Cost of Teeth Whitening in Australia 2021

It is essential to keep your teeth clean and healthy-looking. Everyone wants perfect white teeth, but not everyone is financially prepared for it. Your smile is frequently one of the first things people notice about you, making your teeth both an asset and a source of insecurity. That’s likely why cosmetic dental procedures like tooth whitening have become so popular.

If you are considering teeth whitening, you’re not alone. Teeth whitening is a cost-effective way to make your smile brighter and more attractive. With so many options for teeth whitening, choosing the right one can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know much about them. Thus, it is crucial to know the differences between the types of teeth whitening and their costs so you can choose the one that is suitable for your needs and is also within your budget.

The cost of teeth whitening in Australia can be relatively high–significantly higher than the cost of whitening teeth at home. But the prices vary, depending on several factors.

Here, we will help you understand the cost of teeth whitening and discuss the payment plan options available to help you with your finances when considering this dental procedure!

What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening has been popular in cosmetic dentistry, which is used to help people lighten their natural yellowish teeth or their discoloured teeth. It can improve your overall appearance and confidence.

This cosmetic procedure involves a bleaching agent that lightens discolouration on the enamel surface and dentin. This treatment is effective, does not pose significant harm to the tooth enamel when done properly, and can affect how the person looks at or feels about himself. Rest assured, the teeth are usually a few shades lighter after treatment, but they will not be brilliant white.

When choosing teeth whitening, it is vital to know the degree of the discolouration of your teeth and what causes it to identify the proper treatment plan for you. Discolouration may occur for several reasons. Two factors affecting stains on teeth are extrinsic factors, including the lifestyle, food and drinks we consume. On the other hand, intrinsic factors are oral injury, age, old dental restoration, and particular medications, which cause deeper stains and occur when the tooth’s inner layer (known as dentin) yellows or darkens.

Teeth whitening varies from in-chair whitening (professionally done in a dentist’s office) to teeth whitening kits that you can use at home. Your dentist may offer you a take-home kit with custom-made trays and an indication of proper use of gel whitening.

Zoom Whitening, BOOST, and Kor Whitening are the most frequent dentist’s office teeth whitening procedures. These are the sole effective procedures for removing deeper stains or intrinsic stains. 

In contrast, over-the-counter whitening treatments are a less expensive option. Your local pharmacy has a large variety of products to choose from. This alternative may brighten your smile if coloured foods and beverages stain your teeth.

Typically, whitening treatments use either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient. The active components are broken down, and oxygen is absorbed into the enamel of your teeth, removing stains and leaving you with a brighter smile. Depending on the procedure, a light or laser may be used to activate the whitening substance.

Hence, it is recommended to consult a dental professional before considering teeth whitening treatment. To address any previous dental restorations or dental problems that need to be treated first and determine if you are a good candidate for whitening procedures.

The Cost of Teeth Whitening

The cost of teeth whitening varies depending on the sort of treatment you choose. Your location, dentist’s fee, and level of teeth discolouration can also be a factor in determining the cost of teeth whitening.

It can be challenging to provide a specific cost for teeth whitening. Still, we will discuss the average price of teeth whitening according to the National Australian Dental Fee Survey.

The only definite way to determine how much your teeth whitening will exactly cost is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Also, ensure that your teeth are clear of cavities and decay and that your tooth enamel is strong enough to withstand a high concentration of whitening gel. Having your teeth cleaned properly also removes all signs of plaque and tartar, resulting in an even and flawless whitening result. Furthermore, the survey also reports that a pre-whitening consultation for teeth whitening will cost roughly $280.

In-Chair Teeth Whitening Costs (professional)

In-chair teeth whitening is performed inside the dentist’s office. Thus, it can be relatively more expensive than over-the-counter whitening products and DIY kits. The average cost of in-chair whitening can cost up to $260 per tooth. A qualified dentist can only perform this type of teeth whitening.

