Cost of Porcelain Veneers

How Much Do Dental Veneers Cost?

One of the first questions dental patients ask when considering veneers for their smile makeovers is “How much do veneers cost?” It’s a legitimate question, and we get it all the time here at the office. The answer, however, is not so simple. We’re not being evasive; there are just a lot of issues that must be taken into consideration.

Of course, the type of veneer placed over the anterior teeth is going to be case specific. It’s going to depend on the problems being addressed. Are the teeth in normal alignment or tilted? Is there just one damaged tooth or a whole mouthful? Are decay and gingivitis factors, or do you simply want to mask the marks of dental fluorosis? How many fillings do you currently have and what material was used to fill them? Are you looking for a celebrity smile or something more subtle? Are you a smoker or ever been told you exhibit the signs of bruxism (teeth grinding). Is deep discoloration of your teeth a problem? Do your teeth need to be longer?

The materials used in veneers will depend a lot on how you answered the previous questions. If you just need to repair a damaged front incisor, you’ll probably want a veneer that will allow for custom shade matching, so the repair is undetectable. A dentist may choose to place a composite veneer – one that is layered on in the office – or use a ready-to-go porcelain veneer that has been fabricated off-site at a dental laboratory.

If the whole upper dental arch (8-10 teeth) needs attention, the cost is going to go up steeply. However, since you will be getting a whole set – rather than trying to match a single tooth color, you will be able to select from a whole range of colors:  natural enamel to bright white bleached shades. Complexion, ethnicity and the color of adjacent teeth should be taken into account. Most dentists offer a trial run with veneers before bonding the restoration permanently.

Some veneers are made of less expensive composite resin materials, while others are fashioned from high-end porcelain. Some veneers are hand-crafted and others are machine milled. Some dentists swear by tried-and-true feldspathic porcelain veneer systems, while others like leucite reinforced porcelain veneers or lithium disilicate glass ceramic veneers. Be sure to ask your dentist what he or she prefers and why. Porcelain veneers brand names include da Vinci, Empress, Lumineers, Durathin, Emax, Vivaneers, and Mac. You also will want to discuss if there is any tooth reduction involved in the veneer brand your dentist chooses.

While feldspathic veneers may be fine for basically healthy teeth, patients prone to decay often are better suited to receive pressed porcelain, a more contemporary material that offers maximum fit and resists marginal degradation of the teeth. Many dentists have found that pressed porcelain veneers keep their vibrancy and are less apt to wear down opposing teeth than the original feldspathic veneer systems. Longevity is a key factor to consider. Traditional composite veneers last on average between five and seven years; porcelain veneers last between 10-15 years or longer with proper upkeep.

A patient’s expectations and the skill and location of a dental office will affect the final cost of placing veneers. In some cases, medical insurance will cover a portion of the cost, but placing veneers is usually considered elective cosmetic dentistry, so the bill will have to be covered out of pocket.

Patients are encouraged to do their research and not base their final decision on cost alone. There are high-end options, middle ground treatment, and low-end quick-fix veneers. It’s to be expected that celebrity cosmetic dentists in big cities will charge more for their services due to demand, their high profile, and the higher cost of lab services and running their business. You may, however, find a wonderfully qualified veneer-savvy general dentist in a nearby suburb.

Nationally, average fees ring in at around $1,100 per tooth – or $8,800 for an eight-tooth restoration. However, depending on location and other factors, the range is easily $650-$2500 per tooth ($5,200-$20,000 for eight anterior teeth). Consultation may be complimentary or cost an additional $50-$200. Incidental add-ons may include dental lab fees, tooth impression waxes, or the additional cost of anesthesia if tooth reduction is part of the restoration plan. Some dentists offer discounts with each additional tooth veneer. Again, ask about extra charges, discounts and payment plans during consultation.

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