The cosmetic dentistry field has become more and more competitive over the years and there are numerous dentists who consider themselves to be cosmetic or aesthetic dentists. Other dental specialties require additional schooling beyond the four years associated with the DDS and DMD degrees associated with general, or family dentists. This means that a so-called expert may in-fact lump themselves into a category with dental professionals who have much more education, expertise and skills required to become what you may be consider to be a true “cosmetic dentist.”
This is important for a consumer to know because if a patient is price-shopping for cosmetic dentistry, they will undoubtedly find a dentist who may fit their budget but not necessarily provide the aesthetic results they think they are looking for. This is why we stress that you learn more about the cost factors associated with cosmetic dentistry as well as learn more about any cosmetic dentist you may be considering to provide quality work on your teeth.
While a general dentist can offer cosmetic dentistry treatments such as teeth whitening, veneers, dental bonding and Invisalign, it does not necessarily mean that they are as highly trained as other cosmetic dentists. The process to become a cosmetic dentistry expert requires a dedication to education in the form of continuing dental education. These courses are expensive and require the dentist to spend time away from their practice to learn more about special areas or modern treatments and technologies. This experience that they get as well as the education they receive will allow them to factor this expertise into their costs as they can justifiably charge more than a dentist who is less educated or has not undergone the same course load as the cosmetic dentist who has invested in himself or his staff.
As cosmetic dentistry procedures are mostly considered to be elected as opposed to necessary by most insurance providers they will not be covered. In other words a teeth cleaning or porcelain veneers treatment will not be considered as improvements to your oral health as much as they are considered aesthetic enhancements. As many cosmetic dentists who specialize in high-end cosmetic work are not compensated by dental insurance providers and thus do not generate the income from standard or health-related procedures, many of these providers will not discount their fees as they do not get the referrals from their dental insurance providers as would a more functional level dentist.
As with cars, appliances, or other technologies, the cost of the materials used will factor into the overall costs in cosmetic dentistry. Expert cosmetic dentists utilize the latest materials that have proven to be the most natural-looking and longest lasting as subject to stringent scientific data. These high-end materials require additional costs on the side of the dentist as well as extra time to ensure proper look and function. For example a high-end cosmetic dentistry office may employ the services of a top-notch dental lab to prepare expensive items such as veneers, implants, or crowns. The quality behind the products creates a natural justification for the increase in cost.
Dental technologies provide greater patient comfort, less invasive solutions to traditional problems, faster treatments and greater accuracy in restorations. These technologies come at a premium which will be passed along to the patient. For example, many dental practices utilize CAD/CAM technology to help dentists and lab technicians create durable restorations in-house negating the need for impressions and wait times. These kinds of services are a luxury to patients as they can offer treatments such as beautiful veneers or crowns often in one visit.