Why Are Smile Makeovers So Expensive?

I was thinking about a smile makeover, full mouth, and saw that it can cost over $30,000. Is this because dentist fees are really high, the time to do the procedures is extensive, or the materials are costly? What justifies the high prices?

Doctor Answers 16

Costs This Much Because......

I know it's difficult for dental patients to understand why advanced procedures can cost so much. There are so many things that need to be considered. The details can be endless. The training, qualifications, experience and skill of the treating dentist is certainly a big factor. The same applies to the dental laboratory selected. When taking a step as big as this most patients want a Master Level Dentist and Dental Ceramist. Your mouth is no place for on-the-job training. Too many things can go wrong in the process if the dentist isn't fully trained and prepared. These advanced skills are not taught to the undergraduate dental students in dental schools. It's also important to understand there are significant costs to the dentist that need to be paid. The bigger the case, the more it costs the dentist to do it. This is called overhead and it encompasses everything that goes into building, supplying, running and staffing a dental clinic. And don't forget the taxman. He always gets his. This all comes out of dental fees.

Dubuque Dentist

Smile Makeover is a worth while Investment

A Smile Makeover  may cost over $50,000 if  it involves a Full Mouth Reconstructions but some smile makeovers may not require much work and hence the cost is a lot lower.  Treatment such as  Full mouth reconstruction involves a lot of steps and is very complex.  Other than the actual work that is done in the mouth there is a lot of planing and thought that goes into such cases.   It is always important that you find a dentist that has done such cases especially if they involve a lot of treatment.  If a case is planned properly the results are great and well worth the investment.  It is not uncommon to buy an expensive car knowing that we will only keep it for a few years but we tend to forget that our teeth will be with us for the long haul.  So just remember that your teeth, your mouth and your health are a worth while investment.

Dan Haas, DDS
Toronto Dentist

The Costs for Smile Makeovers

A properly trained Dentist who has had years of experience in Smile Makeovers has had exposure to many hours of continuing education. The necessary steps and time to design a new smile requires hours of commitment among Doctor, Patient and the Ceramist. With so much at stake searching for bargains and or shortcuts depending on the case often times leads to dissatisfaction and failure. The costs for Smile Makeovers can certainly be expensive but this fact is no different for consumers looking for quality and satisfaction in any other area in the marketplace. Do consumers always look to seek out the least expensive alternatives in autos,clothing,food,furniture or travel accommodations? The reality is is that quality and satisfaction demands expense.It is an excellent idea for patients who are considering Smile Makeovers to take with their relatives, friends or co-workers who have had one done. This type of conversation can allow a prospective patient to gain useful knowledge about the time that is involved to get that great result! Additionally it is important to realize although there are many porcelain ceramists, there are relatively few who are capable of translating the Doctors instructions and use the information given to provide a Life Like beautiful Porcelain Veneer or Crown. These highly skilled Ceramists will naturally demand a higher fee for their expertise. Lastly, there is infinite intrinsic value that a patient can derive from obtaining that beautiful smile.I'm not saying its that's master card moment but to many it can be pretty darn close!

Costs for Smile Makeovers

The costs associated with smile makeovers can be very confusing for most patients.  Why does one office seem so expensive while another seems so cheap.  The real answers lie in two categories.

1. Experience level and training of the Doctor.  Experienced, well trained dentists will have more options and abilities to handle complex cases with a greater degree of success.  This often times is a more expensive route for patients, however when a case is well planned out and executed, the results and longevity are well worth the higher price.  Remember, you get what you pay for.

2. Experience level and training of the dental lab.  There is a distinct difference between a low cost crown/veneer and a higher fee crown/veneer.  Highly trained lab technicians have the ability to create natural life like teeth which look and function perfectly, this however, does come at a higher fee.

When choosing an office to complete a smile makeover, remember it is always easier and less expensive to do it right the first time, than it is to take the time to have it redone because you were trying to save money.

