Porcelain veneer costs may be a concern if you're on a budget, but there's more to consider when it comes to this cosmetic treatment. The price tag is higher than other veneer choices, but you get what you pay for in terms of durability, longevity, and aesthetics.
Drinking coffee, smoking, or consuming strongly pigmented food or drink (like red wine) can stain your teeth. In addition, the acid from these foods and drinks can even damage the enamel permanently.
Chipped or cracked teeth or gaps between the teeth can also be problematic. Though these problems might seem minor at first, they can worsen over time and lead to more significant issues. And this is where treatments like porcelain dental veneers can help you.
Dental veneers are wafer-thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin designed to cover the front surface of teeth and improve their appearance. Porcelain custom-made shells look almost exactly like real teeth and are often preferred over composite veneers.
That's because porcelain can mimic the light-reflecting property of natural teeth better than any other treatment available. Let’s take a closer look at porcelain veneers, how they can change your smile, and why they cost so much.
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What are the different types of veneers?
Porcelain dental veneers have been used by dentists for decades now. Over the years, experts in cosmetic dentistry have made many advances in the types of material used to design dental veneers in terms of durability and longevity.
Traditional porcelain veneers
These are the most popular porcelain veneers available. Your dentist takes detailed impressions of your teeth, and skilled ceramists give them a look and feel that match your natural teeth.
If you have fewer cosmetic concerns, your dentist may go with minimal-preparation veneers. They are thinner than traditional veneers and don't require extensive enamel removal. If you really want to improve your oral health but want to take a more conservative treatment approach, minimal-prep veneers are the ones for you.
An alternative to porcelain is composite resin. This is the same material used for tooth-colored fillings. Specially designed for dental issues like cracks, discoloration, and chipped teeth, composite dental veneers are more cost-effective compared to porcelain.
Composite dental bonding is a similar cosmetic procedure used to cover imperfections in teeth.
They provide pretty impressive results in just one dental visit. Your dentist will match the resin to the color of your teeth and apply it in layers.
More often than not, your dentist will suggest either porcelain or composite veneers for you because these are widely considered to be the best veneer options for most patients. Here's a breakdown about some of differences between the two.
Requires 1 visit
Light-reflective properties match natural teeth
Easy to color match
$500–$2,500 per tooth
$250–$1,200 per tooth
Do veneers ruin your teeth?
For most people, porcelain veneers won’t ruin the teeth, including if you have chipped, broken, misshapen teeth or signs of erosion on the enamel. However, not everyone is an ideal candidate for veneers. Your dentist will examine the condition of your oral health very carefully with the help of x-rays and then figure out if they’d be suitable for you.
Moreover, they’re fabricated for a custom fit. The material used to attach them to your teeth hardens and makes them bond to the teeth. In fact, veneers are actually more damage-resistant than teeth because they don’t stain easily and are resistant to breaking or chipping.
Here's a helpful video that demonstrates the process of constructing dental veneers and shows how they can help transform a patient's smile.
How much do porcelain veneers cost?
The price will vary based on treatment complexity and the number of veneers you need, but expect to pay $500–$2,500 per tooth. Porcelain veneers are going to be more expensive than composite veneers. However, they also have a longer lifespan and better aesthetics.
Are porcelain veneers worth the cost?
Dental veneers have risen in popularity over other treatments in the past few decades. There are numerous reasons behind this.
Natural teeth structuring
Porcelain veneers match the natural look of your teeth. Especially for crooked teeth, veneers can be customized through reconstructive design techniques, forming replaceable, tooth-shaped shells.
Even out chipped or worn enamel
Consuming acidic food makes teeth soft and sometimes even strips the enamel. In the absence of protective enamel, our teeth are more susceptible to decay and may rot if not treated. Instead removing decaying teeth, you may be able to go with the preventive treatment of getting porcelain veneers that form a new surface area and protect your teeth from further damage.
Discoloration or staining
Porcelain dental veneers are stain-resistant. They protect your teeth so that you don’t have to be as selective about what to eat.
Does insurance pay for porcelain veneers?
Most dental insurance plans don’t provide full benefits for treatments like veneers because they’re quite often considered to be cosmetic procedures. Veneer cost may also exceed your insurance limit. You can read more in our guide to dental insurance that covers veneers.
But that doesn’t mean veneers are completely unaffordable. There are a few instances when your dental insurance plan can help reduce the cost of porcelain veneer procedures, particularly if it relates to dental health.
In some cases, insurance might cover the cost of veneer replacement if it gets chipped or broken.
Many policies have a “defective dental work” clause that covers treatments related to defects in the veneers. Another instance of when your insurance might help you to cover the cost of porcelain veneers is if you suffer an injury and require dental work.
Even if your dental insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of your treatment, it might help reduce the cost significantly. Dental insurance companies sometimes place limitations on coverage, but don’t let them stop you from receiving the benefits you have. Read your plan carefully.
Why are porcelain veneers expensive?
Creating porcelain dental veneers is quite labor-intensive and takes 2–3 full days in a ceramic laboratory. They also require a translucent finish to look exactly like natural teeth. Usually, they’re heated and layered to form a hard but thin shell of veneer. All this work requires an experienced ceramic technician and days of effort to complete.
Chair time is another factor that increases the total cost of porcelain veneers. Because the treatment requires several stages, the preparations, making teeth impressions, and construction all contribute to the total chair time for veneers.
A lab fee is also included in the cost, and so are charges for design time, cleaning, and other labor elements.
Where can I get porcelain veneers near me?
You'll want to speak to your regular dentist and see if he or she specializes in veneers. Otherwise, your dentist might refer you to a cosmetic dentist with more experience. Dental veneers and other prosthetics are constructed by experienced ceramists and craftsmen in dedicated laboratories and fitted by dentists.
You can also call 866-383-0748 to get connected to a cosmetic dentist near you.
If you’re considering getting veneers but are also concerned about the cost, you'll want to consult your dentist. Porcelain veneers are the strongest types of dental veneers available today, but they come at a price.
Dental veneers provide a customized solution for tooth restoration, and cost is relative. When it comes to performance and durability, there’s nothing better than porcelain veneers.
What are veneers?
Often classified as a cosmetic dental treatment, dental veneers are thin, hard, and durable shells that are bonded to the surface of your teeth to enhance their look. These shells are constructed using natural tooth-colored materials so that they look just like your natural teeth. Getting veneers is advised for people who suffer from dental issues like misaligned, worn down, chipped, discolored, or irregularly shaped teeth.
What are the pros and cons of dental veneers?
The primary advantage of dental veneers is that they drastically improve the appearance of your teeth, and porcelain veneers in particular are stain-resistant and durable. The main drawback is that once your tooth has been prepared for a veneer, the process can’t be reversed. So if veneers crack or break, there’s no other option than to replace the entire veneer. Thus, this treatment isn’t advisable for people who grind/clench their teeth or have poor gum health.
How long do dental veneers last?
If you maintain a good oral routine that includes proper brushing and flossing, dental veneers can last for 5 to 10 years—sometimes even longer. Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams.
NCBI: Advances in dental veneers: Materials, applications, and techniques. Consulted 24th November 2020.
Pubmed NCBI: Porcelain veneers: A review of the literature. Consulted 25th November 2020.
American College of Prosthodontists: Dental veneers FAQ. Consulted 27th November 2020.