Karrinyup Dental Centre

How Much Does a Smile Makeover Cost? Factors to Consider

Karrinyup Dental Centre

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

How Much Does a Smile Makeover Cost? Factors to Consider

A radiant smile can light up a room, but achieving that beautiful smile often comes with a price tag. People with the following dental issues have long realised that a smile makeover can help them achieve the smile of their dreams:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Discoloured teeth (or stained teeth)
  • Crowded teeth
  • Damaged teeth
  • Misshapen teeth

However, many Australians and people worldwide shy away from dental visits, fearing the potential costs associated with smile makeover procedures. Understanding the smile makeover cost and the factors that influence it can help you make an informed decision about your oral health.

This blog post aims to demystify the costs associated with smile makeover procedures. We’ll explore what determines the cost of a smile makeover, provide a detailed breakdown of costs for various procedures, and discuss financing options. We’ll also take a closer look at health funds and their role in managing smile makeover costs.

So, if you’re considering a smile makeover, keep reading to gain valuable insights that will guide you toward achieving your smile goals.

Summary of The Content

  • Smile makeover cost varies significantly based on the specific procedures involved, the dentist’s expertise, the geographical location, and the complexity of your case.

  • Smile makeover procedures commonly include teeth whitening, dental veneers, gum contouring, composite bonding, and orthodontics, each with their respective cost ranges.

  • Health funds, government schemes, payment plans, accessing your superannuation, and credit cards or dental loans can help in financing smile makeovers.

  • Medicare usually doesn’t cover cosmetic dentistry procedures, but in some cases, a portion of the cost may be covered if a dental procedure is deemed necessary for health reasons.

  • Health funds can cover various dental procedures, helping make your smile makeover treatment more affordable.

  • A consultation with your dentist is a critical step in determining the cost of your smile makeover, as it allows for the development of a personalised treatment plan and discussion of financing options.

What Determines the Cost of a Smile Makeover?

Embarking on a smile makeover journey involves understanding the various factors that influence the total cost:

  • Type of Treatment:
    The specific smile makeover procedures you require will greatly influence the total cost. For example, the cost of aligners for teeth straightening will differ from that of dental veneers. A complete smile makeover may involve a combination of cosmetic procedures, each with its own cost.

  • Dentist’s Experience:
    Your dentist’s level of experience and skill plays a crucial role in the cost. An experienced dentist trained in cosmetic dental treatments may charge more, but the quality of care and the results can be worth the investment.

  • Geographical Location:
    The cost of smile makeovers can also vary depending on where you live. Dental services in urban areas may be more costly than in rural areas, reflecting the cost of living and operating costs in these locations.

  • Materials Used:
    The type of materials used in cosmetic dentistry procedures can also impact the cost. For instance, porcelain veneers are usually more expensive than composite veneers.

  • The Complexity of the Case:
    If you have complex dental issues, such as severe tooth decay or misaligned teeth, the complexity of your case can increase the cost of your smile makeover. More complex cases may require combining treatments to achieve a brilliant smile.

  • Additional Dental Procedures:
    Sometimes, additional dental procedures like dental cleaning or fillings may be necessary, which will add to the overall smile makeover cost. These procedures can help restore the function and aesthetics of your natural teeth.

Breakdown of Costs for Smile Makeover Procedures

Let’s take a closer look at the costs associated with common smile makeover procedures:

  • Teeth Whitening:
    Home kits for teeth whitening are around \$610, while professional in-office treatments or in-chair tooth whitening can cost up to \$260 per tooth. This is a cheaper option for those looking to achieve brighter pearly whites.
  • Dental Veneers:
    The cost of veneers varies depending on the type of veneer chosen. The cost of porcelain veneers averages $2,036 for each tooth, while composite veneers start at $836 for each tooth. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed to cover the front surface of your teeth, improving their appearance.
  • Gum Contouring:
    This procedure helps with gummy smile reduction and the removal of excess gum tissue. It can cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the complexity of the case. Gum contouring can enhance your smile by reshaping the gum line.
  • Dental Bonding:
    The cost for dental bonding ranges from $250 to $600 on average and can even go up to $1,200. Composite bonding involves applying a tooth-coloured composite resin to repair decayed, chipped, fractured, or discoloured teeth.
  • Orthodontics:
    The cost of orthodontic treatment varies based on the type of braces used. Traditional metal braces range from $4,500 to $8,000, while clear, plastic aligners can cost between $6,000 and $9,000. Orthodontics can address misaligned teeth, creating a more balanced and attractive smile.

