Cosmetic dentistry costs depend on a number of factors and can vary widely depending on where you live. In this article, we’ll look at some average costs of cosmetic dentistry around the country. You’ll find what factors affect how much you pay, some tips to save on procedures, and how to make it easier to pay for them.
Whether you’re looking to improve oral health or get that perfect smile you always wanted – you’re going to need a cosmetic dentist or oral surgeon to help you figure it out.
We’ve broken down the most common dental procedures below by cost to help you figure out exactly how much you should expect to pay.
Cosmetic Dentistry Costs Near Me
How much you pay for cosmetic dentistry will depend on your specific situation. The only way you can know for sure how much a procedure will cost you is to get a consultation at a local dental office (the initial consultation may be free). You can find cosmetic dentists near you using this free search tool.
Costs vary from state to state and even within the same city. Below, we’ll share with you the average costs of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures. This will at least give you an idea of what you might pay for them.
Veneers are an extremely thin, shell that covers the front surface of your teeth. They are custom-made – changing the size, shape and/or color to give you the beautiful teeth you always wanted! They are not as involved as getting implants and can fix a variety of dental problems.
However, veneers are typically not a good solution for people who don’t have healthy teeth or gums. Depending on the specific procedure/veneer material used, veneers typically cost between $500 – $1200 per tooth.
Tooth bonding involves applying a composite resin to your teeth to fill in cracks or shape damaged teeth. This procedure is quicker, easier, and less expensive than veneers, however they are a less durable solution (typically lasting 3-10 years). Anesthesia is usually not required, and the average cost range is $300 to $600 per tooth.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps designed to fit over a damaged tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. They will typically last somewhere between 5 and 15 years. Most insurance companies will pay for replacement crowns after 8 years.
The average price per crown is $1,000, but they can start around $300 on the low end and be as high as $3000.
A more expensive option, dental implants look and feel like your own teeth and are designed to replace a missing tooth and or full set of teeth. Dental implants fuse with your jawbone and not only improve appearance, but can have many health benefits as well.
They bring full function back to your jaw, making it easier to chew food properly. You can find implants anywhere from a low of $500 all the way up to $8,000 or more for a single implant.
Dentures are “fake teeth” that can be either removable or permanent (if attached to implants). They are a great option to replace missing teeth. They cost from about $500 to $5000 and up per arch.
A popular alternative to metal braces, Invisalign are clear, removeable plastic aligners placed over your teeth. They are used to straighten teeth and correct gaps, crowding, and mild bite issues. The cost of Invisalign will typically range from $3500 – $8000 which is only slightly higher than traditional braces.
A smile makeover uses one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures to improve the appearance of your mouth and teeth, as well as your dental health. Each treatment plan is tailored to the needs of the patient. Smile makeovers address all appearance issues such as damaged teeth, missing teeth, misaligned teeth, gaps between teeth, fractures, and severe staining or discoloration.
The average cost ranges from $25,000 to $40,000, and most dentists will offer finance options.
Gum contouring involves reshaping your gumline. It’s often used to improve the look of the gums, teeth, or smile but may also be necessary to fix other issues related to gum disease. Gum contouring could cost from $50 to $3,000 and up.
Think of gum grafting like cosmetic surgery for your gums, used to treat more advanced cases of gum recession. Gum grafting involves removing a piece of tissue from your mouth and placing it in an area where little to no gum tissue currently exists. The typical cost range is $600 to $1,200.
Gingivectomy is the removal of diseased gum tissue (called gingival), to get rid of pockets between the teeth and gums to stop the progression of gum disease. The periodontist or oral surgeon will start by numbing your gums with a local anesthetic and might use a laser to remove loose gum tissue. The typical gingivectomy cost range is $200 to $400 per tooth.
Enameloplasty, also referred to as tooth recontouring, stripping or slenderizing, fixes minor imperfections in your teeth by removing bits of enamel from the tooth to change its appearance. It’s a fairly non-invasive procedure used to change a tooth’s size, shape, length, or surface. Since enamel does not grow back, the results are permanent. The cost of enameloplasty is typically $50 to $300 per tooth.
Teeth whitening or bleaching is the process of lightening the color of your natural tooth structure. Whitening is often desirable when teeth become yellowed over time due to staining or other reasons. Professionals are able to use stronger bleaching agents and/or even lasers for teeth whitening. Teeth Whitening has a cost range between $350 to $1,000.
Factors That Affect How Much Cosmetic Dentistry Will Cost You
If You Need Any “Prep” Work
Sometimes you might need additional work done in your mouth to get it ready. This can include removing existing teeth or a bone graft. Any of procedures or treatments like this will add to your total cost.
The materials for your procedure will impact the cost as well. You can go with cheaper options to save money here. However cheaper options may not last as long or look as much like your natural teeth as higher quality ones.
Some dentists will run special low-cost deals to bring new patients into their practice. Be wary of these offers though as sometimes they don’t tell the full story. Many leave out the additional costs of things such as anesthesia, which will make what you end up paying much higher.
The Cosmetic Dentist You Choose
Even within the same city, there can be a big difference in costs for cosmetic dentistry. The dental practice you choose is a big reason why.
A more established, experienced dentist, means you’ll likely pay more. But that additional cost might well be worth it. Going to a more experienced dentist and using higher quality materials could save you money in the long run.
It may be beneficial to visit a few dental offices to get a custom estimate based on your needs. Unless they evaluate your mouth in person, you won’t really get a true cost estimate.
Types Of Procedures/Treatments
Obviously a big part of how much cosmetic dentistry will cost you is what specific procedure(s)/treatment(s) you get. For example, just getting a few veneers is going to cost a whole lot less than a Smile Makeover.
How Many Teeth Are Affected/Need to Be Worked On
Another obvious one here… but if you need multiple teeth replaced/worked on, it will cost a lot more than work done on a single tooth.
Where In The Mouth The Work Is Located
Where in your mouth the work is being done might also affect the cost. For example, work done in the front of the mouth can cost more since the area is highly visible. Because of this your cosmetic dentist may give it more attention and extra care to make sure it’s perfect. Also, it might cost more for work in the back lower jaw since the area is harder to work on for your dentist.
How To Save on Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry is very effective, but costs can add up quickly. Below are some tips that can help you save you some money.
Dental Discount Plans
Dental insurance typically won’t cover much, if any, of the costs for cosmetic procedures. But you might be able to save with a dental discount plan. Dental discount plans are an affordable, flexible alternative to traditional dental insurance.
They are like a membership club where you pay an annual fee and then enjoy savings at participating dentists. These plans typically will cost about $100 or even less per year. Signing up for one of these plans can get you an average discount of around 20% or so depending on the plan.
If you don’t have dental insurance and/or are planning to have expensive procedures or treatments done, then these plans could offer some great savings.
As mentioned above, costs will vary depending on where in the country you live. Costs can vary a lot even within the same city. So it pays to shop around.
It might even be worth driving to a dental practice a few hours away if the costs are a lot lower. Assuming that you find a cosmetic dentist who does great work there.
Try A Dental School
Some dental schools will offer discounted treatments/procedures. The procedure will be done by a student, under the watchful eye of an experienced professor.
Dental tourism has become a somewhat popular option as cosmetic dentistry costs could be much lower. Countries like Mexico, Costa Rica and Thailand could be much cheaper than in the United States.
There are certainly some big risks involved with getting medical treatment overseas, so be sure you thoroughly research that you’re going to a highly qualified dentist.
Talk With Your Dentist
Dentists are often willing to negotiate better pricing for procedures that insurance does not cover. This is especially if you’re willing to pay cash. Sometimes you might be able to get a big discount by just asking.
Ask a Charity For Help
Some charities out there will help people pay for cosmetic procedures in certain situations. The Dental Lifeline Network is one such charity. Qualifying for this program depends on where you live. You can see if you qualify here.
Also, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry runs a charity called Give Back a Smile. It helps those who need dental work as a result of domestic and sexual violence.
Get a Grant
There are also grants available to help cover cosmetic dental costs for those who need financial assistance. One such place to check is the Dental Grants Program.
There are also grants available from the government and other organizations. Some to check out include:
How To Pay for Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry treatments can get expensive. So, how do you pay for them? Below are some of the best options for paying for the treatment/procedure you need.
If you have dental insurance, your plan might help pay for some of your costs if the procedure is medically necessary. You will have to contact your dental insurance provider to learn if your plan covers the treatments you need.
Financing the cost of cosmetic dentistry is one of the most common ways to go. Many dentists will offer patients a financing option through their office. There are also 3rd party finance companies you could use.
Dentists often will offer payment plans to their patients. This helps so you don’t have to pay one lump sum. Instead you can spread payments out over time.
Health Spending Accounts
Even if the treatment isn’t covered by insurance, if you have a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account you can use those funds to pay for qualifying medical or dental procedures.
Put It On a Credit Card
This is an option. But be careful as credit card interest rates can be very high. A loan through your dentist’s office or a third-party lender may be a better option.
New advancements in dental technology are constantly leading to more cost savings and efficiencies. Just make sure to do your research on local dentists with reviews and costs. Cheaper does not always mean better when it comes to having dental work done!