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.