Why Does a Smile Makeover Cost so Much?

The cost of cosmetic dentistry is a concern for lots of people, maybe you want to brighten your smile, straighten crooked teeth or replace missing teeth but don’t know where to get started? in this blog post, our Leicester based cosmetic dentist Dr Juttes Pallipatt looks at your smile makeover and cosmetic dentistry options as well as costs.

Is cosmetic dentistry worth it? Why or why not?

Your reasons for choosing cosmetic dentistry may include things such as,

  • wanting to look good for a wedding.
  • Wanting to feel more confident when you smile.
  • being embarrassed

Cosmetic dentistry, as well as helping with confidence and feeling better about yourself can also help to keep your teeth healthier. For example, it’s really important that you clean your teeth well each day, particularly in the difficult to reach areas in between your teeth as this is where the bulk of the bacteria lurk. Crooked teeth can be rather difficult to clean in between as it’s difficult to get floss or brushes in between teeth which aren’t straight. Straight teeth, on the other hand are far easier to clean in between with a piece of floss or brush meaning they tend to stay healthier.

What can a cosmetic dentist do?

A cosmetic dentist will primarily help you with:

  1. Straightening crooked teeth.
  2. Replacing missing teeth.
  3. Whitening dark teeth.
  4. Reshaping teeth which you don’t like the shape of.

At its core, this remains what a cosmetic dentist does, the techniques by which they achieve this change over time but include treatments like teeth whitening, dental veneers, dental bonding, dental bridges and implants.

The key feature of a cosmetic dentist is that they will be multidisciplinary, looking across a wide range of dental treatments, coordinating all of these treatments together into a smile makeover treatment plan which helps you achieve your goals.

What are the pros and cons of cosmetic dentistry?

The advantages of cosmetic dentistry include:

  • Increased confidence.
  • Easier to clean teeth which are straight.
  • Reduction in embarrassment due to your smile. Particularly if you have front teeth which you would like changed.
  • A more youthful look.
  • Removing facial lines and wrinkles.

The disadvantages of cosmetic dentistry may include:

  • Increased risk of dental decay if the quality of cosmetic dentistry restorations (such as veneers or crowns) isn’t as high as it could be.
  • Removal of otherwise healthy tooth structure. Sometimes healthy tooth structure needs to be removed to make way for a new veneer or crown, arguably it’s better to keep as much natural tooth structure as possible.

What kind of treatment is provided by the cosmetic dentist?

A cosmetic dentist will typically bring together a range of treatments, coordinating them to resolve your dental problems. A typical smile design may include some or all of the following elements:

  1. Orthodontics to straighten crooked teeth.
  2. Dental bonding to give the illusion of straight teeth, cover up dark teeth and hide chips and cracks in teeth.
  3. Dental veneers to give the illusion of straight teeth, cover up dark teeth and hide chips and cracks in teeth, but to a more extensive degree in dental bonding.
  4. Dental crowns to restore broken down teeth.
  5. Dental bridges to replace missing teeth and restore broken down teeth.
  6. Dental implants to replace missing teeth.
  7. Facial rejuvenation and antiwrinkle techniques such as dermal fillers and Botox.

What is the process for a smile design?

The 1st stage in the smile design process is to have a discussion with your cosmetic dentist to find out exactly what it is you don’t like about your smile.

In conjunction with this your dentist can also help you discover other possibilities which you may not have thought about.

Once this is done your dentist will then provide a treatment plan, this will identify:

  • The length of treatment.
  • Exactly which treatments you will have and in what order.
  • The cost of treatment.

Typically the process will then be as follows:

  • Orthodontic treatment. This is used to move teeth into the correct position, sometimes this is just so that natural teeth are straighter but orthodontics can also be used prior to having different types of veneers fitted.
  • Dental implants. Replacing missing teeth can also be done at an early stage and is often one of the 1st treatments to begin.
  • Once any implants are fitted or orthodontic treatment has been completed you can then look at the more detailed individual tooth level of cosmetic dentistry. Typically dental veneers, crowns and whitening will be at this final stage.

How much it will cost to fix my smile?

This is incredibly difficult to answer in a blog post, you have the teeth whitening cost, the dental veneers cost and the cost of any other treatment you decide to go ahead with, so it’s really personalised.

However, to give you a broad idea of the total costs they are as follows:

  • initial consultation – free
  • new patient dental health exam, from this treatment plan can be provided – £55
  • orthodontics-from £1800 for either the top or bottom teeth
  • dental implants from £2000
  • dental bonding from £90
  • dental veneers from £500
  • teeth whitening from £299 for either the top or bottom teeth

How much should a teeth whitening procedure cost?

There are a variety of different whitening systems including whitening toothpaste, laser treatments, whitening strips and by using a whitening gel provided at your dentist.

The toothpaste and whitening strips are easy options to begin whitening at home although you may find that the results don’t go quite white enough. This type of teeth whitening costs from as little as a few pounds for a tube of toothpaste.