Remember, these are average costs, and the actual cost of smile makeovers can vary based on the factors discussed earlier. It’s also important to consider options for financing smile makeovers and the role of Medicare in managing these costs, which we’ll discuss in the following sections.

Financing Your Smile Makeover: Options to Consider

Given their potential costs, it’s important to consider your options for financing smile makeovers. Fortunately, there are several ways to manage the cost of your smile makeover:

  • Health Funds:
    Private health funds like HBF and CBHS offer cover for some dental procedures, including certain smile makeover treatments. The level of coverage will depend on your specific policy. Some funds may even offer discounts for cash payments so you can have a more affordable smile makeover treatment.
  • Government Schemes:
    Government benefits such as the DVA, MPDSS, and CDBS can provide assistance for some dental treatments. Depending on your eligibility, these schemes can offer cover for dental procedures.
  • Payment Plans:
    Companies like Fund My Dental and Humm offer flexible payment plan options for dental treatments. These can help spread the cost of your smile makeover over a period of time. Some providers even offer interest-free payment plans, making it easier to finance your smile makeover.
  • SuperCare:
    This service can assist you in accessing your superannuation to cover smile makeover costs. It’s a unique alternative payment option that can help you finance your smile makeover.
  • Credit Cards and Dental Loans:
    These are also options to consider but remember to take into account the interest rates and potential fees. Some dental clinics may offer gap payment options, allowing you to pay the difference between the treatment cost and what your health fund covers.

Before deciding on a financing option, it’s important to do your research and make an informed decision based on your financial situation and needs.

Medicare and Smile Makeover Costs: What You Need to Know

Using Medicare for smile makeovers can be a bit tricky, especially since cosmetic dentistry treatments are usually not covered by Medicare in Australia. However, there are certain circumstances where you might be able to receive cover for some procedures. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cosmetic vs. Health:
    Medicare generally does not cover procedures that are purely cosmetic in nature. This means that most smile makeover treatments, which are often considered cosmetic, are not covered by Medicare. However, a portion of the cost may be covered if a dental procedure is deemed necessary for health reasons. For example, Medicare may cover dental crown procedures in cases where severe dental decay is causing difficulty with eating.

  • Medicare Benefits Schedule:
    Medicare operates under a system known as the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). This is a list of the medical services for which Medicare will provide a benefit and includes some dental services. However, the MBS is limited when it comes to dental procedures. It’s important to check the MBS or consult with your dentist to understand what treatments, if any, might be covered for your specific situation.

  • Medicare Dental Schemes:
    A few specific dental schemes under Medicare provide limited coverage for certain groups. For example, the Child Dental Benefits Schedule provides access to benefits for basic dental services for children aged 2-17. The Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Scheme provides benefits for the treatment of these conditions, which can include some dental procedures. However, these schemes are not usually applicable to smile makeover procedures.

In conclusion, while Medicare may not provide significant coverage for smile makeover procedures, other financing options are available. It’s always recommended to discuss these options with a dental professional and to do your own research regarding potential treatment costs and how you can best manage them.

Health Funds and Smile Makeover Costs: A Closer Look

When considering the cost of a smile makeover, health funds can play a significant role. These funds can provide cover for a range of dental procedures, helping to make your smile makeover more affordable. Here’s how health funds can assist:

  • Routine Dental Care:
    Many health funds provide cover for routine dental care, which includes services like check-ups, cleanings, and dental fillings.
  • Major Dental Procedures:
    Depending on your level of coverage, your health fund may also provide benefits for major dental procedures. This can include treatments like crowns, dental bridges, and, for some, orthodontic treatments. It provides significant assistance for smile makeover procedures.
  • Waiting Periods:
    Keep in mind that most health funds have waiting periods for major dental procedures. This means you’ll need to hold your policy for a certain period before you can claim benefits for these treatments.
  • Benefit Limits:
    Health funds impose annual limits on the benefits available for dental services. It’s important to check these limits when considering smile makeover treatment.

