Cost of Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry is a fast growing field of dentistry and one in which new techniques are being developed all the time. There is a wide range of treatments available which enjoy high success rates and the thanks of many grateful patients!

However, cosmetic dentistry isn’t cheap: many of these techniques use the most advanced technology available and this tends to be reflected in the cost.

Many people say that they cannot see a price list for individual procedures on a clinic’s website but there is often a very good reason for this. Every patient is different when it comes to treatment and the dentist has to take this into account when planning this.

Factors that influence the cost of treatment

And, the cost of treatment depends on the following range of factors:

  • The clinic and its facilities: some clinics have a well established reputation for top quality work and use the very latest technology. They will have one or more top quality dentists who have treated high profile clients.

    If you go for a clinic with a ‘name’ then you are going to pay more than at a less well known place. Location is also a factor. A clinic in an upmarket part of London will charge more than one which is based out of town.

  • The dentist: a highly qualified and reputable dentist who is eminent in his/her own field and has many years of experience will charge more than a less experienced colleague.

    A specialist dentist will charge more than a general dentist.

  • Dental materials: better quality materials will cost more than cheaper ones. For example, a branded dental implant such as Intra-Lock or Nobel Biocare will cost more than a
    non-branded or less well known implant.

    An all-porcelain crown costs more than one which is made from a composite of metal alloy and a porcelain shell.

  • Extent of treatment: as you can imagine the greater the amount of treatment required the more expensive it will be. So, if you require a full mouth reconstruction then this cost more than a single crown.

    If you require treatment where more than one technique is used then this will push up the price.

  • Aftercare: many clinics will offer an aftercare service which includes follow up visits to check on your progress and maintenance sessions.

All of these are what determine the cost. When you ask for a quote from a cosmetic dentist then this price should contain a breakdown of the above.

The cost is often the deciding factor for many patients. Some procedures can be eye-wateringly expensive and may deter patients from what can be a very beneficial form of treatment.

Here is a rough guide to treatment costs:

Dental implants

From £800 up to £3,000 or more (for a single tooth)

Teeth whitening

From £200 to £1,000 or more

Dental veneers

From £300 upwards (for a single tooth)

Dental crowns

From £250 to £2,000 or more (for a single tooth)

Smile makeover

From £3,000 up to £40,000 (smile reconstruction)

Dental bridge

From £500 upwards

Invisalign (braces)

From £3,000 to £6,000

CEREC restoration

From £380 to £700 per crown

Can the NHS help?

The NHS will pay for some forms of cosmetic dentistry where there is a demonstrable ‘need’: this means a situation in which this treatment will improve the patient’s medical, social and psychological well being.

If a treatment is undertaken for reasons of improving ones’ appearance then the NHS is unlikely to pay. Why? The NHS is subject to budgetary restraints and has to allocate funding where there is the greatest need and benefit. They will list treatment according to priority and cosmetic dentistry isn’t high on that list.

However, don’t rule out this option altogether. Talk to your dentist to see if you have a case for NHS funding. If you require cosmetic dentistry as part of a larger body of treatment then you may be considered for treatment by the NHS.

Dental insurance

Many people have taken out dental insurance and may see this as a means of paying for cosmetic dentistry. However, if you read the list of exclusions then you will find that they don’t cover cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry.

Private treatment

Most patients go for cosmetic dentistry as a private patient. This means paying for it yourself, either by savings or some other form of finance.

Another option is to arrange some kind of finance to cover the cost of treatment, such as a loan. This is much the same as any other high cost item in that you spread the cost of the treatment over a set period of time.

One way of doing this is to apply for a loan from your bank or building society. Another option is that of a finance scheme offered by your dentist.

Dental finance scheme

Many clinics operate their own dental finance package in which the patient can obtain an interest free loan, which is repaid over a period of time via monthly instalments.

This is administered in much the same way as a conventional loan, the only difference being that your loan is approved through the clinic rather than the bank manager.

You will find that many of them offer an interest free loan for 12 months. If you find that you have to spread the cost over a longer period, say 2 years or more then they will still offer you a loan. However, this loan will come with a small amount of interest.

Dental tourism

This is becoming a popular choice for patients who are put off by waiting lists and high prices. Another added attraction is that of combining the treatment with a short holiday.

There are clinics abroad that offer first class treatment on a level with or better then the UK. They will have top notch facilities and use the most advanced forms of technology – often at a fraction of the cost in the UK.

What many clinics offer is a ‘dental package’ which offers dental treatment plus a holiday.

The thought of first rate treatment at a five star clinic, in an exotic location is hard to resist and a great many people have opted for this.

However, this is not without its pitfalls. Yes, you can get cheaper treatment abroad but price should not be the overwhelming factor. What you need to be concerned with is the reputation of the dentist. Make sure that he or she is suitably qualified and experienced enough to carry out your procedure.

It can be all too easy to get carried away by glossy brochures or attractive looking websites, with their ‘special offers’ and ‘low cost deals’ but please do your homework beforehand.

Spend some time researching the clinic and the dentist. Make sure that he or she is professionally qualified and has a good track record. Ask yourself what would happen if something went wrong? Would you have to pay extra? If something does go wrong then you will have to pay for a flight and possibly accommodation to return to the clinic.

Are the clinic’s facilities up to scratch and of a high standard? Is there any aftercare? Are there any hidden extras? These are just a few of the many questions you need to ask and obtain answers for before making a decision.

Many people go abroad for dental treatment and are very happy with the results but investigate this thoroughly beforehand.

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