Does dental insurance cover teeth whitening

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Teeth whitening has become increasingly popular in recent years as people strive for a brighter, more confident smile. However, the cost of teeth whitening treatments can vary, and many individuals wonder if their dental insurance will cover the expenses. In this article, we will explore the topic of whether dental insurance covers teeth whitening and provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the situation.

What is teeth whitening?

Before we delve into the question of dental insurance coverage, let’s first understand what teeth whitening entails. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that aims to lighten the color of the teeth, removing stains and discoloration. It can be done either professionally at a dental office or at home using over-the-counter whitening products.

Types of teeth whitening treatments

There are various types of teeth whitening treatments available, each with its own benefits and considerations. Some common methods include:

In-office professional whitening: This is a popular option where a dental professional applies a high-concentration bleaching gel to your teeth and uses special equipment to accelerate the whitening process. The results are often immediate and more effective compared to at-home treatments.

At-home whitening kits: These kits typically include custom-fitted trays and a lower-concentration bleaching gel. They allow you to whiten your teeth at your convenience, following the instructions provided. While the results may take longer to achieve, at-home kits can be a more cost-effective option.

Does dental insurance cover teeth whitening?

In general, dental insurance plans do not cover teeth whitening procedures. Most insurance providers consider teeth whitening to be a cosmetic procedure rather than a necessary dental treatment. As a result, they typically exclude coverage for such treatments.

It is important to note that dental insurance primarily focuses on preventive and essential dental care, such as routine check-ups, cleanings, fillings, and necessary extractions. Procedures that are considered elective or cosmetic, like teeth whitening, are usually not covered.

Exceptions and alternatives

While dental insurance plans typically do not cover teeth whitening, there may be exceptions or alternative options available. Some dental insurance plans offer cosmetic coverage as an add-on or as part of a higher-tier plan. It is advisable to review your specific dental insurance policy or contact your insurance provider directly to inquire about any potential coverage for teeth whitening.

Alternatively, some dental offices may offer financing options or discounts for teeth whitening treatments. It is worth discussing these options with your dentist to determine if any cost-saving alternatives are available.


In conclusion, dental insurance plans generally do not cover teeth whitening procedures as they are considered cosmetic rather than essential dental treatments. However, it is always recommended to review your specific dental insurance policy or consult with your insurance provider to confirm the coverage details. Additionally, exploring alternative financing options or discussing potential discounts with your dentist may help make teeth whitening more affordable.


– American Dental Association:
– WebMD:
– Delta Dental: