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Teeth Whitening Costs in the UK: Guide to Professional and Home Treatments

Contributors:  Amanda Napitu & Amanda Dexter
Medically reviewed by:  Dr. Sarah Abbas

How much does teeth whitening cost in the UK? Well, it can be anywhere from £20 to £1,000 – or even more. But that answer doesn't help much if you're trying to work out whether or not you can afford to get the brighter smile you really want.

So, in this article, we're going to dig deeper into UK teeth whitening costs for various procedures, including:

  • Cost for dentist to whiten teeth with laser whitening
  • LED whitening (e.g. Philips Zoom)
  • Professional bleaching kits
  • Home whitening kits
  • Treatments combining in-office and at-home whitening (e.g. Enlighten)

We'll also explain the pros and cons of each of these so you can decide what's going to be right for you.

If you want to learn more about the different options available we have a separate teeth whitening guide which gives a more in-depth look at the different ways to whiten your teeth.

teeth whitening costs uk
Explore teeth whitening costs in the UK

How much is teeth whitening in the UK?

In the UK, over-the-counter home teeth whitening costs start from as little as £20 and in-office professional teeth whitening costs can be up to £1,000 pounds and more!

The price depends entirely on what kind of treatment is being offered. But if you want to understand teeth whitening costs in the UK, you first need to know which procedures are available.

All whitening treatments can be broken down into two categories: those which involve a dentist, and those which don't.

Let's look first at the options for getting your teeth whitened professionally.

How much does professional teeth whitening cost in the UK?

Professional teeth whitening in the UK, which includes in-office LED and laser whitening, generally range from around £200 to £800 or more.

In-office teeth whitening treatments performed by dentists tend to be more expensive than at-home whitening kits. The prices can also differ based on the type of whitening treatment chosen, such as laser or light-activated whitening, custom-made trays, or professional-grade whitening gels.

The most expensive procedure, but also the one that gives the fastest results, involves you sitting in the dentist's office for around an hour.

Your teeth are coated with a strong bleaching gel, usually containing hydrogen peroxide, and a laser or LED light is shone on them to accelerate the bleaching process.

Here's a quick look at what to expect as a Zoom whitening patient:

It's possible to get your teeth 2-8 shades whiter in just one session. The procedure is supervised by a trained dentist, and they apply a gum shield to protect your gums from the strong gel, so it is very safe. However, there is some likelihood of sensitivity from such an intensive treatment.

How much does laser teeth whitening cost?

The cost will vary. You'll pay between £500 and £1,000 for laser teeth whitening treatment at the dentist, depending on the system used and the number of sessions required.

Take-home custom bleaching trays

This treatment is administered by a dental professional in-office, but the whitening process itself takes place at home.

The first step is to have custom trays made to precisely fit your mouth. Then, your dentist will provide you with bleaching gel, again containing peroxide, and will show you how to use it correctly and safely.

Treatment takes around two weeks, over which time you should notice a considerable difference in the colour of your teeth. You wear the trays for 2-6 hours per day, according to your dentist's instructions.

What does take home teeth whitening cost?

Take home whitening kits for teeth whitening are less expensive than at the dentist and cost around £200 – £400 from dentists in the UK. They are a safe way for patients to get brighter, whiter teeth from home.

Combination teeth whitening treatments

how much is teeth whitening UK
A take-home whitening kit has custom trays

If you want instantly whiter teeth and more sustained cosmetic results, you can combine these two options. Some systems require you to complete your treatment at home first, whereas others begin with the chairside whitening session.

What does Enlighten teeth whitening cost?

Enlighten is one teeth whitening brand in the UK that offers combined in-office and take-home whitening treatment. A full course of Enlighten teeth whitening costs around £400 – £750 in the UK.

Philips Zoom is a well-known brand that offers a similar package, but you can also get either treatment separately from dentists that use Zoom whitening.

Whichever professional teeth whitening option you choose, you'll need a dental consultation before you begin. Your dentist will check that you don't have any untreated cavities which might need to be filled first.

They'll also look for signs of gum disease, which might make you a poor candidate for tooth whitening.

At-home whitening kits

So, what about teeth whitening treatment that is not overseen by a dentist? Home teeth whitening kits are widely available over-the-counter in pharmacies and online. They usually contain whitening gel, a mouth tray, and sometimes an LED activating light.

Manufacturers may not use hydrogen peroxide in over-the-counter kits in the UK (at least not in a concentration strong enough to do anything). Therefore, home kits usually contain other peroxide-based ingredients, although some are completely peroxide-free.

What do they cost?

teeth whitening dentist price UK
Get professional results from an LED kit at home

If you look online, you'll find these products cost anywhere from £20 to £150 or more. We recommend choosing one which is made in the USA or Europe, where manufacturing standards are high and cosmetic products are closely regulated.

One of our top picks for a teeth whitening kit is Smile Avenue. There are a few reasons why we think this is a great choice if you can't afford the cost of teeth whitening treatments with a dentist:

  • Smile Avenue's teeth whitening gel is designed to avoid sensitivity and actively remineralises teeth as you use it.
  • You paint the gel directly onto your teeth in a thin layer, so there is no risk of excess gel squirting onto your gums and damaging them.
  • The mouthpiece has a built-in LED light for even coverage.
  • Very affordable gel refills are available.
  • The kit comes with a money-back guarantee.

