What is Cosmetic Dentistry? – Types and costs involved

Cosmetic dentistry involves corrective procedures for fixing stained, chipped, discolored, broken, worn, misshapen, or misaligned teeth. It guarantees a better smile even if you have gaps between your teeth.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures can give you the perfect smile makeover you have been hoping for, to improve your overall appearance. These procedures are of different types depending on your specific requirements and may cost accordingly.

Cosmetic dentists figure out a treatment plan for you after careful examination. Here are the different types of cosmetic dentistry procedures available:

Dental Bridges

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Missing teeth can cause various discomforts. These include shifting of teeth, change in occlusion, speech impediments, tooth decay, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and other periodontal diseases. Your dentist can create a fixed dental bridge with false teeth to fill the gap and replace the missing teeth.

The bridge has crowns for teeth located on either side of the gap. The cost of the bridge is determined by the number of teeth required to be replaced. Ideally, a three-unit porcelain bridge can cost you around $3,300.


Invisalign is an alternate removable orthodontic appliance to align the tooth. It serves as an alternative solution to the traditional brackets or metal braces.

An average Invisalign treatment may cost you in between $2,800 – $4,800 depending upon the complexity and duration of the procedure.

Smile Makeover

The procedure of improving your smile often requires one or more cosmetic dentistry treatments such as While Fillings, Veneers, Dental Implants, Bridges, Caps, and Porcelain Crowns.

Smile makeovers are often customized according to the unique considerations and preferences of the patient. It involves various components such as appearance, facial tone, tooth color, hair color, skin laxity, lip support, smiling gum tissue, tooth size, and shape of the teeth.

The dentists often review different variables for the smile of a patient before suggesting required cosmetic procedures to acquire desired results. Depending on the procedures included in the overall treatment, a smile makeover may cost you something in between $3,500 to $15,000.

However, various other factors also influence the overall cost of a cosmetic dentistry procedure. These include the treatment charges, dental insurance, material charges, and use of technology.

Not all cosmetic dentistry treatments are covered under dental insurance, as they are considered aesthetic enhancement procedures and not oral health improvement.

Further, high-end cosmetic dentistry materials and top-notch high-technology less-invasive solutions may involve additional costs.

Teeth Whitening

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Teeth whitening is one of the simplest dental procedures to get a better smile. It is also the least expensive cosmetic dentistry procedure which may cost you around $500. It involves bleaching your teeth with in-office products.

You can also opt for the at-home treatment wherein you may need to purchase the mold and gels for the procedure. You can pick your teeth whitening products from over the counter at your nearest retail store.

A convenient at-home teeth whitening session will require rinses, whitening toothpaste, and white stripes, which may cost you something between $3 – $50.

Dental Veneers

Your dentist can cover the surface of your teeth with custom-made, wafer-thin, tooth-colored shells called dental veneers made of porcelain or resin.

The procedure works by removing about half-millimeter of tooth enamel from the surface, cementing the thin veneer shells onto the front, and accordingly tweaking the color, size, shape, and length to match your natural teeth. The procedure is pricey and may cost something between $500 to $1,300 for every tooth.

Dental Bonding

In this procedure, the dentist applies a tooth-colored, durable, putty-like resin material on the tooth surface and hardens it using an ultraviolet or laser light, eventually bonding the material to your tooth.

Later, the dentist adjusts the shape, trims, and polishes the surface. Dental bonding can effectively repair cracked, chipped, decayed, or misshapen teeth.

It is a better cosmetic alternative to tooth replacement or silver fillings. The procedure takes around 30 to 60 minutes and can cost you about $100 to $400 for every tooth.

Dental Crown

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Dental crowns are caps made of metal, resin, ceramic or porcelain-fused-to-metal that can fit over or replace an entire damaged or decayed tooth. The caps are placed above the gum line to restore the size, shape, strength, and appearance of the tooth.

Crowns keep a cracked tooth together and prevent further breakage. You can use cosmetic crowns to fix misshapen, compromised, or severely discolored teeth. A single crown may cost you around $500 to $900.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are indirect dental fillings prepared from porcelain, gold, or composite material to fill damaged and decayed teeth. Your dentist creates them in the laboratory and molds them into place, bonding them to the tooth surface during your office visit.

Inlay dental fillings are bonded within the tooth center. Onlay dental fittings include one or more points to cover the biting surface of the tooth.

These procedures effectively preserve maximum healthy part of the tooth as possible. Inlays and onlays cost around $650 to $1,200 for each tooth and are better alternatives to crowns.

Dental Implants

Your dentist can replace your tooth with titanium replacement tooth rooted into the bone socket in place of a missing tooth. These are called dental implants. New tissue grows around the implanted titanium metal post as the jawbone heals.

It gradually anchors the jaw securely in place, thereby providing a firm foundation for the replacement tooth. The procedure costs around $1,250 to $3,000.