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What You Can Expect to Pay For Quality Cosmetic Dentistry--An Overview of the Costs

Updated on January 10, 2015

One avenue to an attractive appearance is a nice smile. Sometimes even clothes that aren't trendy or other funky outfits can be offset by a brighter, cleaner smile. Business relationships and friendships, as well as first impressions can be formed on your smile, yet aesthetically beautiful dental work can be expensive. Good news--the price of high quality work will be worth the money and time you spend.

An electric toothbrush can go a long way in an individual's personal dental care
An electric toothbrush can go a long way in an individual's personal dental care

Teeth Whitening

While professional whitening is a highly popular pathway to the best results, over the counter or store-bought teeth whiteners can also provide visible benefits for many people. The price of a whitening kit from the supermarket can cost between $25.00 and $60.00, because varying strengths of bleaching agent are available from mild to near professional strength. Differing approaches will range from White-strips by Crest to molds which fit over the upper and lower teeth and can be filled with whitener.

Another avenue to take which will give the seeker solid results is a whitening kit provided by the dentist. These kits come with the molds for the upper and lower teeth, a higher peroxide concentration, and can cost up to $350.00.

The Professional Whitening Process

If you prefer the supervision of the process by a professional, get your whitening done in the office of your dentist. This process is well supported by several technologies, including laser light and peroxide bleaching. For the cool light effects look in the price neighborhood of $950.00 to $1100.00 to start. If the price makes you wince, remember that last time you smiled outdoors in natural light.

The bleaching process however costs less and is held to be by far the fastest route to the results you want. For about $700.00 you can get this done, and while it isn't permanent, the dentist can recommend or provide follow up whiteners for you to maintain your million dollar smile.

Also Consider an Electric Toothbrush

For solid results in dental hygiene consider an electric toothbrush. Not only can it help whiten teeth, using one can bring an enjoyable novelty to brushing your teeth. These devices are rechargeable and can be found on the less expensive end at $30 up to $150 and higher.

Dental Implant Costs

Dental implants are designed to replace missing or broken teeth, and to closely match your existing teeth. In addition to being strong, they are also extremely comfortable, and many people find that speech and eating are both easier. Implants also improve oral health in general, as they do not require nearby teeth to be altered. Of course, many people also choose implants in an effort to improve their overall appearance and boost their self esteem.

The cost of implants is typically not covered under dental insurance, as the procedure is regarded as cosmetic surgery by most insurance companies. However, the costs may be covered under health insurance, depending on the cause of the tooth loss. Costs can vary, depending on the area of the country you receive treatment, the qualifications of the dentist and of course, the number of implants. Some dentists offer a payment plan, which can be a big help in affording the dental implant costs. Dental school clinics may also offer reduced rates for implants.

The cost can be as low as $1,000 and as high as $5,000. If an additional procedure such as a bone graft or extraction is needed, the cost for a single implant can be as much as $10,000. Dental implant costs are higher if a metal extension, known as an abutment, is needed, or a dental crown is part of the procedure.

If you need to have several implants, you can also expect to pay more and the cost for two to six implants and a full mouth or partial dental bridge can be between $3,500 and $30,000. The cost can vary depending on the size of the bridge and the materials needed, as well as the number of bridges. The cost can be higher still if you want to have the convenience of a removable denture plate and a full upper and lower set of implants and dentures can cost from $7,000 to $90,000.

If you are thinking of having implants, always make sure you understand what is included in the price quote you receive. Some estimates don't include any 'extras' such as a crown or abutment, or any follow up visits to your dentist or related procedures, although the total cost often includes the cost of any temporary teeth. These are in place while the implants heal, which can often take several months.

A ceramic abutment
A ceramic abutment | Source
After ceramic abutment crown.  Can you tell which one it is?
After ceramic abutment crown. Can you tell which one it is? | Source

Implants, Abutments and Crowns

These three depend on each other, although they are not necessarily priced together. Implants and crowns are separate procedures and are fairly expensive in themselves. The implant is a metal fixture that provides a root for the prosthesis, and is placed into the jawbone beneath the teeth.