To begin professional whitening treatment, your dentist will put a rubber shield or gel on your gums, protecting your gums and other soft tissues from the bleaching agent. They will then whiten your teeth using a bleaching agent. A dentist typically uses a higher concentration of whitening products compared to take-home kits.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening Costs (professional)

If you want to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your home, you can ask your dentist for take-home whitening kits. The kits typically contain gel and a custom-fit tray. When considering take-home kits, it is vital to follow your dentist’s instructions to prevent harming your gingival tissue (gums).

The average cost of take-home teeth whitening is up to $610.

Teeth whitening kits

Teeth whitening kits sold over the counter typically cost between $29.99 and $99, depending on the manufacturer.

Consult with your dentist before opting for teeth whitening kits available on the market.

Over the Counter Teeth Whitening Products

If you are looking for alternatives to professional bleaching and an affordable option to whiten your teeth. In that case, you may want to check out whitening products that are primarily available on the market. Yet, these treatments are time-consuming and only last a few months, so you’ll have to repeat the process continuously.

Low bleaching agents (hydrogen or carbamide peroxide) are one reason why store-bought teeth whitening kits are less expensive. However, you’re probably still confused about why professional teeth whitening treatments are so much more costly.

In addition, misuse can harm your tooth enamel or irritate your gums. Over-bleaching can result in an unattractive bluish tint, powdery whiteness, or uneven results, also known as “the technicolour effect”. Due to the hazards associated with these products and the time required for results, teeth whitening performed by a licenced dentist is the safest and most effective choice.

Over-the-counter whitening treatments come in strips, mouthwashes, pens, gels, and toothpaste.

Teeth Whitening Strips

These thin, flexible films are designed to adhere to the curve of the teeth and are coated with a bleaching gel. They’re highly convenient and straightforward to use, as they don’t require any mixing or moulding. Furthermore, they are discreet enough to be worn at work, on the bus, or while shopping.

They include low concentrations of bleaching chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide gel, that gradually penetrate the enamel, resulting in whiter teeth. Do not expect immediate results, as the effects of this substance may take several days to manifest.

Typically, the whitening process of over-the-counter products like whitening strips can take up to six months to show results.

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

The teeth whitening industry has been rapidly expanding, with new solutions being produced continuously. Numerous toothpaste alternatives are available in stores, each promising whiter teeth and fresher breath in just a few days or weeks!

Teeth-whitening toothpaste sold over the counter also contains a small amount of peroxide or a polishing agent. While toothpaste is scientifically proven to be efficient at reducing extrinsic stains and enhancing the shade of the teeth, it may not work well with deeper colours.

Is Teeth Whitening Covered by Medicare?

Cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, tooth shaping, dental veneers, and gum contouring are typically not covered by Medicare as these treatments are not considered medically necessary.

The Australian government does not cover the majority of dental services. Thus, patients are left with the option of paying out of pocket or choosing a private health fund to help them with their dental expenses.

The easiest approach to finding out for sure is to contact your service provider.

Is Teeth Whitening Covered by Private Health Insurance?

The majority of aesthetic dental procedures are classified as “major dental” by private health insurance companies. It includes procedures such as crowns, veneers, and root canal treatment. Procedures like tooth whitening differ from one fund to the other.

As a result, it’s essential to double-check before proceeding with any procedure.

Ways to Reduce the Cost of Professional Teeth Whitening

Many options are available to help you with your finances. Don’t allow high expenses to prevent you from having excellent oral wellness. If you are unable to pay the entire price at once, consider a payment plan to ease the strain on your bank account and make the fee more manageable.

In-House Finance Options

Everyone is entitled to a beautiful, healthy smile. However, many people seeking dental care discover that the recommended treatment is costly. Our in-house finance now makes every treatment possible and affordable by offering monthly payments that are convenient for you!

Third-Party Payment Plans

Payment plans are technically loans that might help you manage the high cost of dental care. A payment plan allows you to pay in instalments over time rather than paying for your dental work all at once.

You can set up a payment plan with a third-party supplier if your dentist allows it. Providers have established guidelines to define the terms of your plan, which will affect the amount and frequency of your repayments. Contact us to find out more about payment plans.

Afterpay

An excellent option for making dental treatment more affordable is afterpay. It’s a method of paying for dental work in four equal instalments. If you use interest-free credit, you can schedule your appointment without incurring additional fees as long as all payments are made on time and within the two-week pay period. You can also opt for Afterpay to pay for dental services up to $1,400.

