So how much do veneers really cost? The cost for porcelain veneers varies widely. They can run anywhere from $925 to $2,500 per tooth. There are several reasons for the difference in cost and it also varies widely across the United States. And yes, veneers can be quite expensive but they do offer several benefits. One of the benefits is a distinctly improved smile.
First, lets discuss what porcelain veneers are. Porcelain veneers are extremely thin custom made covers for the front surface of the teeth. They can be made from porcelain or direct composite resin. Although porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite, they last much longer and are more stain resistant. Traditional composite veneers last on average between five and seven years while porcelain veneers last between 10 and 18 years.
Veneers are used for a variety of purposes. They can be used to fix chipped or broken teeth or teeth that have become discolored by root canal work, excessive fluoride, or drugs such as tetracycline. Porcelain veneers can also be used to correct misaligned teeth or teeth with gaps between them. But the most common reason for veneers is cosmetic. They can be used to change the length, shape, size and color of teeth. In effect, they can be used to create a designer smile.
There is also a difference in cost between having the procedure done in a metropolitan area versus a small town. Another cost variation is the difference in cost from one ceramics lab to the next. The number of veneers done also affects cost. A single veneer usually is more expensive per tooth than a set of veneers.
Because veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure, they generally are not covered by insurance. In some cases, depending on the insurance company and the policy coverage they may be eligible for a dental discount. Again, the amount and availability of this discount varies widely. In special circumstances some insurance may pay up to 50% depending on the type of policy. To offset the high cost of veneers, most dentists offer special payment plans.
Getting dental veneers is a multi-step process. The initial visit usually consists of a consultation and depending on the dentist and the amount of work to be done, x-rays and/or impressions of the teeth may be done at this time. On the first working visit the dentist will remove approximately 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth or teeth to be veneered and make a model to send to the lab that will make the veneer. This is most often done with a local anesthetic. Normally it takes one to two weeks to construct the veneers. During the next visit, the veneer is temporarily placed to check for proper color and fit.
The tooth that is to receive the veneer is then cleaned, polished, and etched. The etching roughens the surface of the tooth for better adhesion of the veneer. The veneer is cemented into place and a follow up visit to check placement and adhesion may be required.
How long do porcelain veneers last? They can last between five and ten years or more, depending on how you take care of them. But at some point they probably will need to be replaced. Just like real teeth, porcelain veneers need to be thoroughly brushed and flossed daily.
Your smile is the first things that people notice about you which is the primary reason people want porcelain veneers. If we can be of service or you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
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