A survey done in 2017 indicates that around 40% of adults in the UK are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth, and around half of the UK population are considering undergoing at least one cosmetic dental procedure to improve the look of their teeth or smile. This approach seems to be especially popular with younger people, with a separate study indicating that more people under the age of 34 visit their dentist for cosmetic procedures than go to see them for check-ups.
For those unhappy with the way that their teeth look, there are various procedures that can be carried out; some of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments include:
Where the teeth are treated with chemicals (and sometimes lasers) to remove stains and brighten the shade of white. Some treatments are done over the course of several week and take a few appointments and some are done within the same day, depending on the type of procedure carried out.
This is where a tooth-coloured custom-made shell is placed over the teeth to improve their appearance. These can be made from porcelain or a composite bonding material and are simply designed to offer a natural-looking layer over the front of the teeth that can last for between 5-20 years.
Straightening or aligning
This is where teeth may be slightly crooked or have gaps between. Usually using some type of brace, the treatment can take many months, or even years, as the teeth need to have gentle pressure applied over time to move them into the desired position. There are different types of adult braces that can be used for this type of treatment; read more about them here.
How much does cosmetic dentistry cost?
Cosmetic dental treatments are not usually available on the NHS, so patients choosing them will need to pay for the procedures privately. The cost varies widely depending on the type of treatment, the dentist performing the procedure, the location of the clinic or practice, the materials used (e.g. porcelain veneers are more expensive than those made from composite bonding material) and the extent of the treatment required. Some fairly costly treatments, such as fitting porcelain veneers, can run into many thousands of pounds, so it’s understandable that patients have high expectations of their cosmetic dental treatments when they are paying so much for the procedure to be done.
What if cosmetic dentistry goes wrong?
All cosmetic dental procedures have a level of risk attached, that the treatment may not bring about the desired result. However, sometimes dentists also make mistakes when treating patients which mean that the patient is left with significant pain, damage to their teeth or oral health, and are seriously out of pocket, especially if the negligence of their dentist means that they require more dental work to rectify the mistake. Sometimes, the damage may even be permanent and cannot be fixed or restored.
If this happens to you, it isn’t just the physical pain, discomfort and inconvenience that accompanies dental negligence, it can also have a big impact on patients psychologically and emotionally too, and it can have a big impact on someone’s confidence and their daily life.
If you have been a victim of dental negligence then you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Whilst compensation cannot undo the damage that your dentist has done through their negligence, it can help to ensure that you are not left out of pocket and can help you achieve a measure of justice. Contact the Dental Law Partnership online today for a free claim assessment and to discuss your options, or by calling 0808 271 4820.