Our review of Smile Avenue has full details, or you can visit their website to learn more. If you decide to give Smile Avenue a try, use code DENTA10 for 10% off when you check out!

Other popular options are Snow teeth whitening and Hismile.

Snow's kits are made in the USA with a strong peroxide formula and contain enough gel for a whole year's worth of whitening. Whereas, Hismile is an alternative that whitens teeth without using hydrogen peroxide. Instead, this whitening kit uses a proven PAP+ formula that not only whitens teeth but remineralises enamel while you are using it!

You can read more about Snow in our article here, or check out our Hismile review if you want a peroxide-free whitening solution.

Other whitening products

You can also purchase teeth whitening strips, pens, and toothpaste in the UK. These function fine as stain removers, but they don't contain the same strong ingredients that you'll find in professional teeth whitening gel, and so you shouldn't expect drastic whitening results.

Summary of teeth whitening costs

So, how much does teeth whitening cost in the UK? This table summarises the prices mentioned above:

Method

Cost

Comments

Laser whitening

£500 - £1,000

Instant results

LED whitening (e.g. Philips Zoom)

£400 - £850

Instant results

Take-home bleaching trays

£200 - £400

Custom trays, takes around 2 weeks

Combined professional whitening (e.g. Enlighten)

£400 - £750

In-office and at-home treatment

Over-the-counter kit

£20 - £150

Results may vary; some safety concerns

Teeth whitening on the NHS
Can you get teeth whitening on the NHS?

What does NHS teeth whitening cost?

Teeth whitening on the NHS is only offered in particular circumstances where it is considered a medical need. No type of cosmetic dentistry is covered by the NHS.

For example, if your tooth nerve has died and one tooth is considerably discoloured, or you have tetracycline teeth stains, you may get treatment on the NHS. In this case, treatment would be via internal bleaching. Each case is assessed individually, so speak to your dentist to find out if you might be able to get teeth whitening on the NHS.

If you are eligible for teeth whitening on the NHS, you will probably pay the Band 3 treatment fee, which varies depending on where you live in the UK. See full NHS dental fees.

Does dental insurance cover teeth whitening costs?

Most insurance policies don't cover any kind of elective cosmetic dentistry, such as professional tooth whitening. If you are being treated as an NHS patient, however, this will be covered under your normal NHS treatment policy allowances.

Some dental payment plans, arranged directly with a local dentist or a chain of clinics, offer a fixed percentage discount off all treatments including cosmetic whitening. It's probably not worth starting a payment plan for this saving alone, but it could be a bonus if you already have this kind of plan in place. Your dentist might also agree to let you pay in instalments.

Other dental financing options are available, including dental loans. However, you should carefully consider whether it's worth taking on debt for cosmetic dental work.

Teeth whitening abroad

You may have heard about the concept of dental tourism; travelling overseas to access more affordable dental care. Well, even teeth whitening abroad can be 50-70% cheaper than in the UK.

It's probably not worth flying to Turkey or Spain to save a few hundred pounds on whitening, but if you're already there on holiday or you need other treatments like veneers or implants, you may want to consider this option.

Just be careful that you choose a reputable dental clinic to minimise the risk of travelling abroad for dental work. Using a dental tourism service like Dentaly Go will help make the process smoother and remove some of the concerns you may have.

Conclusion

You probably already knew that the cost of teeth whitening treatment in the UK varies greatly, but now you have a better understanding of what you're getting for your money.

Ultimately, you'll have to choose the procedure that's right for you depending on your budget, how white you want your teeth to become, and how quickly you want to achieve that shade.

If you have never whitened your teeth before and you are concerned about sensitivity or ending up with unnaturally white teeth, you'll probably be best with specific teeth whitening for sensitive teeth.

teeth whitening at the dentist
In-office whitening gives the strongest results

Smile Avenue is one which we recommend for its gentle formula and smart application.

On the other hand, if you're hoping for instantly white teeth and you want to achieve the whitest shade possible, you should head to a dental practice offering your preferred brand.

You may want to consider veneers or other cosmetic dentistry if you want to truly transform your smile.

In any case, it's best to have a dental consultation before beginning whitening treatment, since there is a greater risk of pain and sensitivity if your teeth and gums are not in good shape.

FAQs

How much does at-home teeth whitening cost?

This depends on how white you want your teeth to be. If you choose an inexpensive teeth whitening kit, you can achieve some degree of whitening for around £20.

What is the cost of teeth whitening at the dentist?

In-office teeth whitening costs £350 – £1,000, while a take-home kit prescribed by dental professionals costs from £200 – £400 on average. Both are proven ways to get whiter teeth.

What is the cheapest way to whiten teeth?

You can buy a whitening toothpaste for a few pounds. It might remove some surface stains, but it won't make too much difference to the natural colour of your teeth.

Teeth Whitening Costs in the UK: Guide to Professional and Home Treatments
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Contributors:
Amanda specialises in writing informative content about dentistry. She has been a regular contributor to Dentaly.org since 2017, and collaborates with dozens of dentists to keep this content accurate and up-to-date.
Amanda combines her medical background with her love for writing to bring you informed and accurate content at Dentaly.org.
Medically reviewed by:
Dr. Sarah Abbas is a prosthodontist who works as an Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Dentistry, Alexandria University, Egypt.
Sources

Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry: Comparison of laser and power bleaching techniques in tooth color change. Consulted 15th February 2023.