Why Dental Veneers?
We all want a mouth full of pearly whites. You want your teeth to be even in size and shape, and white in color. Dental veneers, sometimes called “tooth caps,” are thin coverings that are professionally attached to the front of teeth in order to improve their color, size, or shape.
If teeth have only surface staining or discoloration, then teeth whitening may be able to take care of it. However, if the enamel underneath is discolored, dental veneers may be the best option to get white teeth. If your teeth are too small, or are uneven in size, then dental veneers can bring them to the beautiful shape you desire. However, you may wonder whether they’re affordable.
When you’re considering veneers, you have two main options. Porcelain veneers are the traditional choice; they’re a bit thicker, and require removing some enamel to attach them, but the cost is lower. If they’re later removed, some type of dental covering (either new veneers or another covering) needs to be placed on the teeth. A newer type of veneers called Lumineers is thinner and can be attached without damaging the tooth’s surface, meaning that they can be removed later if you so choose; these have a somewhat higher cost. To learn more about veneers, please visit our Dental Veneers page in our Education Wiki.
Porcelain veneers, the traditional option, typically cost about $500 to $1,000 per tooth. Lumineers, the higher-end, modern option, cost about $700 to $1,300 per tooth. Most people choose veneers on at least their four front teeth, which would mean a total cost of $2,000 to $4,000 for porcelain and $2,800 to $5,200 for Lumineers. Depending on your situation, you might want veneers on more than four teeth, so the total cost would be higher.
Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual dentist, so you should check with the dentist(s) you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
Will Insurance Cover It?
Dental veneers are considered cosmetic, and are usually not covered by dental insurance, so you’ll need to plan for covering the cost yourself.
Medical insurance typically does not cover dentistry at all. You need to have a separate dental insurance plan to cover dental care.
To many people, paying hundreds of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. In some cases, dentists offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Dentistry Financing page.