How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost? Is It Worth It?

A “Hollywood smile” is more than just perfectly straight and even teeth. It’s a symbol of confidence, success, and glamour – a look that has been coveted by millions of people around the world for decades. While many factors contribute to a “Hollywood smile,” such as dental veneers or crowns, teeth whitening has become one of the most popular and accessible ways to achieve this coveted look. Teeth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures in the world, with a wide range of options available to help people achieve a brighter, more youthful smile. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one to choose? And how much does teeth whitening cost? To help you make an informed decision, let’s explore some of the most popular teeth whitening methods and compare their prices.

Whitening OptionsLaser Teeth WhiteningLED Whitening (Zoom)Professional Bleaching KitsAt-Home Whitening KitsWhitening Toothpaste
Average Price$500-$1,500$500-$1,000$300-$800$20-$200$5-$15
RemarksInstant results but expensiveEffective may cause temporary sensitivityMore effective than at-home kits can cause sensitivityRequire consistent use to see resultsMay not be as effective as in-office treatments

With a wide range of teeth whitening options available at different price points, achieving a brighter, more youthful smile without breaking the bank is easier than ever. Whether you opt for an at-home kit or a professional treatment, it’s important to do your research and consult with a qualified dental professional to ensure that you’re making an informed decision that is right for your needs and budget. In the end, the cost of teeth whitening may be a small price to pay for the confidence, success, and glamor that come with a “Hollywood smile.”

Uncovering the Reasons for Tooth Discoloration

When it comes to achieving a dazzling, Hollywood-worthy smile, teeth whitening is often a top priority. But what causes teeth to become discolored in the first place? There are two main types of tooth discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic staining.

Extrinsic staining is caused by external factors such as consuming dark-colored beverages or foods like coffee, tea, and red wine, as well as smoking. Over time, these substances can build up on the surface of our teeth and lead to a yellow or brownish appearance.

Intrinsic staining, on the other hand, occurs when the inner structure of the tooth, known as dentin, becomes discolored or damaged. This can be caused by various factors, including genetics, aging, trauma, and certain medications like tetracycline.

Despite the many reasons teeth can become discolored, the good news is that teeth whitening can help. By using special bleaching agents, teeth whitening treatments break down the chemical bonds that cause stains, removing discoloration and restoring a bright, white smile.

Comparing the cost of at-home vs. in-office teeth whitening treatments

While both methods aim to brighten your smile, they differ in terms of cost, convenience, and effectiveness. In this section, we will compare at-home and in-office whitening methods and explore their pros and cons. By the end of this section, you should better understand which option might be best for you.

  1. Laser teeth whitening at Dental Office
  • Laser teeth whitening is a fast and effective in-office treatment that uses a specialized light to activate a whitening gel applied to the teeth.
  • Pros: Can produce noticeable results in just one session, tailored to individual needs, long-lasting.
  • Cons: Expensive, may cause temporary sensitivity or discomfort, not suitable for everyone.
  • Average Price: $500-$1,500.

2. LED Whitening (Zoom)

  • LED whitening is a similar in-office treatment to laser teeth whitening but uses a different type of light to activate the whitening gel.
  • Pros: Quick treatment time, effective, long-lasting results.
  • Cons: Expensive, may cause temporary sensitivity or discomfort, not suitable for everyone.
  • Average Price: $500-$1,000.

3.  Professional Bleaching Kits

  • Professional bleaching kits are custom-made by a dentist, using a higher concentration of bleaching agent than over-the-counter options.
  • Pros: More effective than at-home kits, tailored to individual needs, and long-lasting results.
  • Cons: Can cause temporary sensitivity or discomfort, requires consistent use to see results and can be expensive.
  • Average Price: $300-$800.

4. At-Home Whitening Kits, including Strips and Trays

  • At-home whitening kits typically include strips or trays that are worn for a certain amount of time each day.
  • Pros: Convenient, more affordable than in-office treatments, can produce noticeable results with consistent use.
  • Cons: It may not be as effective as in-office treatments, can cause sensitivity or discomfort, and requires consistent use to see results.
  • Average Price: $20-$200.
  1. Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwashes 
  • Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes contain ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or baking soda to help remove surface stains from teeth.
  • Pros: Convenient, easy to use, and can produce noticeable results with consistent use.
  • Cons: It may not be as effective as professional treatments, and results may take longer to see.
  • Average Price: $5-$15

Tips for Saving Money on Teeth Whitening Costs

While everyone wants a sparkling white smile, not everyone has the budget for expensive in-office whitening treatments. Fortunately, there are several affordable teeth whitening options available that can help you achieve a brighter smile without breaking the bank. Here are some tips on how to find affordable teeth whitening options without sacrificing quality or safety:

  1. Research at-home options: At-home teeth whitening kits, such as whitening strips or trays, can be a more affordable alternative to in-office treatments. Before purchasing, do your research and read reviews to ensure that the product is both effective and safe to use.
  2. Look for discounts or promotions: Many dental offices and online retailers offer discounts or promotions on teeth whitening products or services. Keep an eye out for deals and coupons to save on your whitening treatment.
  3. Talk to your dentist: Your dentist may offer more affordable in-office whitening treatments or be able to recommend a safe and effective at-home option. Feel free to discuss your budget and options with your dentist to find a solution that works for you.
  4. Consider making small changes to your lifestyle to decrease chances of staining. Avoiding dark liquids, smoking and vaping are lifestyle changes that have been proven to help avoid staining.

By following these tips, you can find an affordable tooth whitening option that is safe and effective, achieving the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted without breaking the bank.

Achieving a brighter and more confident smile doesn’t have to break the bank. With the availability of affordable teeth whitening options, you can enjoy the benefits of a whiter smile without sacrificing quality. Remember to consult with your dentist before trying any at-home remedies, and always choose products that are approved by dental associations. Keep in mind that maintaining good oral hygiene habits and avoiding stain-causing foods and drinks can also help prolong the results of your teeth whitening treatment. Say goodbye to stained teeth and hello to a more radiant smile!


All Second Opinion Dentist content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

  1. American Dental Association. (n.d.). Teeth whitening. Retrieved from
  2. WebMD. (n.d.). Teeth whitening and bleaching. Retrieved from
  3. Colgate Oral Care Center. (n.d.). How much does professional teeth whitening cost? Retrieved from

About the author

Dr. Latecia Miller is a board-certified dentist and graduate of The University of Utah School of Dentistry. She has several years of clinical practice experience across a wide variety of cases, treatment, and research. Dr. Miller's primary goal is to spread her love of dental health to her patients and the public.