We believe this is the only published original survey of the cost of cosmetic dentistry from expert cosmetic dentists. When we began the survey, no one else had cost information. Other sites that are quoting cost information are using our survey. And they should. The sources of our information are the expert cosmetic dentists that we recommend on this site. If you want to know the cost of a smile makeover, it makes sense to go to the dentists who know how to do it correctly and who can actually create a beautiful smile. Why get a smile makeover in the first place if the result is going to be a mediocre smile?
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This fee survey was conducted among expert cosmetic dentists from coast to coast in the continental United States in December 2005. Please scroll down the page for important general information about costs. We warn you about price-shopping for cosmetic dentistry, because you're inviting real trouble if you do that. This information is provided in order to help you budget, not to help you find the cheapest cosmetic dentistry.
Two other warnings need to be made. First, if your dentist's fees are considerably lower than these ranges, I would seriously question the cosmetic dentistry expertise of your dentist. It is extremely difficult for a dentist to provide beautiful cosmetic dentistry for fees that are much lower than those posted here. Second, don't assume that because your dentist's fees are within or higher than this range that the work is high quality. We know of ugly and incompetent cosmetic dentistry where very high fees were charged.
The cost of cosmetic dentistry from our actual data:
- The cost of porcelain veneers varies from $975 per veneer up to $2200 per veneer, depending on the area of the country and the particular dentist involved. We did not find any fees lower than that range charged by any expert cosmetic dentist. We have a lot more information on this site that you can read about porcelain veneers.
- The cost of all-porcelain crowns is about the same as the cost of porcelain veneers in most expert cosmetic dentistry offices and varies from $950 per crown up to $2200.
- The cost of white fillings for back teeth is charged according to the number of surfaces covered by the fillings. For a one-surface filling, fees range from $150 to $250. For two surfaces, the cost is $200 to $400. For three surfaces, expect to pay from $250 to $500. Click here to read more about white fillings and why they cost more than silver amalgam fillings. You can also read more about the costs of white fillings.
- The cost for bonding a front tooth, when that bonding involves one of the corners of the tooth, will vary from $300 to $1600. The reason for the great variety in costs is that, even among expert cosmetic dentists there is a great variety in the level of skill and artistry as well as the time spent in these difficult restorations.
- The cost for Invisalign invisible braces ranges from $5000 to $7700 for a complete case. Click on the link in the line above for more information about invisible braces.
To be a wise dental consumer, you need to understand some basic information about cosmetic dentistry costs:
- First, you need to understand that as a consumer, you are in a difficult position in that you are not legally protected from substandard cosmetic dental care. Cosmetic dentistry, while it requires great expertise, is not a legally distinct specialty. Therefore, if you end up with low-quality esthetic dental work, your legal recourse is generally only to challenge the work from a functional perspective. Your work will be judged by the standard of quality of general dentistry, not the standard of excellent cosmetic dentistry. So if you choose a dentist because the fees are low, you generally have no recourse if the work does not meet your esthetic expectations.
- Second, to become an expert cosmetic dentist, a dentist has to spend many hours away from the office in continuing education. Not only are the course fees high, but the cost in lost time away from the office is much higher. And the dentist generally has to travel to remote cities to obtain this training. Naturally, the cosmetic dentist will want to be compensated for this tremendous expense by charging more for these procedures than a general dentist.
- Third, dental insurance plans are designed to provide you with a basic standard of general dental care. While many cosmetic dentistry procedures are covered by dental insurance plans, they are only covered at a functional level. The insurance company may help you pay for a crown to physically protect your tooth but won't pay the extra cost required to make it beautiful. Furthermore, some dental insurance plans maintain lists of dentists called "preferred providers" or "network dentists" who are willing to discount their fees in order to receive referrals from the insurance company. Don't expect any expert cosmetic dentists to agree to these insurance company terms.
- Fourth, beautiful cosmetic dentistry requires the use of expensive materials, first-class cosmetic dental labs, and usually extra time and effort on the part of the cosmetic dentist. All these extra costs are factored into the fee.
Learn about how a privately purchased dental plan may help you get discount dental care.
Read Dr. Hall's blog posts about cosmetic dentistry costs.
See porcelain veneer pictures of work by mynewsmile.com network dentists.