September 22, 2017

How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?

Connie wrote, “How much do veneers cost?

Catherine's beautiful smile with porcelain veneers

Catherine's beautiful smile with porcelain veneers

Connie, this is probably one of the most frequent questions we’re asked.  But before that can be answered there are some things than have to be addressed.  First, what type of veneers are you referring to?  Hand sculpted composite (plastic) veneers or porcelain veneers?  If the former, are you needing a veneer on just one tooth, custom matching all the other teeth, or multiple teeth and choosing a color from the tooth color shade guide?  If the latter, again, are you referring to just one tooth and requiring that the ceramist custom match your adjacent teeth, or again doing multiple teeth and choosing a standard shade?

Another question is are you referring to no-preparation veneers like Lumineers, minimal preparation veneers, standard preparation veneers or moderate-plus preparation as would be necessary when there are large cavities or fillings or the teeth are significantly out of normal alignment?  Are you referring to feldspathic veneers or stronger and generally longer lasting veneers like pressed-ceramic Empress veneers? Other questions are what are your expectations and how difficult will your treatment be?  How skilled is your dentist and in what city are you located? Are you wanting your treatment to be covered by insurance or is this elective cosmetic dentistry? Which lab will your dentist be using?  A lab with considerable experience that specializes in cosmetic dentistry and veneers, a general lab or a discount lab?  I’m sorry to ask you so many questions before answering yours, but the reality is all those things go into consideration when dental fees are determined for cosmetic dentistry.  The range of fees is considerable, and we’ve seen dentists advertise veneers for as low as $300 and some of the “experts” in major metropolitan cities are charging as much as $3,000 per veneer.  Obviously the two are not the same.  My point is that “a veneer” is like many other purchases you will make, like a TV or a car.  It can be high end, in the middle or low end economy.  The most important thing is that you get the results you want and that you’re given a fair fee based on the time, effort, training, expertise, skill level and final results from your cosmetic dentist.  I suggest that you not make your decision as to the dentist on fee alone.  In our cosmetic practice at least one-third of all the cosmetic dentistry we do is REDOING work done by other dentists that have not achieved the results that they patient wanted or expected.  Many of these patients based their initial decision on fee alone, and were subsequently disappointed.  Thus, first interview your cosmetic dentist, explain your goals and expectations, have him/her evaluate your smile and discuss with you the proposed treatment, answer many of the questions I’ve previously asked you, and give you an estimate of the fee.  Good luck, and again, sorry to give you such a long-winded diatribe to what at first would seem to warrant a one-word answer.

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