The most preferred method is to use a bleaching agent such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. This can only be provided by a suitably qualified dental professional.

professional teeth whitening is far more predictable and your dentist will ensure your teeth are suitable for whitening prior to beginning the treatment. Typical whitening costs are from £299 for either the top or bottom teeth. The exact cost depends on the whitening method chosen.

There’s lots more information about cosmetic dentistry on the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s website.

The cost of dental implants

There are often many questions about the cost of full mouth dental implants and why the cost seems to be extremely high. This blog post takes a detailed look at the alternatives to implants, how to keep the cost down, why the cost is as it is plus lots more useful information to anyone wanting a permanent replacement for missing teeth.

We will work through the question about the cost of implants by answering a range of the most commonly asked questions, please feel free to scan through to find the answer which most clearly represents your question.

How many teeth can be replaced with dental implants?

Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or a full mouth of missing teeth. A variety of techniques used from single crowns to bridges to the dentures (commonly called false teeth). Each has a slightly different use and have a different cost associated.

What are the pros and cons of a full mouth implant?

Just because you have dental implants doesn’t mean to say that you don’t need to look after your new replacement teeth. Dental implants can be just as susceptible to gingivitis (gum disease) which, in natural teeth, can progress on to the more serious periodontitis butting dental implants can progress to peri-implantitis, a serious condition which can ultimately mean the dental implants need to be removed.

Are dental implants noticeable?

The thing to bear in mind with dental implants is that it’s not the implant which you see, it is the restoration on top of the implant which is seen. The dental implant typically is completely concealed within your jaw and underneath your gums. There is then a trans-mucosal element which links the dental implant to the final restoration, either Crown, bridge or denture.

In some instances, particularly with full mouth dental implants, there is a need to keep the implants self-cleansing underneath. This means there may be a gap underneath where the full dental bridge meets your gums. However, this will only ever be used on patients with a lower smile line meaning that even when you smile your broadest smile you will still not be able to see this gap. It’s all in the planning of the implant placement!

What is the best alternative for teeth implants?

This is a great question as there are a few alternatives for dental implants once you have had teeth removed.

  • Do nothing. The temptation can often be to always want to have treatment, however sometimes doing nothing is the right thing to do. You do need to know that if you do not have the missing tooth replaced then the adjacent teeth can start to drift, this can cause biting problems later on.
  • Dental bridges. If you have a few missing teeth, usually up to 3 in a row you may be able to have a dental bridge. This works on the assumption that you have teeth either side of the ones that are missing, these teeth either side will be reduced or prepared to receive the supporting element for the new teeth. Dental bridges can work well however do require reduction of possible otherwise healthy tooth structure.
  • Dentures. Dentures are often the lowest cost way to replace missing teeth however many people dislike the idea of them being removable and prefer fixed option such as implants or bridges. Modern cosmetic dentures do however look incredibly lifelike and can be made to blend in with the oral environment almost seamlessly. A full set of dentures can also look incredibly realistic.
Dental implants can help to reduce bone loss and stabilise surrounding teeth

How long does the dental implant treatment take?

Once you have decided that you want to go ahead with dental implants is important to know how long this treatment process may take.

Even the simplest dental implant treatment will usually take 6 months from initial planning through to having the final restoration fitted. This is because sufficient planning to ensure the implant is placed in exactly the right location can take time liaising between the dentist, dental implant surgeon, and dental laboratory.

Once the planning has been undertaken and you have the dental implant placement we then need to wait for osseointegration of the implant. this is the process by which the dental implant integrates with the bone of your jaw, this takes anywhere between 3 and 6 months. After the implant has fully integrated we can then proceed to the final stage which is having the restoration, either a dental crown, bridge or denture.

Why are dental implants so expensive?

This is a question we get asked often, the cost of dental implants, particularly the cost of full mouth dental implants can be very expensive… Here’s why.

A dental implant is made up of several components which makes the material cost expensive. However, the most expensive part of dental implants is in the training, education, and expertise of the surgeons performing the treatment.

let’s look at all the costs of a dental implant separately:

  1. the implants themselves. the dental implant components are manufactured to exceptionally fine tolerances of 1000th of a millimetre. This is to ensure that the implant lasts for the maximum amount of time and that all of the components of the implant fit together with Micron precision. Manufacturing to these tolerances can be extremely expensive and it’s sometimes this lack of quality control which is missing with the cheaper dental implant systems.
  2. treatment planning. Throughout the treatment planning process, there will be multiple visits to the dentist for detailed measurements and discussions about the final outcome. Treatment planning often involves complex stands and computer modeling using the latest digital technology to ensure that the implant is placed in exactly the right position, missing all-important nerves and blood vessels.
  3. specialist equipment. For large dental implant cases such as full mouth dental implants, CT scans are often used. These scans can then be imported into specialist software where the treatment can be rehearsed prior to placement of implants themselves. This is what separates a high-quality dental implant centre from somewhere which does not undertake this detailed level of planning.
  4. surgical fees. There are then a wide range of surgical fees involved in the placement of a dental implant if a specialist is employed to place the implant their cost will be higher than a regular dentist. There are also the dentist fees which will encapsulate the cost of the team at the dental practice including reception and nursing team members.
  5. dental laboratory fees. once the dental implant has been placed there will then be dental laboratory fees. I don’t laboratory is used to manufacture the restoration on top of the implant, apart which you see. Using a cheap laboratory can be tempting to keep costs down but is a false cost saving as this is the part of the dental implant that you will actually see and is therefore often viewed as one of the most important parts from the patient perspective.
  6. Cross infection control. Of course, we want to ensure that there are no infections or other problems which arise out of having a dental implant. Modern quality care commission standards require the highest level of cross infection control which can often involve computerised equipment to manage the sterilisation procedure.
  7. education and registration. Lastly, but definitely by no means least is the education and registration of your dental implant team. You will want to have your dental implant is placed by someone which has the highest level of training and skills, this training and skill level does not come cheaply and there is a large investment required both in terms of time and money by the dental implant team to ensure they stay up-to-date with the latest technology, techniques, and materials.

