Can I Afford a Smile Makeover?

Are smile makeovers expensive? Can you pay for cosmetic dental treatments with your insurance?


Any time someone is looking to enhance their healthy teeth, the overall price tag is frequently one of the biggest factors to consider. After all, you don’t want to get your hopes up about a particular treatment, only to find out its way out of your price range.


Becoming more familiar with the smile makeover process can help you find realistic ways to afford your aesthetic treatment.



Tailoring Smile Makeover Treatment to Your Lifestyle


Your smile is completely unique. No one else has teeth just like yours. So, it should come as no surprise to learn that cosmetic treatments aren’t the same, either. Yes, two people may choose to get the same treatment, but even then, there’s a chance that the materials will be modified, different numbers of teeth involved, or the time commitment may vary.


The great news is that being able to afford a smile makeover starts with tailoring the aesthetic plan to your specific needs.


For instance, we’ll want to:


  •   Start with your ideal budget and keep fees at or under that amount.


  •   Understand your specific goals. What is it you want to change? Is there something specific you don’t like?


  •   Discuss any timelines you’re trying to work with. Do you have a goal date or are you more flexible?


  •   Determine which procedures are appropriate for the needs set in place.


  •   Review the advantages of each option so that you can personally help to select which one is best.


  •   Combine various types of therapies to stay within your budget while achieving desired results.


It’s no secret that certain types of cosmetic dentistry options are more budget-savvy than others. But even a couple of more affordable aesthetic enhancements can have a huge overall impact on your smile as a whole.



Free Digital Smile Makeover Design


Our in-house digital smile designs are completely free of charge. Thanks to innovative software, we can take a current photo of your smile and virtually apply different types of cosmetic treatments to your teeth. Easily compare the difference between whitening your teeth and getting veneers. Or Invisalign and a couple of crowns.


Since cosmetic treatments come in at various price points, the digital smile design tool essentially gives you a before-and-after to compare each one against the other. And the best part is you don’t need any treatment to do it, nor do you have to commit to a smile makeover. This resource simply provides you with a better visualization of cosmetic and restorative procedures as they relate to your unique appearance.


One of the other great things about a digital smile design is that you have the option to take the image and share them with other people. Get input from your family and most trusted friends. Their opinions can help you feel more confident in whichever decision you decide to make. After all, your investment will be one that you get to enjoy for years to come.



Most Affordable Smile Makeover Services


If you were to ask our Raleigh cosmetic dentists what the most affordable cosmetic treatments are, we would probably mention therapies like:


Professional Teeth Whitening — Whitening your teeth is one of the most affordable ways to makeover your smile. It’s also recommended before other cosmetic treatments so that they can be matched to your brighter tooth shade. Choose between in-office or take-home kits.


Tooth Contouring and Dental Bonding — Minor irregularities in one or two teeth can attract excessive attention. Dental bonding and recontouring provide affordable same-day treatment to help teeth look whole and properly shaped.


Invisalign — Technically Invisalign isn’t considered a “cosmetic” treatment. But straightening your teeth can dramatically improve the way your smile looks. Symmetry has a lot to do with aesthetics, so it’s best to think about correcting crooked teeth. Particularly before you place a fixed restoration over them.


Gum Recontouring — The contour of your gumlines can make teeth look short, uneven, or atypically shaped. Adjusting your gum margins consequently impacts the overall symmetry of your mouth.



Will My Insurance Cover a Smile Makeover?


Dental insurance benefits are broken down into specific categories. Preventative procedures are usually covered at 100%. These services include your regular checkups, cleanings, and dental X-rays. They’re designed to help you prevent dental issues before they start. Then there are basic procedures, which are covered at a slightly lower amount. They might only be covered by around 80%, depending on your plan. A basic treatment would be something like dental fillings. And then there’s major treatment. Major procedures include things like dental crowns or root canals. They’re covered at a lower level than Basic needs are. A major procedure might only qualify for 50% coverage.


Remember, your insurance is trying to get you to take advantage of preventative services (since you don’t pay anything out of pocket) to avoid basic or major issues from even coming about.


So where do cosmetic dentistry treatments fall? Well, nowhere. A typical cosmetic procedure is what your insurance calls “elective.” In other words, you don’t technically need it to keep your mouth healthy or functional. Unless your specific aesthetic procedure is also being used to repair a damaged tooth, you’ll be responsible for the full cost of the treatment.



Payment Plans and Financing


Any dental treatment — cosmetic or not — can always be financed. Whether you’re considering dental veneers, Invisalign, dental implants, or something else, you always have the option of working it into a payment plan.


Depending on what your monthly budget looks like and how much you want to pay, some financing options go as low as 0% interest as long as the balance is paid off by a specific date. This could range from 6-18 months, depending on the fine print. You can always make a down payment to reduce the monthly fees.


Most smile makeover financing comes with same-day approval, giving you the liberty to schedule treatments as soon as you’re ready to get started.


While we’re on the topic, there’s another payment option that you might not have considered. Your health savings account/flex spending card. Yes, dental procedures qualify as medical expenditures. If you’re getting ready to set aside a percentage of your income for the year (it’s non-taxed, after all!) then you may want to go ahead and get up-front pricing on a smile makeover.



Using Restorative Options for Cosmetic Purposes


Certain types of dental treatments play a dual role. For instance, “restorative” crowns or white fillings repair areas of structural tooth damage. But they’re also placed in a manner that returns your tooth’s appearance to a healthy looking state. Although they’re not necessarily a cosmetic treatment, there are aesthetic advantages as a result of the procedure.


If you have a smile that’s plagued by cavities, tooth wear, fractures, or missing teeth, you won’t qualify for something like cosmetic veneers. But…you can get a restorative treatment that’s designed with aesthetic properties in mind.


For instance, maybe you have one tooth at the front of your mouth with a large cavity. It’s the first thing you notice when you smile in the mirror (so you just don’t smile at all.) To repair the tooth our Raleigh dentist will remove all of the active decay and then have a porcelain crown designed to fit over the tooth. Although it’s used for reinforcing the tooth and allowing you to chew normally again, its specific color and shape also complement the teeth around it. It’s a win-win.


To make matters even better, restorative treatments are usually covered by your dental insurance plan. We’ll break down your coverage to provide you with a cost estimate before the procedure is even scheduled.



Smile Makeover: An Investment in Yourself


Regardless of the cost of your smile makeover, you can’t put a price tag on the way it makes you feel. At Raleigh Dental Arts there’s no greater joy than the way we make people feel about their teeth. The tears of happiness in someone’s eyes after they see their new smile are worth all of the time and effort involved in their transformation.


Giving yourself the gift of a new smile can significantly change your quality of life. From your self-confidence to the impression you make on others, you’ll find that smile makeovers are essentially priceless. And when you consider that cosmetic dentistry can be fitted to your budget, you’ll likely wish you had gotten a smile makeover even sooner.



Zero-Pressure Digital Smile Design


If you’re still on the fence about a smile makeover or are trying to figure out how to best afford cosmetic dentistry, you at least owe it to yourself to schedule a consultation. Our Raleigh cosmetic dentist and complimentary digital smile design will answer your questions. Then, you can sleep on it for as long as you want. Once you’re ready to get started on treatment, simply call us up and we’ll arrange your next appointment.


Contact us today to explore the (affordable) possibilities of a gorgeous new smile!


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.