How Much Do Veneers Cost?
Dental veneers made from porcelain — the most commonly used material — will cost between $800 and $2,000 each. The cost depends on how much preparation must be done to make the tooth ready for a veneer. If you need veneers on most or all of your visible teeth, the cost can be between $8,000 and $12,000.
Because veneers are considered cosmetic dentistry, most dental insurance plans will not cover them. In rare cases, such as when a tooth breaks or cracks and also requires a filling, it may be possible to have insurance cover part of the cost of placing the veneer. If insurance won’t cover your veneers, talk to your dental office about the possibility of a payment plan.
Have you ever been embarrassed by your smile or wished you could have perfect teeth without gaps or stains? There’s a solution for your issues, and it won’t require months of orthodontic work or whitening treatments. Dental veneers can restore your teeth to what they once looked like before becoming chipped or yellowed. Or, if you’ve never had a smile you’re proud of, veneers can create that perfect grin that will give you confidence.
What are Veneers?
A veneer is a very thin, durable cover that goes over your original tooth. It’s made to match the contour of your tooth, but it can hide cracks or gaps and cover stains completely. Because veneers are made of porcelain or a tough resin material, they are really strong and can bear the stresses that your natural teeth have to endure every day.
What are the Pros and Cons of Veneers?
As with any dental procedure, getting veneers placed have benefits and issues. Here are some of the most common positive and negative factors associated with dental veneers:
Pros of Veneers
- You can easily fix minor issues with crooked or chipped teeth, without investing the time and money in orthodontic procedures or losing any of your natural teeth.
- You can choose the shade you want. If you have one discolored tooth from a dental treatment or large filling, you can match it to your other teeth. If many of your teeth are stained from dark beverages, prescription drugs or excessive fluoride, veneers on all your visible teeth can provide a permanent whitening solution.
- You can protect weakened enamel.
- Your gum tissue usually tolerates porcelain well so you are unlikely to have periodontal irritation.
Drawbacks of Veneers
- Veneers are relatively expensive per tooth.
- Your dentist must remove a bit of enamel from each tooth before applying the veneer, making it an irreversible procedure.
- You may have temporary or ongoing sensitivity to temperature.
- Veneers are not appropriate for patients who grind their teeth, as the pressure will stress the porcelain and potentially lead to cracks.
If you have questions about the pros and cons of veneers, or want to know how veneers will affect your mouth and oral health, talk to your dentist.
How Long Do Veneers Last?
While veneers are considered to be permanent, they are not a life-long solution. You will usually need to replace veneers every 7 to 20 years. Their lifespan depends on how careful you are to avoid using your teeth to chew on hard foods or non-food items and whether you grind your teeth.
When it comes time to replace your veneers, your dentist will carefully remove the old veneer, using a local anesthetic if needed, and start the process over. You will not need to have any more of your natural tooth removed when you have replacement veneers made.
How Old Do I Have to Be to Get Veneers?
Veneers are appropriate for any patient with minor damage or staining to teeth. However, the mouth should be finished growing in order to ensure the veneers don’t become ill-fitting in early adulthood. In most cases, males at age 18 and females at age 16 are suitable candidates for veneers if they meet other criteria and have good oral health.
There is no upper age where veneers are not recommended, as long as your teeth are in good condition and your dentist approves their use. Older patients should be careful to choose a shade for their veneers that is lighter but not too white to avoid looking like dentures.
Can Veneers Be Used to Cover Receding Gums?
In older patients, it’s not unusual for a dental professional to recommend veneers to cover a receding gum line. While composite bonding is sometimes used for this purpose, veneers typically last longer and stay free of stains. Covering the tooth roots that begin to show up when the gum line recedes can also be a good idea for protection and to reduce the risk of decay.
How Many Veneers Will I Need?
In some cases, when a single tooth is damaged or discolored, one veneer will help restore your smile. If you’re considering veneers to correct the appearance of crooked teeth or have a permanent solution for whitening yellowed teeth, you’ll likely want to have pairs of veneers applied.
The best results come from ensuring that all the teeth in your smile are corrected and properly colored. You’ll want to be sure all teeth in your widest smile are the same shade. It’s typically not recommended to apply veneers to just your six front teeth, as making color changes to the canine teeth without making changes to the adjacent premolars can look too dramatic and unnatural.
It may be that following your consultation, you’ll determine with your dental professional that an orthodontic treatment may give you better results than veneers, even though it can take more time. Be sure to ask your dentist about your options so you have a good idea of what different procedures require and cost.
What is the Difference Between a Veneer and a Crown?
A veneer is a thin layer that fits over the front, visible part of the tooth. A crown is like a cap that encompasses the whole tooth. Crowns are a better solution for extremely damaged teeth or those that have needed a restorative treatment like a root canal. As well, crowns are usually more durable and longer lasting, but they can cost more than a veneer.
