A Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry

This section discusses all issues related to cosmetic dentistry. This includes a look at the various procedures available to improve the appearance of your teeth as well as the costs.

Cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly popular over the years with a surge in demand for procedures such as veneers, smile makeovers and teeth whitening to name but a few.

This demand has been fuelled by the media, for example ‘makeover’ TV programmes and the growing interest in celebrity lifestyles. Many people are fascinated by these lifestyles and equate an attractive facial appearance and dazzling white smile with wealth and success.

Plus there is the fact that a nice, white smile improves your confidence and self-esteem. For many people these are very good reasons to improve the condition of their teeth and smile.

But what is cosmetic dentistry and how can it help you? Find out more in this section.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry refers to a range of procedures which are carried out to enhance the appearance of the teeth and gums. The overall aim is that of improving the smile: achieving the perfect ‘white smile’ which will also enhance the rest of the facial appearance.

The ‘smile makeover’ is a favourite procedure for many people who wish to have an aesthetically pleasing smile.

Cosmetic dentistry is focussed on improving the aesthetics of your smile: whereas conventional dentistry aims to improve the structure, function and appearance of your teeth and/or gums.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures

There are a range of options available which include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Veneers
  • Smile makeovers
  • Lumineers
  • Dental implants
  • Cosmetic dental bonding
  • Dental bridges
  • Crowns
  • Gum contouring

Each of these procedures is discussed in more detail within our cosmetic dentistry guide.

All of these procedures will improve the quality of your smile. There are likely to be some techniques which you are more familiar with than others but they are all equally effective.

How much does cosmetic dentistry cost?

The issue of cost crops up on a regular basis but nevertheless, it is an important one. This is particularly the case in the current economic situation where people are looking at affordable ways of improving their appearance.

The cost of a procedure depends upon a variety of factors such as the skill and experience of the dentist, the location of the clinic, the materials used and the duration of the treatment.

The cost increases the more treatments you require.

As a rough guide you can expect to pay the following:

  • Teeth whitening: £300 to £1,000 or more
  • Veneers: £300 to £1,500/£2,000 per tooth
  • Smile makeover: £300 up to £20,000 or more
  • Lumineers: £400 to £800 or more
  • Dental implants: £1,200 to £2,500/£3,000
  • Cosmetic dental bonding: £100 to £1,000
  • Dental bridge: £200 to £800 or more
  • Crowns: £300 to £1,500/£2,000 per crown
  • Gum contouring: £150 upwards

Is cosmetic dentistry available on the NHS?

There is only a small amount of cosmetic dental treatment that the NHS will pay for. This includes a porcelain crown for a badly damaged tooth and veneers or cosmetic dental bonding for cracked or severely chipped teeth.

The NHS only pays for treatment for which there is a clear medical need. Any non-essential or ‘elective’ treatment is usually paid for by the patient.

Another option is a finance plan which enables you to spread the cost of treatment over a set period of time.