Health and Wellness

Getting the Perfect Smile: All About Cosmetic Dentistry

Denstist checking out teeth

Nothing you wear is more important than your smile. This is one of the reasons why you must always keep your pearly whites in great shape!

Research shows that about 71% of British adults feel insecure about their teeth whenever they smile for a photo. A third of them said that it was due to the discolouration of their teeth. In addition, about 30% of adults said that they experience dental pain on a regular basis.

Fortunately, getting the perfect smile is possible, thanks to what is called cosmetic dentistry.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Any dental work which aims to improve the appearance of the teeth, gums, or bite is considered cosmetic dentistry. Its primary focus is the correction of the teeth’s shapes, sizes, colours, positions, and alignment, with the end goal of enhancing the overall appearance of a person’s smile.

A wide range of treatment options is available in the UK. Braces are on top of the list, along with veneers and teeth whitening. Other common procedures include dental contouring, gum reshaping, and teeth implants.

These procedures are carried out when a person has misaligned, misshapen, or discoloured teeth, and can vary depending on the severity of each case. But no matter the situation, cosmetic dentistry has the solution.

The costs of cosmetic dentistry

A single dental procedure can cost £90 to £5,500, depending on the type of treatment and technique used by the clinician.

Composite bonding, also known as tooth bonding, is one way to build up lost tooth structures or restore teeth for cosmetic purposes at a relatively cheap price. Composite resin is coloured, shaped, and attached to a tooth in order to bring back its original appearance. Some clinics in London carry out this procedure for £90 to £200.

On the other hand, discoloured teeth can be fixed through dental bleaching. Also known as teeth whitening, this procedure is priced at £500. Professional dentists apply a whitening gel that is then absorbed by the teeth with the help of its natural functions.

Veneers are another option for teeth whitening. They offer a permanent and long-term solution for £400 to £950. This methodwhich also repairs broken or chipped teethis irreversible, as it involves removing some, if not all, of a tooth’s enamel. The veneer is placed using a special adhesive combined with high-intensity light, which can account for its high costs.

As veneers are commonly used on the front teeth, dental crowns are used for those at the back. They act as a damaged tooth’s cap, mimicking the real one for about £270 at the lowest. However, this procedure can cost up to £850.

Braces cost even more, with the price ranging from £280 to £2,500. Small metal brackets are bonded to the teeth and joined together by a wire. Gentle pressure is applied to the teeth, which allows them to move into their correct positions. Invisalign, which makes use of a series of virtually invisible trays, is one of the newer ways to correct misalignment. This method can cost up to £5,500. Luckily, some treatments may be done by the National Health Service (NHS) to relieve the patient of high costs, although they require the application to be strictly for health purposes.

One of the most costly procedures in cosmetic dentistry is the placement of dental implants. This cosmetic treatment is common for those who suffer from tooth loss. For £2,415 to £3,500, a single tooth can be restored through a titanium screw placed directly into the jawbone. The implant is firmly held in place as the bone surrounding the screw gradually fuses to it. A full jaw of dental implants can cost £12,000 to £16,000.

Cosmetic dentistry in the UK

dentist and patientThe prices of these procedures can get really high compared to those done abroad. This is due to the fact that most practitioners across the UK are registered with the General Dental Council. They, along with organisations such as the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, ensure that dentists are educated and up-to-date on current practices. This guarantees that each procedure is legal and of high quality. Thankfully, the NHS provides the same services for less depending on various factors.

Dental charges are categorized into three bands: 1, 2, and 3. Each band covers a range of treatments and costs £23.80, £65.20, and £282.80, respectively. The amount to be spent all depends on the band the treatment falls under. To see a detailed list of the covered treatments, you may visit the dental costs section of the NHS website.

Some patients are eligible for free treatment. One of the major requirements is a statement from your dentist regarding the need for treatment for medical reasons. Treatment is also free for those who are under 18, or under 19 and in full-time education. You are also exempted from paying for their services if you have recently had a baby in the last year or are currently pregnant. Also included are people with low-income benefits.

Although cosmetic dentistry procedures cost much, there are many alternative options. However, we must also remember that practising proper oral hygiene is one of the best ways to get that breath-taking smile. Consistent brushing and flossing along with regular visits to the dentist will help lessen, and even take away, the costs of cosmetic dentistry.

Celina Morales
Author: Celina Morales