the type of whitening agent the dentist uses in the process. Zoom teeth whitening from $300 to $600, Kor Whitening ranging from $500 to $1000, and other options such as LED products and toothpastes all cost less than $300.


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Archibald, J. A., & Silver, N. S. (2021, July 20). What To Know About Zoom Teeth Whitening. Healthline. Retrieved March 4, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/zoom-teeth-whitening