If in the extraction of a previous tooth or upon examination of the gum the dentist determines the quality or quantity of bone is insufficient, bone grafting may be required. Altogether the process can be very pricey, requiring different practitioners at different stages along the way. Combined these processes can start as high as $3000.00, and go upward. Not to worry, however, since in any work performed, the upfront consultation will reveal the particular stages and the costs.

Be sure to understand the implant or post is a separate cost, as well as the before-mentioned bone grafting to insure the quantity of bone necessary for the post. The previous price mentioned can be well exceeded should the processes require more complex work.

Brackets use a wire and tension to correct teeth positoning
Brackets use a wire and tension to correct teeth positoning | Source
Braces restore spacing and correct the position of the teeth
Braces restore spacing and correct the position of the teeth | Source

Braces For Old And Young Alike

If you're having problems with teeth that are growing in odd directions braces are just one of the options a dentist may recommend. With improvements in knowledge of the mouth, and jawbone, as well as improvements in materials and techniques, a variety of brace applications now exist for those aspiring to the better smile.

As well, braces are not just for youth or adolescents, as there are adult braces applications. $2000.00 to $5000.00 is about the average for braces, nationwide, although these applications can start as high as $6000.00 and be up to $8500.00 in cost.

Aesthetic Contouring and Reshaping

Have gaps in your teeth? One route to correction is this process. Although some discomfort is involved, it isn't as time intensive as much of the other cosmetic work and isn't quite as expensive. A qualified dental professional will need to sit with you and determine the best way to the results you want. The good news is this process can also correct cracked and crooked teeth. Commonly, and depending on what area of the country you live in this process can cost between $180.00 to $300.00.


The process for veneers describes at least two different application methods, both of which are expensive, yet with the end results being worth the money spent.

One estimate starts the cost for each tooth in the neighborhood of $900.00, and they can be as expensive as $2500.00. Although pricey, there are many videos on the web detailing the process involved as well as the incredible dental skill required. As well, professional ceramists, often off location, are called upon to sculpt each veneer and this is a factor in the price. The one seeking or having this solution recommended may also consider the complexity of the process involved before discounting the price and looking for less expensive solutions.

A Word On Bargain Hunting

While bargain hunting in the supermarket for household items may yield superior results, the wisdom in this thinking falls far short in the searching-for-dental-cosmetics-work arena. To paraphrase, dentists with the expertise to accomplish the high quality work generally put in more time for training, education, and therefore money--a substantial amount. The materials and knowledge used in this work are of a higher quality as well, posing higher up front costs for the practitioner, such as the cost of porcelains and the knowledge of color in matching the teeth with the customer's wishes.

A substantially cheaper price may therefore mean cheaper materials, less education and training, and a substantially higher risk that the customer may not like the result, or even be stuck with an unsatisfactory result for some time. It's pretty sensible the old adage-- you get what you pay for. Searching for the right dentist to perform the dental cosmetic enhancements you want certainly is worth the time and effort. Searching for the lowest cost dentist probably isn't a good idea. Stories abound of dental cosmetic work performed which didn't satisfy the customer yet was most likely expensive enough to leave a gaping hole in many budgets. Saving money might satisfy someone in the beginning, but they will have to live with their purchase long afterward.

Money Saving Ideas

If you happen to live in an area that charges higher prices, like Los Angeles or Chicago, consider flying in to another state or city where costs are less expensive. Do a little research on the internet, make a few calls, and find a reputable dentist in that area for cosmetic dentistry. Some practices will present before and after photos of recent customers to demonstrate their work. You won't necessarily be cutting yourself short on quality, because dental work prices tend to reflect the general costs to the practice in that area.


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    • profile image

      Christina 3 years ago

      I would like to have a few improvements done on my teeth. I think it would be well worth the price. My teeth are think that makes me the most self conscious about my body.

    • profile image

      mary 4 years ago

      This hub has been very useful n affordable

    • periodontics profile image

      periodontics 6 years ago from 4312 Woodman Ave Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

      Nice!In this hub there is good list for he some procedures for the cosmetic dentistry that is very informative for everyone.

    • Igal profile image

      Igal 6 years ago from Los angeles

      This hub is very informative they provide a whole information of dentist treatments, braces etc your content is helpful for searching a cheap and best dentist.

    • profile image

      tomlee 6 years ago

      This hub contain great ideas about money saving and also contain useful information for those who are searching for a good and affordable dentist.

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