Breaking Down the Cost of a Smile Makeover: Is It Worth the Money?

Breaking Down the Cost of a Smile Makeover: Is It Worth the Money? By Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho | March 20, 2023

A smile makeover is a cosmetic dental procedure that aims to improve the appearance of your teeth, gums, and smile. It’s a comprehensive treatment designed to address various dental issues. Dental makeovers may include a combination of procedures depending on the patient’s needs and goals.

Dental makeovers can be powerful tools for boosting self-esteem and confidence. It can create smiles that can improve daily life and personal relationships. This makes investing in a smile makeover worthwhile, considering its positive effects on your well-being.

A smile makeover treatment can undoubtedly be a significant financial and emotional commitment. Investing in your future smile requires careful consideration of the potential benefits and associated costs.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss treatment costs and factors that affect the costs of a smile makeover to help you decipher which treatments will work to get those smiles looking fabulous! 

Summary of The Content:

  • A smile makeover can improve self-esteem and personal relationships, but it is a significant financial and emotional commitment.
  • The cost of a smile makeover varies depending on the procedures required, the case’s complexity, the materials used, the location of the dental practice, and the dentist’s experience and expertise.
  • The cost covers the procedures included in a smile makeover, such as teeth whitening, veneers, orthodontic treatment, gum contouring, dental implants, and other treatments.
  • The cost of a smile makeover can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the treatments required.
  • Patients should consult with their dentist to discuss their specific needs and develop a treatment plan that fits within their budget.

How Much Do Smile Makeovers Usually Cost?

The cost of treatment varies depending on several factors, including the required dental services, the case’s complexity, and the materials used. Here is an idea of how much a smile makeover usually costs:

  1. Consultation: The initial consultation fee can range from $50 to $150. During this consultation, your dentist will evaluate your oral health and discuss your desired results. They will then recommend the appropriate treatments and estimate the total cost.
  2. Teeth whitening: Teeth whitening is a popular treatment. Depending on the method used, the average price of basic tooth whitening can range from $500 to $1500.
  3. Veneers: Veneers are thin shells placed over the front surface of the teeth to improve their appearance. Depending on the veneer type, they can cost anywhere from \$1000 to \$2500 per tooth. Porcelain veneers are more expensive but look more like natural teeth than composite veneers.
  4. Orthodontic treatment: Orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners cost between \$5000 to \$8000 or more, depending on the case’s complexity. The cost may also vary depending on the type of braces or aligners used. Invisalign tends to be more expensive than traditional metal braces.
  5. Gum contouring: Gum contouring is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that involves reshaping the gums to improve the appearance of the teeth. It can cost from $500 to $3000, depending on the extent of the treatment required.
  6. Dental implants: Dental implants are a long-term treatment to replace missing teeth. The average cost ranges from \$5000 to \$7000 per implant, depending on the type of implant used and the complexity of the case.
  7. Other treatments: Other treatments may be included, such as dental bonding, dental bridges, and dental crowns. The cost of these treatments can vary widely depending on the treatment’s extent.

The cost of a smile enhancement can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the treatments required. It’s important to note that the price may vary depending on the dentist’s experience, location, and materials used. It’s essential to consult with a reputable and experienced cosmetic dentist to discuss your treatment options and receive an accurate estimate of the total cost.

woman patient and female dentist with probe are checking teeth at mirror after dental treatment

Factors That Affect the Cost of Smile Makeovers

The cost will depend on several factors and vary from case to case. Patients should consult with their dentist to discuss specific needs and to develop a treatment plan that fits within their budget.

