Can I Afford Cosmetic Dentistry?

Dreaming of beautiful teeth? The cost of cosmetic dentistry is one factor that causes people to shy away from talking to their dentist. But if all you can think about is how a smile makeover or basic cosmetic dentistry can help you regain your confidence, the investment is worth more than something monetary.


At Raleigh Dental Arts we work with hundreds of cosmetic dentistry patients per year, tailoring their experience to meet their emotional, physical, and financial goals. When you’re worried about whether or not a smile makeover is something you can actually afford, here’s what you need to know:



Finding a Smile Makeover Plan that Fits Your Budget

Smile makeovers come in all shapes and sizes. Some people only have $200 to spend, while someone else may have several thousand dollars they’re ready to work with. Don’t assume the worst. Since cosmetic treatments range in complexity and costs, it’s quite straightforward to find a cosmetic dentistry plan that fits your budget.



Can I Finance My Smile Makeover? 


Absolutely. You can finance all or just a portion of your cosmetic dentistry treatment. Our office provides both 0% and low-interest financing plans, making it easy to fit low monthly payments into your budget. Best of all the approval is typically same-day, so you can start on your smile makeover as soon as you’re ready.


Cosmetic dentistry financing can also be combined with any existing dental insurance benefits that you’re using. When insurance covers a portion, you can pay for the rest with a payment plan, or less if you want to pay for part of it out of pocket.


Most dental financing plans keep a low or zero-interest if you pay them off within a set timeframe (such as 12 months.) Others vary based on how long you want to take to make payments. Financing is common among our smile makeover patients, so we can run your application through our payment platform to give you an idea of what you’re working with. Our in-house financing options are typically more affordable than using something like a credit card.



How Much Does a Smile Makeover or Cosmetic Dentistry Cost?


A cosmetic smile makeover can cost as little or as much as you want. What surprises a lot of people is that tiny, modest changes in their smile can have a huge impact on the way they look. Affordable whitening or dental bonding that changes overall color or masks tiny flaws can consequently complement all of the teeth in your mouth. The less likely you are to draw your eyes to a small irregularity, the easier it is to appreciate the symmetry and healthy of your surrounding smile.



Will I Need to Take Off Work (Adding to My Costs)?


One of the factors that a lot of people don’t think about is the time off work that’s required for dental care. This factor alone can inadvertently contribute to the “costs” of your smile makeover. Especially if multiple different appointments are involved across the span of several weeks. Be open with your dentist about how much time you have to spare, and save up your PTO to make sure you’re not “paying” more than you need to for your smile’s enhancement.



Which Dental Treatments Are Considered Cosmetic Dentistry? 


Dental procedures that are aesthetic in nature — that is, they’re not specifically meant to repair a damaged tooth — are considered “cosmetic.” Even though restorative treatments like white fillings, porcelain crowns, or even dental implants can enhance your teeth while also strengthening your bite, they’re not usually considered to be cosmetic.


On the other hand, elective procedures like porcelain dental veneers or teeth whitening are cosmetic. They’re designed to complement your overall appearance instead of repairing a cavity or something of that nature.


It’s perfectly normal to incorporate tooth-colored restorations as part of your smile makeover plan. As we’re repairing worn or broken teeth, we’re also improving the way they look (thus serving a dual purpose.)


Is Cosmetic Dentistry Covered by Dental Insurance?

Why does the classification between “cosmetic dentistry” or “restorative dentistry” matter? Because cosmetic dentistry treatments typically aren’t covered by dental insurance, while restorative procedures are.  So, if you’re hoping to bleach your teeth with professional whitening trays, you’re paying for the service instead of filing it toward your insurance plan. The same can usually be said for complex veneer cases.


But if you need restorative treatments because of a history of tooth loss, trauma, or decay, you’re more likely to be able to tap into your existing dental coverage.


