How much do porcelain veneers cost?

- When might insurance cover them?

A tooth with its porcelain laminate in place.

The veneered tooth.

This page provides information about fees for porcelain veneers (dental laminates).

Possibly just as important, it also includes a discussion about the long-term expenses you're likely to encounter if you decide have them placed.


Fees

Here's an estimate of the price you might pay to have a single porcelain veneer placed.

$730.00 - $1300.00 per tooth.

Low fee = Small rural city or town.
High fee = Large metropolitan area.
How did we come up with this estimate?

Costs for similar procedures.

As a basis of comparison, the following links provide estimates for other kinds of dental laminates:

Notes:

Fees are quoted on a "per-unit" basis.

Dentists typically quote porcelain veneer prices on a per-tooth basis.

For example, if you were to decide to have them placed on all six of your front upper teeth, you could expect that your cost would be exactly six times your dentist's per-unit fee. (There's usually no discount because additional teeth are treated.)

Will temporaries be placed?

The quote that your dentist gives you probably does but may not include the placement of temporary veneers. You should ask, just so you don't have any surprises.

When utilized, they are worn during that time frame while your permanent laminates are being made. With many cases, temporaries are not needed.

Is this procedure covered by dental insurance?

Insurance plans typically won't provide coverage for procedures that are strictly cosmetic in nature. And, for the most part, this one usually falls under that classification.

In some instances, your dentist might be able to demonstrate a need based on the correction of a dental-health issue (possibly a previously placed laminate has deteriorated and places your tooth at risk). If so, your dentist might be able to obtain authorization from your insurance company for this procedure.

Don't overlook the cost of replacement work.

No dental restoration can be expected to last forever. This is especially true for those where even if structurally sound they may ultimately be classified as failures simply due to minor flaws that have developed in their tooth's overall appearance. (See our discussion below.)


What are the consequences and true costs of having veneers placed?

Unlike most other dental procedures, having laminates placed is usually an elective one. And before you have it performed, you should at least give some consideration as to what your total long-term costs will be.

1) There's the initial cost of the procedure.

2) The cost of replacing the original work at some time in the future must be considered.

Even when using an estimate of a twenty-year lifespan for porcelain veneers (which is probably overly optimistic), for most patients there will likely be a point in their life when their original work will need to be replaced. (We discuss longevity and reasons for veneer failure on this page.)

That means a forty-year old can expect that their veneers will need to be replaced at least once, and possibly twice during their lifetime. For a twenty-year old, this need translates into an expected two or more additional veneerings.

A tooth that has been prepared.

Once a tooth has been prepared for a laminate, it won't look right unless one is in place.

3) Don't overlook the potential need for unexpected repairs.

Besides initial and planned costs, there are also potential repair and maintenance expenses that must not be overlooked.

Even during those years when their laminates can be expected to have a survival rate in the 95% range (see the above link), some people will experience problems.

Veneers can chip, break or come off. And while it may be possible to create a short-term repair, in most cases a damaged one will need to be replaced. (This page addresses this topic.)

Replacement will require the same number of visits, and the same time frame, as the initial placement process (usually two weeks). It will also carry the same cost.

4) The potential for side effects and unexpected outcomes does exist.

The health of a person's teeth must also be considered. The placement of porcelain laminates can generally be considered to be safe enough to be an elective procedure. But unexpected or undesired consequences can occur, especially over the long-term.

For example, having this procedure performed does result in the loss of some tooth structure. And because periodic replacement will likely be needed, the cumulative effect of these repeat veneerings and the changes they cause for a tooth might become an issue. (It's certainly possible a point is reached where veneers can no longer be placed and dental crowns will have to be utilized.)

Statistically speaking, some (although few) veneer failures are associated with factors such as tooth decay and gum disease. If there's anything about a laminate that makes it harder to clean its tooth (a change in the tooth's contours, micro-roughness at its edges), there's the potential that problems may develop, especially when the long-term is considered.

These are just considerations and not necessarily reasons not to this procedure performed.

Don't be put off by the fact that these considerations exist. They by no means mean that placing porcelain veneers can't make an excellent choice.

But since the usual purpose for placing them is just cosmetic, you should consider the above. You should also take the time to evaluate alternative (possibly more conservative) procedures that might be able to create a similar end result.

 

Continue reading about Porcelain Veneers -

Related pages -

 
Animated-Teeth.com: Home