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Dental smile makeover – treatment, cost and how long will it last

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Are you aware of what smile makeover treatment options might be available for you or how much a dental smile makeover costs? Have you ever wondered how long dental veneers can last or what happens if you get an infected nerve under a crowned or veneered tooth. Read our blog below and find our answers to the most frequently asked questions:

If I have a smile makeover, will any of my own natural tooth be destroyed?

Answer: Very little if any. It does depend on the material used. The weaker, cheaper, less long lasting Quartz Composite material that is applied directly by the dentist in the surgery actually requires less (if any) tooth preparation than the superior porcelain material that has to be made on models of your teeth by a dental technician. Either way, the aesthetic makeover is usually an  add-on procedure with veneers (of either sort) fitting on top of the outside of the teeth. Often it can be carried out with the patient not even needing a local anaesthetic. Either way, one tries to apply the concept of minimally invasive dentistry to the process.


How long do veneers used for smile makeovers last and what can go wrong?

Answer: Obviously there is no guaranteed time span. However, generally one would expect composite veneers to last about four years and porcelain to last about twelve. Both can indeed last a lot longer.

Composite, being relatively soft and weaker, can wear down, chip and eventually lose its surface texture. After a while, the edges can start to leak a bit and stain. Composite is, however easy to repair; although after a while it would need replacing.

Porcelain veneers used for smile makeovers, being much harder in contrast to composite, need little or no maintenance.

Sometimes, because it is so hard yet also brittle, after a while the underlying tooth can bend a little; but the porcelain can’t. So, if it is thin it may fracture or if it is thicker, it may simply detach from the tooth. In the former case it would need replacing; in the latter it would simply be re-bonded, i.e. glued back on.


What happens if I get an infected nerve under a tooth that has been crowned  or v
eneered ?

Answer: The nerve inside the tooth can sometimes die after a dental procedure has been done on the tooth. Often it’s not predictable. It is more likely to happen to a tooth that has been crowned rather than one that has been veneered, as the former is certainly a more invasive procedure than the latter. Either way, root canal treatment (usually completely painlessly) is carried out with access to the nerve from the inside surface of the tooth (which is later filled with a tooth coloured filling material). Consequently the appearance of the crown or veneer should not be affected by the root treatment and the longevity of the restoration should not be particularly compromised.


How much will a smile makeover cost ?

 Answer: There is no one answer, as it depends on a number of factors. Doing a smile makeover is not like doing a face lift or other cosmetic enhancements.

These factors are:
a) How many teeth are involved to achieve the required result.
b) What tooth coloured material is to be used … quartz composite, porcelain or a mixture of both.
c) Do any other procedures need to be done to the teeth or mouth as well.
d) The experience of the practitioner and his or her location.

The cost can vary between as little as a few hundred pounds up to twelve thousand pounds (or even more). Generally, for example, having eight upper front teeth veneered in composite material and having the teeth whitened might cost between £1,500 and £3,000. Porcelain restorations generally cost 3-5 times more than composite. Many patients do pay for such treatment with 3rd party financing (paying off the fee over 12-60 months).

The most important thing is to have an accurate, informed opinion that gives all the options and their pros and cons and, of course, the costs.

 

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