Zippay

Zip Pay is used for minor treatments that cost less than $1000. On the other hand, they give Zip Money for treatments over $1000. Payments can be made weekly, fortnightly, or monthly under the flexible repayment options. However, a minimum monthly repayment of $40 is required.

If you continue to make only the minimum monthly payments, you will be unable to repay your debt in full before the interest-free term expires. After that, your outstanding debt will be charged 19.90 per cent APR plus a $6 monthly account fee.

Humm

At Humm, they provide their consumers with a “buy now, pay later” system in partnership with various partner clinics. This payment plan is split into two, and each has a unique set of approval criteria. One of the advantages of this plan is that it promises zero interest in either option.

  • Buy little things: If you are approved to “buy little things”, you can purchase a teeth whitening product with a limit of $2,000. The loan is repaid in five fortnightly payments or ten weekly instalments. Additionally, if your balance is paid off, you can spend it again.

Buy big things: With buy big things, you are eligible to purchase up to $30,000 depending on your approval. Payments may be made for six, twelve, or twenty-four months or in monthly instalments up to sixty months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is teeth whitening worth the costs?

Answer: One of the most common questions that individuals ask as they try to settle for teeth whitening is worth the cost. It would be good to note that professional tooth whitening is worth every dollar you spend. Over-the-counter products will not give you consistent results that you can work with within the long term. However, professional teeth whitening can ensure that you are sorted for the rest of your life, as long as you practice proper hygiene and invest in professional dental care. Buying an over-the-counter whitening product might look cost-saving right now but will have consequences in the future.

Can everyone whiten their teeth?

Answer: Unfortunately, the answer is no. Some people cannot and should not whiten their teeth. For instance, people under 18 years cannot whiten their teeth. This type of dental procedure is also not suitable for pregnant women or people with health problems. In the same breath, teeth whitening is not ideal for teeth problems such as weak gums, jaw problems, periodontal disease, decayed teeth, or exposed roots. You must consult your dentist before engaging in any teeth whitening activity to ascertain that you are healthy enough.

How does teeth whitening work?

Answer: The process of teeth whitening is easy to understand. It starts with the dentist filling the custom-fitted cast with whitening gel, placed over the patient’s teeth. The gel’s active ingredient starts to break down just as oxygen enters your enamel and the dentin. The stains in the tooth are then broken down, leaving you with shiny, white pearls. It is essential to understand that teeth whitening does not change the structure of the tooth. By breaking down the stains, the teeth become lighter. However, this is not a process you should try at home. Whitening substances should only be used under the supervision of a dentist.

 Is the teeth whitening process safe?

Answer: yes. Despite the use of chemical substances in teeth whitening, the procedure is safe and healthy. However, these products should not just be used by anyone. Before deciding on the right procedure for you, ensure that you visit your dentist. They will recommend the right products to choose from and give you directions to follow for the best results depending on what you need. Ensure that you stick to the instructions and that you do not go past the required duration. By following the dentist’s guidance, you can be sure that you will get whiter, healthy teeth.

 What makes carbamide peroxide different from hydrogen peroxide?

Answer: The substances mentioned above are the main bleaching ingredients used by dentists to help patients achieve whiter teeth. Hydrogen peroxide should be used only at a concentration of 6% to achieve teeth whitening. This percentage is equivalent to 18% carbamide peroxide. However, the main difference between the two is that carbamide peroxide formulas break down slower than hydrogen peroxide. Of the two, carbamide peroxide is long-acting and is less intense. That is why carbamide peroxide solutions are usually recommended for wearing for periods varying from a week to ten days. Hydrogen peroxide is more potent and has a short life.

Dr. Ross Bailey

https://peeldentalstudio.com.au

Dr Bailey currently serves on the Australian Dental Association as immediate Past President, and before this has held office as President, Treasurer and Country Councillor. He is on the Australian Dental Association Federal Council and has always been keen to give back to the profession that has been his life. He has tutored young dentists at the Oral Health Centre in Perth, which he has held for over 20 years.