The Role of Consultation in Determining Smile Makeover Costs

A consultation with a professional dentist is a critical step in determining the cost of your smile makeover. Here’s why:

  • Personalised Treatment Plan:
    Every smile is unique, and so are the treatments needed to enhance it. During the initial consultation, your dentist will assess your oral health, discuss your aesthetic goals and functional concerns, and develop a personalised smile makeover treatment plan. This plan will outline the specific procedures needed, their associated costs, and the expected results. It’s a careful consideration of your needs and realistic expectations.

  • Financing Discussion:
    A consultation also provides an opportunity to discuss financing options. Your dentist can provide information about payment plans, health fund benefits, and other financing alternatives. Understanding the treatment costs is crucial in planning your smile makeover journey.

  • Understanding the Process:
    A consultation allows you to ask questions and gain a clear understanding of the smile makeover process. This includes understanding the timeline, what to expect during each procedure, and the care needed following your treatments. Dental makeovers are a popular treatment, and being well-informed can help you choose the ideal smile makeover option for you.

The Long-Term Value of Your Smile Makeover Investment

While the upfront cost of a smile makeover can be significant, it’s important to consider the long-term value of this investment. Here’s how a smile makeover can provide lasting value:

  • Improved Appearance:
    A smile makeover can dramatically enhance the appearance of your teeth. Whether you want to restore chipped teeth, close gaps between your teeth, or brighten your smile, the aesthetic improvements can be transformative. The result is a beautiful and natural-looking smile that enhances your overall appearance.

  • Boosted Confidence:
    With an improved smile comes boosted confidence. Whether you’re in a social setting or a professional environment, a confident, bright smile can make a big difference. It’s an investment in your self-esteem and personal image.

  • Better Oral Health:
    Many smile makeover procedures improve the natural appearance of your teeth and contribute to better oral health. For example, orthodontic braces lead to straighter teeth, making it easier to clean them and reducing the risk of dental health issues in the future. Dental implants and partial dentures are artificial teeth used to replace missing teeth to complete one’s smile and improve oral function and health. These benefits make smile makeovers improve aesthetics as well as oral health.

  • Increased Functionality:
    A smile makeover goes beyond aesthetics. Many cosmetic procedures also improve the functionality of your teeth. For example, aligners or traditional braces used in a smile makeover can address bite issues, making it easier to chew and speak. Similarly, dental implants replace missing teeth, restoring full functionality. This blend of cosmetic and functional improvements is a key part of the complete smile makeover process.

  • Long-Term Savings:
    Investing in a smile makeover can lead to long-term savings. By addressing dental issues now, you can prevent more complex and potentially costly dental problems down the line. For instance, misaligned teeth can lead to oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, which will require additional treatment and incur extra costs. By investing in your smile now, you’re potentially saving yourself from future expenses.

Remember, a smile makeover is an investment in your self-esteem, your confidence, and your overall oral health. It’s an investment that can provide benefits for years to come.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve journeyed through the landscape of smile makeovers, we’ve uncovered the many facets that contribute to the overall cost. From the specific procedures involved to the experience of your dentist, numerous factors play a part in shaping your smile makeover cost.

We’ve also shed light on the various financing options available, including health funds, government schemes, and flexible payment plans. We’ve clarified the role of Medicare in the context of smile makeovers, helping you understand its potential contribution to your dental costs.

But remember, a smile makeover is more than a financial commitment. It’s an investment in your future smile, your self-confidence, and your overall oral health. The transformation that a cosmetic smile makeover can bring is truly priceless, offering you the chance to flash a beautiful, natural-looking smile that you can be proud of.

At Karrinyup Dental Centre, we understand that each smile makeover journey is unique. That’s why we’re committed to providing personalised treatment plans tailored to your needs and budget.

Ready to take the first step toward your dream smile? We invite you to book a consultation with us. During this appointment, we’ll discuss your smile goals, outline the potential costs, and explore the financing options available to you.

You can book your consultation appointment by calling our clinic or through our website. Let’s work together to create your brighter and more confident smile.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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