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A Deep Dive into Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is a complex yet fascinating field, offering a myriad of treatment options to enhance and transform your smile. At Wimpole Street Dental Clinic, we believe in empowering our patients by providing comprehensive knowledge about these treatments. This detailed guide explores cosmetic dentistry, dives deeper into the key procedures, and provides insights into the UK cosmetic dentistry market.

Understanding Cosmetic Dentistry:

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the aesthetics of your teeth, gums, and smile. Ranging from subtle changes to major repairs, cosmetic dentistry addresses a variety of aesthetic issues such as discolouration, chipping, misalignment, or gaps. Thanks to advancements in dental technology, these treatments have become increasingly effective and accessible.

Diving into cosmetic dentistry treatments:

  • Teeth Whitening: This simple and common procedure is ideal for those with healthy teeth desiring a brighter smile. It involves the application of a bleaching agent, often accelerated with light or heat. Teeth whitening isn’t permanent and may need to be repeated every few years. According to the Oral Health Foundation, one in four UK adults has had their teeth whitened, with this number growing annually.
  • Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are custom-made shells designed to cover the front surface of teeth. They’re great for those with chipped, worn, or slightly crooked teeth, or for teeth that are severely discoloured. The procedure generally involves a few appointments and has been growing in popularity in the UK due to the dramatic transformations they offer.
  • Composite Bonding: In this procedure, a tooth-coloured resin is applied to the tooth and hardened, bonding the material to the tooth. Dental bonding is an excellent solution for decayed, chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth, as well as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings. This quick procedure is popular due to its cost-effectiveness and minimal invasiveness.
  • Dental Crowns: A dental crown fits over and replaces the entire decayed or damaged tooth above the gum line, restoring its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Crowns are suitable for individuals with weak teeth needing protection, broken teeth needing restoration, or anyone wanting to cover a dental implant or change a tooth’s appearance. Crowns are common in the UK, with dental labs creating millions of units annually.
  • Invisalign Treatment: Invisalign offers a modern approach to teeth straightening, without the visual impact of traditional metal braces. Custom-made clear aligners gradually shift your teeth into correct positions. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, removable, and comfortable, making them popular among UK patients of all ages.

The cosmetic dentistry market in the UK:

The UK cosmetic dentistry market is booming, with the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry noting a significant increase in aesthetic treatments over the last decade. Market research firm, ReportLinker, estimates the UK cosmetic dentistry market to be worth around £2.2 billion as of 2022. Teeth whitening, veneers, and orthodontics like Invisalign consistently rank among the most popular procedures, reflecting the increasing societal value placed on oral aesthetics. 

A survey by Statista in 2020 found that 19% of UK adults had undergone some form of cosmetic dentistry. Interestingly, this percentage significantly increased among younger age groups, indicating a growing trend among younger populations.

The benefits of cosmetic dentistry:

  • Improved Aesthetics: The most obvious benefit is a greatly enhanced smile. This can significantly improve one’s confidence and overall aesthetic appeal.
  • Boosted Self-Esteem: A beautiful smile can dramatically increase self-esteem. Knowing that your teeth look great can make you feel more confident in social or professional interactions.
  • Better Oral Health: Many cosmetic procedures also have health benefits. For example, aligning your teeth can make them easier to clean, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
  • Improved Function: Procedures such as dental crowns or Invisalign not only enhance the look of your teeth, but they can also improve your bite and overall mouth function.

Identifying a reputable cosmetic dentist:

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist can significantly impact your treatment outcome and overall experience. A reputable professional will not only enhance your smile but will also ensure your health and comfort are prioritised. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Qualifications and Training: Check whether the dentist has the proper qualifications. They should have completed a recognised dentistry degree, followed by additional training in cosmetic dentistry procedures. Some dentists will be members of professional organisations like the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD), which can be an added assurance of their commitment to the field.
  • Experience: Experienced dentists will have performed the procedure you’re considering numerous times, and this can often lead to better outcomes. Ask potential dentists about their experience, and don’t be afraid to ask for before-and-after photos of previous patients.
  • Positive Reviews and Recommendations: Personal recommendations and online reviews can provide valuable insights into a dentist’s professionalism and the quality of their work. However, take time to review multiple sources and remember that everyone’s needs and experiences can vary.
  • Technological Advancements: A good cosmetic dentist stays updated with the latest advancements in dental technology, employing modern techniques and equipment to enhance treatment outcomes and patient comfort.
  • Consultation Process: A reputable dentist will conduct a comprehensive consultation, discussing your aesthetic goals, evaluating your oral health, and suggesting suitable treatment options. They should make you feel comfortable and confident, answering any questions you may have.
  • Transparent Pricing: While cosmetic dentistry is an investment, it should also be value driven. A good dentist will be upfront about the costs of procedures and discuss payment plans or financing options if available.

Remember, it’s important to feel comfortable with your chosen dentist. A good rapport will make your journey to a perfect smile an enjoyable experience.

Achieve the perfect smile with Wimpole Street Dental Clinic:

At Wimpole Street Dental Clinic, we’re committed to helping you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Our team leverages the latest advancements in cosmetic dentistry, offering safe, effective, and customised treatments. Whether you desire a simple enhancement or a complete smile makeover, we strive to provide the highest standard of care in cosmetic dentistry.


Created: 31/7/2023

Clinically reviewed by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Written by: Dr Raul Costa

Dr Raul Costa

About the author:

Dr Raul Costa is a restorative dentist with a unique set of skills for dental aesthetics and a drive for ultra-conservative techniques. He qualified from the Lisbon Dental School in 2005 and has been practicing in London since 2008. He works with world-renowned ceramists in order to deliver natural-looking, life-like, crowns and veneers. He is also particularly talented and experienced with composite bondings and implant-supported restorations.