Tigard Dentist: Does My Dental Insurance Cover Teeth Whitening?

A fairly common question that Tigard Dentist, Dr. Justin Marostica, receives is, “Does my dental insurance cover teeth whitening?”. There is no doubt that one of the most popular procedures a general dentist can offer is teeth whitening. Actually, there are many way that you can whiten your teeth, but with the growing cost and desire for bright pearly whites, is there a dental insurance that will help cover this procedure?

Well, the short answer and long answer to that quesiton is…No.  Unfortunately, like most cosmetic procedures there is not an insurance company (that we know of) that will cover teeth whitening.  It is the same for other cosmetic dental procedures likes veneers. The procedure is not deemed necessary for optimal dental health, thus the insurance company does not feel responsible to cover it.  So, the next time you call your Tigard Dentist to make that teeth whitening appointment remember that the procedure won’t be covered by your dental insurance thus make sure to verify the cost prior to having your treatment started.

Since your dental insurance won’t cover teeth whitening, what are some options to get whiter teeth?

1.  In-office Teeth Whitening.  You have probably seen this before or heard of Zoom teeth whitening.  This is done in the dentist office and usually takes 1 to 2 hours.  It will give you that white smile that you have always wanted quickly!  It is however the most expensive of the options and regular maintenance is required to keep your teeth shining brightly.

2.  Custom Teeth Bleaching Trays.  This is probably the most popular of all the options.  Custom molds or impressions are taken of your teeth and clear plastic trays/aligners/retainers are made. The bleach is placed inside the trays where you want your teeth to be whiter.  Many times they are worn over night or for a few hours at a time.  Now that you have trays you just have to buy bleach when you run out or want to bleach your teeth again. The tray allows for a more uniform bleach application to teeth which makes the whitening even on all teeth.

3.  Teeth Whitening Strips.  This is also a very popular way to whiten teeth.  It is realtively inexpensive, but the desired results cannot be controlled as easily.  Not all whitening strips are created equally.  Some whitening strips are made with hydrogen peroxide while others are made with carbamide peroxide.  The difference can be seen in tooth sensitivity.  If you are looking for an inexpensive way to whiten teeth then this might be the best way.

4.  Whitening Toothpaste.  An easy way to whiten teeth is by simply using a whitening toothpaste, however the results will not be as brillant as it would be with teeth bleaching.  It is very hard with whitening toothpastes to get a nice result while also maintaing your same diet and oral hygiene habits.  It can however help maintain the color of the teeth.

Now that you know your options for teeth whitening and that your dental insurance won’t cover teeth whitening, you can make an educated decision on what type of whitening is best for you.  If you have more questions speak with your Tigard Dentist, Dr. Justin Marostica of TenderCare Dental at 503-670-7088.