Teeth Whitening Costs & Private Health Insurance
Professional teeth whitening treatment is very popular among Australians. Who doesn’t want a sparkling white smile? But this cosmetic treatment can get costly.
If you’re concerned with how much teeth whitening costs, private health insurance could help you subsidise the procedure. Read on to find out more.
Professional teeth whitening involves bleaching the teeth to lighten their colour.
Costs can vary significantly depending on the type of treatment.
Some - but not all - health funds offer rebates on the cost of teeth whitening in a dental clinic.
What is professional teeth whitening?
Professional teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure which involves a dentist or dental practitioner bleaching the teeth to lighten their colour. There are also online DIY kits that can help whiten your teeth. The prices vary depending on which option you choose.
How much does whitening teeth cost in Australia?
The cost of teeth whitening varies depending on the type of treatment you choose:
In-chair whitening: The dentist paints a bleach on the teeth and activates the treatment with a laser light. This takes around an hour and can cost between $30 and $50 per tooth, or more so typically costs between $500 and $1,500*.
Take-home whitening: The dentist applies a bleach gel into custom-moulded trays, which you wear in your mouth for around half an hour. You also get a take-home kit for follow-up treatments, with results visible in two to four weeks. Take-home kits may include teeth whitening toothpaste and bleaching gel. This typically costs between $500 and $1,500*.
At-home whitening: The dentist supplies you with trays and a whitening gel or a bleaching solution, which you can apply yourself in the comfort of your own home. This can cost between $250 and $450* per arch.
What other teeth whitening options are there and how much do they cost?
Aside from professional whitening services at the dentist, there are various other teeth whitening treatments available:
Cosmetic whitening at a beauty clinic: Similar to the treatment at a dentist’s clinic but generally using a lower concentration of bleaching solution. Costs vary depending on the clinic and number of treatments.
Teeth whitening kits: DIY kits include a mouth tray, application syringes, bleaching solution and an LED light. Prices start at around $90.
Whitening toothpaste: Toothpaste formulated with a bleaching agent like peroxide or baking soda for tooth whitening. Prices start at around $5.
Teeth whitening strips: Oral strips coated with a bleaching solution designed to be worn on the teeth for about half an hour. Packs of strips start at around $20.
Does Medicare cover teeth whitening?
No, Medicare doesn’t cover teeth whitening or most other dental costs. This means if you get professional teeth whitening and don’t have private health insurance that covers this procedure, you could end up paying entirely out-of-pocket for the treatment.
Is teeth whitening covered by private health insurance?
Some health funds offer extras cover that includes rebates towards the cost of cosmetic dental procedures, such as teeth whitening.
Low, medium and top tier cover usually cover general dental treatments such as teeth cleaning and scaling, as well as major dental treatments such as crowns, veneers, bridges, and treatment for tooth decay.
However, some health insurers cover teeth whitening in their mid to high levels of cover. Our specialists can help you find the right level of cover that covers teeth whitening as well as other essentials.
The amount that you are covered for dental treatments also depends on your insurance policy.
60% or 75% rebates on general and major are common, but some funds offer up to 100% on preventative dental, if you see a participating dentist.
Some health insurers offer unlimited dental or a high limit of $1,000 annually for cover. However, not all funds offer this option and depending on the fund, this might not include teeth whitening services.
It’s also worth noting some health funds have waiting periods before you can claim dental treatments. That’s why it’s a good idea to do a comparison sooner rather than later.
Is it worth it to get your teeth professionally whitened?
No teeth whitening treatment is permanent, but the professional whitening process may work faster, have a more obvious effect, and last longer than at-home treatments.
Although DIY teeth whitening products tend to be cheaper than professional teeth whitening, they generally have a lower concentration of bleaching agents.
Although there is a difference in price between the dentist chair and DIY, it’s worth checking whether or not your private health insurance will cover some or most of the cost.
Are there any risks with professional teeth whitening treatments?
The most common side effects of professional teeth whitening are tooth sensitivity and irritated gums. In most cases, these are temporary side effects.
Like any medical procedure, it’s a good idea to discuss any worries or concerns with a professional before treatment. The Australian Dental Association recommends discussing teeth whitening treatment with a dentist first before committing to the procedure.
How to find the best health insurance for teeth whitening treatment
Private health insurance can be a great way to reduce your out-of-pocket costs for dental care. Whether you’re looking for professional teeth whitening or any other dental treatment, it’s important to find health insurance that covers your specific needs.
Doing a comparison can help you get a better picture of the options available and choose a health cover that offers you value for money.
Over the past 5 years we’ve saved our customers an average of $300^ when they compared and chose cover with us. Get started now and find the right cover for your bright smile. Click the button below to get started.COMPARE & SAVE
This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.
*Health Direct, Teeth Whitening, accessed 12th Jan 2021.
^ Based on 136,746 customers between 1 Jan 2018 - 23 December 2022.