Porcelain veneers are a recent but fast-growing trend in cosmetic dentistry. They are basically thin films of porcelain fixed to the front of your teeth so that they look whiter and smoother. Essentially, they are a form of permanent teeth whitening. Veneers have become hugely popular because they are fairly easy to apply and require minimal maintenance. Dentists recommend them for teeth that are stained or discoloured (usually from smoking or a medical condition), chipped, worn, or misaligned.
Price is probably the procedure’s biggest drawback. Porcelain veneers cost anywhere from under $1,000 to over $30,000, depending on a long list of factors. The most important ones are the extent of the veneer (all upper teeth, a full set, etc.), the type of porcelain applied, the dentist’s training (some specialize in veneers, while others work in general dentistry and do occasional cosmetic work), your location, and whether or not there is a warranty.
The dentist can choose from different types of porcelain veneers, and different ways to bond them to your teeth. A common type, known as composite veneers, are actually made of porcelain with a mix of other materials, which makes them sturdier and easier for the dentist to work with. Pressed ceramic veneers are stronger, but less realistic (they tend to be a stark, monochromatic white). Several other types exist, offering different levels of thickness, comfort, and price.
The cost of one veneer averages about $700. Most patients need more than that, however. A set of six veneers for your upper teeth starts at $4,500; it can go up to three times that if your case requires more handiwork and artistic ability from the dentist. A full set of visible upper teeth will require about 10 veneers, and this will cost you $6,000 to over $20,000. Extending that to the lower teeth runs the price up to the $12,000 – $30,000 range. The most expensive procedure is obviously a full set of upper and lower teeth veneers.
Other related costs, such as consultations and fittings, can add $50 to $200 to the bill. However, most clinics will waive these fees if you have the veneers done by them. Make sure to shop around and look into different terms, taking into account warranties and dentist experience. It’s usually better to pay more for a clinic that specializes in the procedure than take a chance with a less experienced practitioner, especially for the price you’re paying. If you’re unsure about the cost, ask if you can enter a payment plan, or opt out of certain services to lower the quote.