Over 50% of Americans use dental insurance, but it does not tend to cover any sort of cosmetic procedures, including teeth whitening procedures.

What Does Dental Insurance Typically Cover?

Dental insurance has a typical yearly maximum amounting approximately between $1,000 to $3,000 for covered procedures. The umbrella of dental coverage includes procedures strictly related to health and wellness: routine cleanings and X-rays, root canals, fluoride treatments, fillings and the like. Some forms of dental coverage only cover a portion of these procedures.

What Constitutes Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry includes procedures that exist for the main purpose of improving the appearance of the patient's teeth and smile. Whitening treatments, veneers, bonding and straightening procedures, such as Invisalign, are included in this group. These procedures, while widely known and quite popular, tend to not be covered by insurance and require the patient to cover the entire cost.

What Are Some Common Payment Options for Cosmetic Procedures?

The median price of in-office teeth whitening procedures in the United States is approximately $399, and it increases or decreases depending on location and office pricing. Since insurance is not involved, there isn't a usual and customary fee, which is why the pricing varies from office to office. Because of the high price for cosmetic procedures, patients must research other payment options. While many cosmetic dental or orthodontic offices are familiar with offering their patients different payment plans, patients can also opt to charge their procedures to zero-interest or low-interest health care credit cards, such as CareCredit.