Clearly, as the number of implants and time taken increases then the cost will also increase proportionately, this is why the cost of former dental implants can often seem so high

Why are dental implants best for tooth replacement?

So, you’re thinking about dental implants but want to know why they are the best? As we’ve already said there are multiple ways to replace the missing tooth, dental implants, dental bridges or even dentures. However, dental implants, with some distinct advantages.

  • support for the teeth on either side of the gap. Teeth are living parts of your body, they stay in their position by supporting one another. If that supported lost then the teeth can begin to drift. If the tooth is lost then the teeth either side will have a tendency to tip into the gap. This can cause biting problems at a later date.
  • Support for the teeth opposite the gap. Unbelievably, your teeth will actually start to over erupt if there is nothing opposing them. The lower teeth will drift up and the top teeth will drift down. If you have a tooth missing on either jaw then the tooth/teeth opposite it may begin to drift into the gap. Again this can cause biting problems at a later date.
  • Support for the underlying bone. When you have a tooth removed or you lose a tooth then there is inevitably a hole. The surrounding bone collapses into this hole and as it does so bone quantity is lost. This can mean that having a dental implant at a later date may require bone grafting or other forms of implant surgery in order to rebuild the level of bone. Dental implants can help prevent this process if they are placed into the hole that the tooth left, this does, however, need to be done quite quickly after the tooth has been lost.

What is the cost of full mouth dental implants?

The easiest way to explain the cost of full mouth dental implants is to take each option and then give you some representative examples of how it might work in your case.

  1. Initial consultation. Some practices charge for an initial consultation however you may wish to look for a practice that does a free consultation to keep your risk as long as possible.
  2. Treatment planning. Treatment planning stages including CT scans will usually start from around £300.
  3. Implant placement. This usually starts at around £2000 per implant placed.
  4. Implant restoration. An implant denture usually starts at around £1000. Dental implant crowns typically start from around £500 per tooth.

To have a full mouth dental implants typical costs would therefore be:

To replace all missing teeth with full mouth dental implant removable denture.

  • treatment planning – £300
  • Implant placement X 2 – £4000
  • Removable denture – £1000

Total – approximately £5300

To replace all missing teeth with a fixed dental implant bridge.

  • treatment planning – £300
  • implant placement X 4 – £8000
  • dental bridge to include 12 teeth – £6000

total – approximately £14,300

Most dental practices also offer finance, sometimes this is interest-free finance. It is always worth talking to your dental practice and asking about making payment plans to ensure that dental implants are as affordable as possible





Dental implants: a game-changer for tooth replacement

They’ve been around for a good while now, but it’s amazing how many people still don’t know about dental implants. Maybe this is because they are so good at replacing teeth that they are easy for you to keep secret. This is unlike dentures, which can make themselves known by slipping around in the mouth, and sometimes even popping out completely.

Dental Implants in LeicesterDental implant-supported crowns can’t wobble around because the implants are fixed into the jawbone. The implants look like small posts or screws that are tapered to resemble tooth roots.

Here at Aesthetic Smiles in Leicester, we fit dental implants into your jawbone under local anaesthetic. This is more than enough to numb the area, but if you find it hard to relax at the dentist, it might be a good idea to also have some kind of sedation.

One dental implant can support up to 3 crowns on a bridge. This means you don’t have to replace every lost tooth with an implant. Indeed, if you have lost all your teeth, there are techniques to replace an entire arch on just 4-6 implants. If that sounds like something you might be interested in, just ask us about All-on-4 and Same Day Teeth.

Who can have dental implants?

Having dental implants requires a strong, dense jawbone. It needs to be able to sustain the minor surgery to fit the implants, and then to sustain the years of multidirectional forces that are created by chewing.

When you come to us for a consultation, we will take a good look at your jawbone. We will want to examine it using x-rays and scans so that we can be sure that your jawbone is in good enough condition to have implants fitted. If your jawbone has lost size and density through tooth loss, we may have to do some preparatory work to augment the bone. Treatments for this are bone grafts or sinus lifts.

We may also have to think carefully if you are a smoker or have uncontrolled type 2 diabetes as both can interfere with healing, which is an important phase in dental implant treatment.