What is the Difference Between a Veneer and Composite Bonding?
Bonding a tooth is done for very small cosmetic issues, where a resin material is bonded to the tooth to fill a gap or repair a chip. This procedure does not last as long as veneers and the composite material is much less resistant to staining. Bonding generally costs less than having a veneer placed.
How are Veneers Placed?
Following a consultation with your dentist and your decision to get veneers, it typically takes just two appointments — much faster and more convenient than just about any other type of cosmetic dentistry procedure. One type of veneer, called a “no prep” veneer, may only require one appointment, but these veneers are thinner and may not be appropriate for every patient.
Your First Appointment
At the first appointment, your dental team prepares the tooth for applying the veneer and collects all the information needed to create a veneer of the perfect color and size.
- Your dentist will clean your tooth really well. If you’re particularly sensitive, you’ll also receive a local anesthetic; most patients don’t require this.
- The dental team will match your other teeth to the correct shade of veneer.
- An extremely thin layer of enamel (about 0.5 millimeters) is removed from the tooth to make the veneer easier to apply. This creates enough room for the veneer and it prepares the surface of the tooth to better accept the strong dental adhesive needed to keep the veneer in place.
- The team will take an impression of your tooth so the laboratory can make a perfectly sized veneer.
- Your dentist will place a temporary veneer using just a tiny amount of adhesive in the center of the tooth. The temporary veneer can stay in place for a few days to protect the tooth until the new, permanent veneer is ready.
Your Second Appointment
Next, you’ll schedule a second appointment when the veneer is finished and ready for placement — usually just a few days later. At this second appointment, the veneer will be permanently applied.
- Your dentist removes the temporary veneer and cleans your tooth completely again.
- The veneer is prepared for application of the adhesive, usually by etching the back to make a slightly rough surface. The adhesive is applied to the veneer.
- Your dentist fits the veneer on to the tooth in the proper position and makes sure it fits the space and contour of your tooth.
- The adhesive is cured using a special light, which only takes 60 seconds. After curing, the veneer will be permanently applied to your tooth.
- Your dentist removes any excess adhesive and polishes the sides of the veneer.
You may also schedule a third visit in another week or two where your dentist can check the fit of the veneer and ensure it has adhered properly to the tooth.
What Precautions Do I Need to Take with New Veneers?
Do plan on a few days to a week of recovery time when you have a veneer placed. During this time, your tooth may be sensitive and you may be asked to take some precautions, such as avoiding gum or difficult-to-chew foods. You may also need to limit exposure to extremely hot or cold foods until your mouth adjusts.
After this short period, you’ll be able to use your tooth as you normally have, with one change: If you’ve been using your teeth as a tool to open packages or cut things, you’ll need to stop. This type of activity isn’t advised for anyone’s teeth and can stress and reduce the lifespan of your veneers. You should also avoid biting down on non-food items like pencils or fingernails.
How Do I Care for My Veneers?
You’ll want to continue to practice excellent oral health care when you have veneers, including brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing and using a dental rinse or mouthwash. It’s also important to schedule regular checkups with your dentist. If you maintain your teeth with veneers like you do your natural teeth, you are no more likely to develop decay.
To protect your veneers and keep them lasting as long as possible, do not use your teeth to open food containers or packages or to chew on any non-food items. If you grind your teeth during sleep, you may need a custom night guard to protect your natural teeth and your veneers.
While porcelain veneers are stain resistant, your dentist may also suggest that you limit exposure to coffee, tea, red wine and other liquids that could potentially lead to stains.
What Do I Do If My Veneer Comes Off?
Although it is rare for a veneer to pop off, it does happen occasionally. Save the veneer so it can be reapplied to your tooth. Do not try to reapply the veneer yourself using household or commercial adhesives. While the veneer is off, you are likely to have increased sensitivities to hot and cold foods; you may want to limit exposure.
Call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment to re-adhere the veneer. If you’re traveling and need to see another dental professional, please have them call your original dentist’s office before using an adhesive to reattach the veneer.
How Do I Choose the Right Dentist for My Veneers?
While many dentists claim to be able to apply veneers, an extremely experienced dental specialist can be the best practitioner to consult with you and help you evaluate your many options. You’ll also want to work with a dentist who can avoid common pitfalls of veneers, like having them darken or come off due to improper adhesion.
Your reason for wanting veneers can also help you decide on the best dental office to partner with. If you have crooked teeth, working with a dental team that includes orthodontic specialists can also be important so you can accurately determine if veneers are a better solution than braces or Invisalign. If you have receding gums, an office with a periodontist may be the right answer. Ask your dentist if you have questions about their qualifications for placing veneers.