The best way to find out what’s covered by your insurance (or what isn’t) is to provide your dentist’s office with a copy of your insurance card. They’ll call your carrier or use online information to break down your plan’s unique coverage amounts. Once all of that data is collected, they can tabulate your coverage as it relates to recommended treatments, your annual allowance, and any deductibles that are involved.


Is Cosmetic Dentistry Expensive?


It depends.


Treatments like professional teeth whitening are extremely affordable and can make a huge impact on the way your smile looks. A lot of cosmetic dentistry providers suggest whitening your smile first so that new or updated restorations can be matched to the brighter color of your teeth. You might even discover that whitening your teeth is the only thing you need to take your smile to the next level.


Other minimally-invasive cosmetic dentistry treatments are also budget savvy. Dental bonding and tooth recontouring are a couple of examples. These techniques are quick, effective, and usually don’t even require numbing medication to complete them comfortably.


Sometimes it’s the modest changes that make the biggest impact on your smile’s appearance. The best part is those types of services can fit just about anyone’s budget.


On the other hand, complex and dramatic smile makeovers can cost a lot more. By incorporating your dental coverage (if applicable), phasing out treatments over a period of time, or tapping into flexible 0% interest financing plans, they can still be attainable.


You really won’t know how much cosmetic dentistry costs in your case until you have a dentist assess each of your teeth and make a professional recommendation. In the best-case scenario, they’ll present you with a few different options to choose from. You’ll be able to pick the one that fits your budget the best!



A Smart Investment in Yourself


When you think about the cost of a smile makeover, you’re probably thinking most about the money involved. But have you ever given thought to the emotional impact of how you feel about your teeth? People who feel self-conscious about their smiles are more hesitant to show their teeth around other people. That means less smiling, laughing, or even looking as friendly in social settings.


In contrast, people with beautiful teeth are typically seen as happier, healthier, friendlier, and even statistically proven to do better in job interviews. Maybe you’re about to tackle something big like getting back into the dating scene, going for a huge career move, or just having the confidence to smile in photos again, and if so, the cost of a smile makeover is essentially priceless. Most of our Raleigh cosmetic dentistry patients wish they hadn’t held out for so long. A gorgeous smile is one of the best gifts you can ever give yourself.



Working With Your Dentist

Some dental offices push specific types of aesthetic procedures or more aggressive care plans. But the truth is that you’re the one who should be driving the planning process. When you have a trustworthy cosmetic dentist on your side, you can work as a team to “co-plan” the best solution.


Being open and honest with your dental team is extremely important. The better they understand what goals you want to achieve and the kind of expectations you have, the more accurately they can help you work toward them. As you talk through different scenarios, approaches to care, and how much time each one takes (as well as the costs involved), you’ll have a clear idea of what’s going on.


Your dentist should make you feel confident and comfortable. If you’re feeling pressured into a particular smile plan, you may want to consider getting a second opinion. The two of you must work as a team. Someone who makes you feel pressured or uncomfortable probably isn’t the best fit. Especially if you’re working on a budget.



Request a Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation


At Raleigh Dental Arts, our cosmetic dentistry team has helped to transform thousands of smiles throughout our community. If you’re thinking about investing in the way your teeth look, we’re happy to help. Everyone’s situation is unique — including the budget that they’re working with — which is why we tailor your care plan to fit your preferences.


Call our Raleigh dentist today to reserve a smile makeover consultation. We’ll talk about what’s possible, explain which options are best for you, and even give you information about our financing plans. Contact us to get started. 

Tarun Agarwal

Dr. Tarun Agarwal, DDS is considered one of the top dentists in the country. He is a recognized speaker, author, and dental leader. He has been featured on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and News 14 Carolina. Dr. Agarwal has been awarded '40 under 40' Business Leaders by the Triangle Business Journal. He is regularly invited to teach other dentists around the world and recently built a training center within the practice dedicated to sharing his expertise. Most importantly he is a loving husband and dedicated father of three wonderful children. His biggest accolade was being voted 'Best Dad in the World' by 2 of his 3 kids.