Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and taking out teeth. Today, more people than ever before are turning to cosmetic dentistry, or ‘aesthetic dentistry', as a way of improving their appearance.

Cosmetic dental treatments can be used to straighten, lighten, reshape, and repair your teeth. It might include having veneers, crowns, bridges, tooth-coloured fillings, implants, or tooth whitening.

All these treatments are extremely complex and require expert hands and a safe environment.

Unfortunately, many people are making the mistake of attempting these treatments at home and following unsafe advice online. Others are choosing to have dental treatment carried out by people who are not legally allowed to do so.

Making the wrong choices when considering cosmetic dentistry can put your health at risk.

By always visiting a qualified professional within dental practice for advice and treatment you can keep your smile safe and looking great.

Visiting a dental professional

If you are thinking about making any changes to your smile, visit the dentist first.

Dental professionals are highly trained individuals who have the very best training, qualifications, and experience to help you achieve the smile you are looking for.

The UK sets high standards for dental professionals, and they are accountable for your wellbeing. By law, all dental professionals must be registered with the General Dental Council (the UK’s dental regulator). They are also required to complete annual learning activities to develop and enhance their knowledge and skills.

Dental professionals are the only people who are legally allowed to carry out any treatment on your mouth.

Avoid having dental treatment with anybody that is not registered with the GDC. Not only are these people are breaking the law, but they could also leave you with long term or permanent damage. 

By law, all dental professionals must also have indemnity or an insurance policy in place. This means you might be entitled to compensation if you were to come to any harm (if your claim is successful).    

By going to a dentist, you will receive the best care and can guarantee the best results. This makes it the smartest and safest choice.

You can check if a dentist is registered with the GDC by visiting or by calling 020 7167 6000.

Going into the dental practice

All dental treatment should take place inside a dental practice. This is the best and safest thing for your health and your smile. The only exception to this is if you receive domiciliary visits.  

Dental practices follow strict cross infection measures and must make sure all equipment is thoroughly cleaned and sterilised before use. In England, the standard of care you receive at a dental practice is monitored by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who visit and inspect all practices regularly.

Any dental practice that falls below the standards set by the CQC could face civil or criminal action.

This provides you with the reassurance that the dental practice you are visiting is the safest place to be. It is not guaranteed that you will receive the same standard of care anywhere else.

Being safe during COVID-19

To keep you safe, dental professionals and dental practices are following recommended advice to prevent cases of COVID-19.

Dental professionals must all wear the appropriate level of protective clothing (PPE) and face masks, depending on their interactive with you.

The dental practice has also changed to become even safer. You may notice splash guards and hand sanitiser at reception and there will be less people sitting in the waiting room. The place where you have your treatment is also laid out to minimise your risk. Windows are left open, and all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned before every patient enters the room.

These measures are not guaranteed when seeking cosmetic dental treatment away from the dental practice.

To keep your smile safe and lower the risk to your overall health, visit a dental professional within a dental practice for all cosmetic treatments in the mouth.

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