  • The extent of the dental issues being addressed: If the patient has minor cosmetic dental issues, such as tooth discolouration, the cost of the smile makeover may be less than someone who needs more extensive work, such as repairing damaged teeth or replacing missing teeth.
  • The materials used for the treatment: The smile makeover cost may vary based on the type of materials used, as well as their quality. Higher-quality materials tend to be more expensive than lower-quality materials.
  • The complexity of the procedures: More complex procedures, such as dental implants or orthodontic treatment, require more time and effort and, therefore, they’ll cost more than simpler procedures like teeth whitening.
  • The geographic location of the dental clinic: The cost of dental procedures can vary significantly based on the location of the dental clinic. Clinics in urban areas have higher overhead costs, which can result in higher prices for dental treatments, including smile makeovers.
  • Experience and expertise of the dentist: The level of experience and expertise of the dentist performing the smile makeover can affect the cost. More experienced and skilled dentists may charge more for their services.
  • Payment options: Some dental clinics may offer financing options or payment plans to help patients manage the cost of a smile makeover.

Procedures Included in a Smile Makeover

A smile enhancement is a combination of cosmetic dentistry procedures that aim to enhance the appearance of a person’s smile. Here are some of the procedures that are commonly included:

  • Teeth whitening: This procedure involves using bleaching agents to address discoloured and stained teeth, resulting in a brighter and whiter smile.
  • Dental bonding: This procedure involves using a tooth-coloured composite bonding resin to address gaps between teeth, cracks, or chipped teeth. Composite fillings are a more economical option for addressing imperfections in your smile.
  • Dental crowns: These custom-made caps fit over the affected tooth, providing protection and improving their appearance. There are several types of dental crowns, including ceramic, metal alloys, or porcelain crowns.
  • Veneers: These are thin, custom-made shells placed over the front surface of the teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers can cover chips, gaps, or misshapen teeth. They’re also used to improve the appearance of discoloured teeth.
  • Gummy smile treatment: One popular treatment is gum contouring. It involves using a laser to reshape excess gum tissue, exposing more teeth and creating a more symmetrical smile. 
  • Invisalign: This transparent aligner system straightens crooked or misaligned teeth. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible and can be removed for eating and brushing.
  • Dental implants: These are artificial tooth roots that are placed into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. Dental restorations like tooth implants improve the appearance and function of a person’s smile.

The specific procedures included in your smile makeover treatment can vary depending on the individual’s needs and goals. A consultation with a cosmetic dentist can help determine the appropriate course of treatment for achieving a beautiful and confident smile. 

What Are the Benefits of Smile Makeovers

Some of the benefits of a smile makeover include the following:

  • Improved appearance: Smile makeovers can improve the appearance of your teeth, gums, and overall smile. This can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Enhanced oral health: Many procedures can also improve oral health.
  • Better functionality: Dental procedures like dental implants and orthodontics can improve the functionality of your teeth, allowing you to speak and smile with greater ease.
  • Long-lasting results: Many procedures provide long-lasting results, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of your new smile for years to come.
  • Customisable treatment plans: You can work with your dentist to create a cosmetic treatment plan that meets your needs and goals.

How Long Do Smile Makeovers Usually Last

The duration of a smile makeover largely depends on the type of procedures performed and how well you maintain your oral hygiene and dental health. Generally, it can last 5 to 15 years or longer with proper maintenance.

For longer-lasting results, following good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups, is essential. Additionally, avoiding habits that can damage your teeth, such as nail-biting, chewing on ice, or using your teeth as tools, can preserve the longevity of your smile.

Specific maintenance tips vary depending on the type of procedure you have done. For example, if you received dental veneers, avoiding eating hard or sticky foods and using your teeth to open packages or bottles is essential. If you had teeth whitening, you could maintain the results of your treatment with at-home whitening treatments or occasional in-office touch-ups.

The key to maintaining a beautiful smile is to take good care of your teeth and follow your dentist’s recommendations for follow-up care and maintenance.

Tips on How to Make Smile Makeovers More Affordable

  • Compare prices: Before settling on a dentist or clinic, compare prices of smile makeovers. You can get quotes from different dental clinics and compare the prices of smile makeovers to find the one that offers affordable and high-quality services. Also, ask your dentist for cheaper options and procedures that could work for you.
  • Look for payment plans: Many dental clinics offer flexible payment plans or financing options that allow you to pay for your smile makeover over time. This can make the cost more manageable.
  • Check your health fund: Some dental procedures may be covered by your health fund. Contact your health fund provider to see if it covers any necessary procedures.
  • Prioritise procedures: If you need multiple procedures, prioritise them based on their importance. This can help you budget for the most important procedures and save for the less important ones later.
  • Ask for a discount: Some dental clinics may offer discounts for cash payments or if there are any discounts available.

