Porcelain Veneers: What’s The Cost And Are They Worth It?

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Medically reviewed by Othman Lahmaydi, RDH

Want to get that million-dollar smile that you’ve always dreamed of? Porcelain veneers might be the perfect option to help you realize your vision. But how much do they cost, and are they really worth it?

Installing veneers is an expensive approach that will cost you between $1,000 and $2,500 per tooth. The variance in price is determined by the number of teeth being treated, the type of material used, and where you obtain your treatment. Schedule a consultation with your dentist for a quote.

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of veneers available, how much they cost, and how to choose the right option for you. We’ll also look at a cheaper alternative to veneers that you might want to consider if you’re on a more limited budget.

What Are the Different Types of Veneers?

Girl chooses color of veneers at the dentist office

For starters, a veneer is a thin layer of porcelain (or a similar material) that is custom-made to fit over the front part of your affected teeth. It serves as a protective cover that helps restore the appearance of your teeth. Veneers serve a number of other purposes, including:

  • Fixing the shape and alignment of teeth that are chipped, cracked, stained, or discolored
  • Leveling out uneven teeth
  • Making teeth appear more uniform
  • Strengthening the structure of existing teeth
  • Enhancing your smile

There are three main types of veneers:

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are the most popular choice. The material is strong and resembles natural tooth enamel, making it a good choice for creating a natural-looking smile. These veneers are also stain-resistant and won’t discolor over time.

The benefits of using porcelain veneers include:

  • They’re thinner and require less alteration to the natural tooth.
  • They’re stronger and last up to 10 years.
  • Their color can be customized to match your existing teeth.

While porcelain is highly durable and long-lasting, if it breaks or chips, it can’t be fixed and the veneer must be removed and replaced. Also, these veneers are more expensive than other types.

Composite Veneers

Composite resin veneers are made of a plastic-based material that’s less expensive than porcelain. They’re great for addressing minor imperfections and can be applied without any alteration to the existing tooth structure.

Many patients love composite veneers since they can be installed in one treatment, reducing the need for multiple visits. They also don’t require any special removal or replacement of the existing tooth structure.

A huge disadvantage of these veneers is that they may not last as long as porcelain veneers and are prone to staining and discoloration over time. Their lifespan is only 5 years. They also stain more easily and require more maintenance.

Ceramic Veneers

Lastly, ceramic veneers are made using inorganic oxide materials suited for patients who have allergies to the components used in porcelain and composite veneers. They’re thinner than porcelain veneers but not as fragile. Many patients opt for ceramic veneers because they provide the best of both worlds — durability and strength with a more natural look.

The downside to ceramic veneers is that they’re more expensive than composite resin. They also require more alteration to the existing tooth structure to make room for the veneer.

How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?

Unfortunately, a million-dollar smile doesn’t come cheap. The cost of a porcelain veneer can vary significantly depending on the number of teeth being treated, the type and quality of materials used, the complexity of the procedure, and where you obtain your treatment.

Generally, though, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 per tooth. If you’re lucky, you may find special deals or discounts that lower the overall cost of treatment. To get a more accurate figure, schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss your individual treatment plan.

So, are they worth the cost? With proper oral care and hygiene, veneers can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. That means you may be able to avoid costly and painful dental procedures in the future. Yes, they are very expensive — there’s no doubt about that — but they’re also an excellent long-term investment.

If you have the money to spare and really want to get that perfect smile, then go for it!

Porcelain vs. Ceramic: Which Is Better?

Veneer Smile

Both porcelain and ceramic veneers are a popular choice for cosmetic dentistry. But which one is better for you? The answer really depends on your individual needs, budget, and preferences.

Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

As we mentioned earlier, porcelain veneers are some of the most popular veneers on the market. There are a number of reasons for this, including:

  • Porcelain gives a more natural look and feel, as it mimics the appearance of natural teeth. Doctors can match the color and shade of the veneer to your teeth.
  • In terms of durability, porcelain is extremely strong and can last 10 to 15 years; of course, this is with proper care and maintenance.
  • Aside from being strong, porcelain is also stain-proof. This makes them an ideal choice for people who struggle with stained or discolored teeth.

Benefits of Ceramic Veneers

Ceramic veneers require less preparation and are normally designed custom-fit for a particular patient. Here are some of their benefits:

  • Ceramic veneers are aesthetically pleasing since they reflect light in a more natural way and look indistinguishable from real teeth.
  • You can choose the color to perfectly match your existing teeth. You can opt for a whiter set of teeth without it looking out of place.
  • As a material, ceramic is thinner than porcelain, making it less invasive and less damaging to the existing tooth structure. In addition, the process of installing ceramic veneers is less time-consuming.

Both porcelain and ceramic veneers are incredible in terms of durability, with an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

Resin Bonding: The Cheaper Alternative

If you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, then resin bonding is a less expensive alternative to consider. It’s a much more conservative approach that requires minimal alteration to the existing tooth.

In this procedure, your dentist will apply a composite resin to the affected teeth and shape them until it perfectly fits the surrounding teeth. The resin is then hardened with a special light, and the entire process takes just one visit.

However, without proper maintenance, the aesthetics of this approach start to diminish, and the composite margins may begin to stain and leak over time. The procedure typically needs to be redone every 3-5 years.

So, although it’s a cheaper option, you’ll lose out on the quality of the veneer approach.

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