Cosmetic Dentistry Gone Wrong – Are the Savings Worth the Risk?

How many times do you hear people asking for recommendations for the ‘cheapest and best’ provider of a product or service? If you pay attention, it is probably much more often than you think. We all want to get the best quality possible, but usually, that comes at a price. Cosmetic dentistry is no different.

Patients who are considering cosmetic dentistry treatment are doing so because they dislike the appearance of their teeth. There can be many different aspects of our teeth that we can develop a complex about. It could be that you loathe the color of your teeth and you want a whiter, brighter smile. Perhaps you have gaps between your teeth, broken or damaged teeth or a misaligned bite. Whatever your issue, there is a cosmetic dentistry treatment that can rectify the situation.

However, not all cosmetic dentists are created equal and the costs quoted for treatments can vary widely between professionals. And, while there are many highly reputable and experienced cosmetic dentists that are able to offer successful cosmetic dentistry procedures here in the U.S. come people are even choosing to become ‘dental tourists’ and head overseas for their treatment because the prices that they have been quoted are cheaper.

Does a Lower Cost Equate to a Lower Quality of Work? If It Sounds Too Good to be True, Is It?

These questions are extremely common among patients seeking cosmetic dental treatments. After all, why can one dentist offer work at one price and another charge as much as 50% more for the same thing? The answer usually always comes down to one of two things. These are:

  • Quality of the materials used
  • Training and experience of the professionals offering the service

The problem with substandard materials

Whether it is the materials used in the teeth themselves or the equipment used as part of the implementation process, using substandard materials for dental work will almost certainly lead to a poor quality aesthetic result. Some examples include:

Badly fitting cosmetic restorations or devices that are uncomfortable to wear, such as poorly-designed dentures or veneers that aren’t a perfect match for the affected teeth.

  • Teeth that look artificial rather than natural, something that usually occurs when the material used to create or restore then is low quality – e.g. a cheap porcelain substitute.
  • Improper placement of dental implant posts as a result of failure to use the correct equipment for the procedure, or lack of technology to plan the process.
  • An overall unpleasant result that leaves you feeling equally unhappy with, or even more unhappy with, the appearance of your smile. For example, a whitening procedure that uses a bleach that leaves your teeth looking ‘chalky’ rather than gleaming, toilet-bowl white.

The importance of checking your dentist’s training and experience

Any patient interested in cosmetic dentistry wants to know that their smile is in safe hands. However, currently, there is no legal requirement for dentists to have specific training before they can offer certain types of cosmetic dental procedures. As such, unless you do your research thoroughly and have absolute confidence in your dentist’s ability to help you achieve the smile transformation that you desire, you could find that you are less than happy with your results. For example, if you are undergoing dental bonding – a straightforward procedure that involves resin being pasted onto your teeth to cover imperfections – and your dentist uses too much resin, your teeth could become overbulked and look and feel unnatural. Similarly, if you are having veneers and your dentist fails to remove some of the enamel of your teeth, they could end up looking unusually thick and fake.

In some instances, poor knowledge of cosmetic dentistry procedures can lead to injury. A professional who isn’t trained and skilled in the art of placing dental implants could cause serious or even permanent damage to your facial structure, including the bone and soft tissue of the mouth and the nerves serving your mouth.

Is it advisable to go overseas for low-cost cosmetic dentistry?

When dentists overseas seem to be able to offer the procedures you are looking for at a fraction of the price of what you have been quoted here in the U.S, the prospect of becoming a dental tourist can be extremely tempting. However, there are two important considerations to make. Firstly, the dental standard in other countries is not the same as here in the U.S. This means that what they consider to be an acceptable standard may not meet your expectations, and this can include anything from the cleanliness of the facility to the procedure itself. If something were to go wrong with your procedure, any complaint you make is unlikely to be upheld.

Secondly, the likelihood of something going wrong may increase since you will not have the continuity of care that you would receive here in the U.S. Your medical and dental records may not be available there in their entirety, or a language barrier may cause them to be misinterpreted. Where you would usually return to your dentist here to check on the progress of your healing and the overall result of your procedure, this may not be possible if you travel abroad for your procedure.

Place Your Smile in Safe Hands

So, are the savings offered by some cosmetic dentists worth the risk? Absolutely not. From poor cosmetic results and the increased risk of complications to potentially severe or even permanent damage to your oral and general health, the dangers posed by ‘cheap’ cosmetic dentistry are countless.

If you wish to achieve a safe, successful smile transformation, it is far better to place your dental health and appearance into the hands of a trained, experienced and recommended professional. To find out more about the importance of choosing a reputable cosmetic dentist, or to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss the cosmetic changes that you would like to make to your teeth, please get in touch with our knowledgeable and experienced dental team at PGA Dentistry in Palm Beach Gardens, FL (561) 627-8666.