Are Smile Makeovers Worth the Investment?

Investing in a new smile is a wise decision for many individuals. This treatment provides people with a brighter, more confident smile that transforms the way they look and feel about themselves,

With the help of an experienced dentist, advanced cosmetic dentistry treatments like teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and full-mouth restoration can help address underlying issues that may cause a dull or uneven smile.

A successful smile makeover has a lasting effect. This investment has the potential to yield long-term benefits for the patient’s dental health and overall satisfaction.

Ultimately, the decision is yours, but with all that’s available today in dentistry, investing in a smile makeover could be one of your best decisions.

Do Health Funds Cover Smile Makeover Procedure?

Some health funds may provide cover for the prices of smile makeover procedures. However, the extent of cover varies significantly depending on several factors.

The type of procedure and reason for undergoing the treatment are the primary factors determining cover. Generally, health funds may subsidise medically necessary procedures. However, cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening or veneers that are purely for aesthetic purposes may not be covered by health funds.

Other factors that influence cover for smile makeovers include:

  • The type of plan you’re on.
  • The level of cover.
  • Waiting periods which are applied before benefits become available.

To maximise your cover for smile makeover procedures, it’s essential to understand your health fund’s terms and conditions. Some tips that can help you maximise your cover include:

  • Review your policy to understand the extent of cover for smile makeover procedures.
  • Consult your dentist to determine the most appropriate procedure and discuss the expected costs.
  • Submit a pre-authorisation request to your health fund to confirm the available benefits for the recommended procedure.
  • Consider taking advantage of any waiting periods that may apply to your health fund to ensure you are eligible for maximum benefits.
  • Explore alternative payment options, such as payment plans or financing, to help cover out-of-pocket expenses.

Do your research and understand your health fund’s terms and conditions to determine the extent of cover for smile enhancement procedures. By following these tips, you can help ensure you receive the maximum benefits under your policy.

Does Medicare Cover Smile Makeovers?

While Medicare cover may not extend to these aesthetic procedures, worry not, private health fund options and flexible out-of-pocket payment solutions ensure that transforming your smile is within reach.

Other Payment Options for Smile Makeovers

If you’re considering a complete smile makeover, several payment options are available to make it more affordable. Here are some other payment options for smile makeovers:

Payment plans: Many dental offices offer payment plans allowing you to make monthly payments over a set period. This can be a great option if you don’t have the money upfront but can afford to make smaller payments over time.

Financing options: Financing options are also available, such as dental credit cards or healthcare financing.

Health fund cover: Some private health funds may cover part or all of the smile makeover cost. Check with your private health fund provider to see what your plan covers.

Personal loans: Consider taking a loan from a bank credit union to cover the smile makeover cost. This option may have higher interest rates, but it can be a good choice if you borrow more money.

Final Thoughts

A smile makeover process can be an effective way to enhance the appearance of a person’s smile, improve self-esteem, and boost confidence. However, the smile makeover cost varies depending on several factors, including the extent of the dental issues, materials used, the complexity of the procedures, geographic location, and the dentist’s experience and expertise.

Patients should consult a reputable and experienced dentist to develop a treatment plan that fits their budget. While a smile makeover can be a significant financial and emotional commitment, it can also positively affect a person’s well-being.

At Darch Dental Centre, everyone deserves a smile they can be proud of. Our friendly team of dental professionals is committed to providing high-quality and affordable dental care to help you achieve your smile goals.

Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho

Dr. Jon is a Perth-based dentist who graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2005 from the University of Western Australia. He has worked at a range of dental practices, including being a partner and principal dentist for a group of five dental surgeries in Sydney. Dr. Jon has been practising for over a decade in the northern suburbs of Perth. He provides treatment for patients in Darch, Madeley, Landsdale, Kingsway, Kingsley, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights, Wangara, Ellenbrook, and others.

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