Cost of smile makeovers

The cost of the smile makeover is expensive and requires time from the patient, dentist, and ceramist, the most expensive thing in dentistry is to do something twice and the results from bad dental work is many times for offensive than the smile in the first place. the cost is really due to a couple of main reasons

1. Overhead expense of dentist (are they in New York or Kansas)

2. Price of lab support (Not a good idea to work with an inferior ceramist and have bad work in your mouth for 15 plus years)

3. Skill level of the dentist (To be able to attend the educational courses to learn how to handle these cases is key and many of them are many thousands of dollars to attend)

4. the actual profit margin a high end dentist makes for a crown vs. an everyday dentist would be really very similar when you look at time, expense, volume, and material!

Another lower cost (and maybe better) option to the classic "Smile Makeover".

Bear with me here.  Smile Makeovers generally are replacing the natural enamel of teeth you see when smiling fully with an artificial but flawless material made up in a dental lab.  They may be full caps or other coverings that are less than full.  Some Smile Makeovers may involve the front and side teeth and others all the teeth. The results can be stunning. Costs vary depending on the extent of the restorative work.

Now the other option:  The New Orthodontics, which includes Functional Facial Orthopedics can give that full "Movie Star" smile with your natural teeth and without the "Makeover" cost.  Many people wanting a Makeover have a narrow upper jaw causing crowding of teeth and overbites.  The Functional Facial Orthopedic approach is to widen the narrow upper jaw, and correct facial imbalances all without surgery and then straighten the teeth (braces or Invisalign) without any extractions to give a full Move Star Smile.  If interested in seeing results, then view several of my before and after photos. Then if there are flaws in the teeth shape, size or color, they can generally be handled much easier with the total cost being a fraction of the $30,000 you quoted.  Caution, not all orthodontists or dentists know how to do this work.  Good luck to you.

Kent Lauson, DDS, MS
Denver Orthodontist

Smile makeover

Smile makover is very complex treatment that requires highes doctor's qualifications and skills and most often the best available materialson the dental market. I don't want to draw the paralel, but like everything in life highest quality products and services are the most expensive.

Zina Kaleinikova, DDS, MS
Cleveland Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Complexity increases the fees.

Usually full mouth cases requires hours of treatment planning and design for each case. The dentist has gone to school many years to be able to do just that..Consider each tooth a work of art or a tiny sculpter made of glass or porcelain. Years of training go into each and every procedure that we do. The lab is only there to make whatever we have designed for them. Also trying to get a natural smile is one of the main concerns. You dont want to look "done up" and have big fake teeth.. You get what you pay for is a good rule of thumb. Why does a mercedes cost more than a Kia? product,materials used,safety and durability. Much the same as dentistry..Crowns can be made of log grade metals or high grade gold and platinum. That where some of the fees originate from...

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Smile Makeovers are so Worth It

Smile Makeovers can be costly but sometimes just a little tweaking is all your need!

Do research, meet with different dentists if you want, but Smile Makeovers can be small or large depending on what you need and want.  Just reshaping a tooth and whitening or even 'bonding' to correct a misaligned tooth may be all you need.

We do cosmetic try-ins, so find a dentist who is willing to do that for you.  Larger smile makeovers take planning and co-ordination so spend the money to get good advice and then decide what you can do.  You can even do smile makeovers in stages.

Start with the easiest solution and you can always do more-for instance, try whitening and reshaping and if that doesn't get you what you want, go to the next level which might be veneers-Have fun-this is all about getting what you want-


Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Smile Makeover is an Investment

A smile makeover can be a major investment.  Depending on the condition of the teeth and gums, patient desires, skill of the dentist and cost of materials, the cost of a makeover can be substantial.  Most people looking for a makeover are concerned with aesthetics.  A smile makeover is a lifetime investment in your appearance to others and yourself.  You need to have an idea of what the value of a smile makeover is to you.

We all select things based on how attractive it makes us feel and look to others.  It effects our selection in the car we drive, clothes we wear, hairstyle and where we live.  Whether consciously or sub-consciously, we all set values.  Choosing a smile is no different. 

Be sure to get your smile makeover from someone who is skilled, has advanced training in aesthetics and not just the training from dental school, you are comfortable with and that you are familiar with their work.  Shopping for a cheaper price often leads to a poorer long term result.

Marc Zive, DMD
Springfield Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.