Veneers are thin shells applied over your teeth; often used to cover up damage, discoloration and uneven teeth. But applying veneers isn’t as straightforward as it might seem, and it usually requires the removal of your natural enamel.
There are many types of veneers, each with its set of pros and cons. In this article, we will take you through everything there is to know about veneers and popular alternatives.
|Types of Veneers
|Average Cost Without Insurance
|$925-$2500 per tooth
|Composite resin veneers, made from the same material as dental fillings
|$250-$1,500 per tooth
|Restore the back of teeth due to palatal damage
|$650-$1,200 per tooth
|$20-$50 for instant veneers
|$800 to $2,000 per tooth
|Uses 3-D computer models to craft custom veneers that fit only the front of teeth
|$500-$1,500 per tooth
There are six primary types of veneer treatments, including permanent and non-permanent veneers:
Porcelain is the most common type of veneer. It’s made from ceramic material and lasts between 10 and 15 years. Porcelain veneers are more stain-resistant than composite veneers and there is minimal preparation needed compared to other restorative procedures like tooth crowns.
Porcelain veneers are quite durable, with a survival rate of 94.4% at five years, 93.5% at 10 years, and 91% at 20 years
Prior to their attachment, porcelain veneers require shaping and tooth reduction. This involves removing approximately 0.5mm of enamel from the outer surface of the tooth. Color treatments can be used to make the veneer opaque if they are covering a darker tooth; for matching purposes, there are over 15 shades available.
Porcelain veneers range in price from $925 to $2,000 per tooth, making them the most expensive veneer material.
Composite resin veneers are made from the same hardened composite material as cavity fillings. They are slightly cheaper than porcelain, averaging between $250 and $1,500 per tooth. Unlike porcelain veneers, which require multiple dental visits, composite veneers can be made and applied within the same day because they are sculpted directly on the teeth.
Like porcelain, composite veneers require recontouring of the teeth prior to placement. They last between 5 and 7 years, so they will need replacement much sooner. Besides the lower cost, the biggest advantage to composite is that it can be repaired if it breaks or chips. This is unlike porcelain veneers, which need to be completely replaced.
Also referred to as palatal onlays, palatal veneers are used to restore the posterior, or back, of the teeth. Palatal damage can occur from bruxism or teeth grinding, deep bites, or dental erosion. Chronic vomiting and severe acid reflux are often causes of erosion to the back of the teeth as well.
Palatal veneers are a solution to fix only the compromised part of the tooth, while leaving the rest untouched. They cost between $650 and $1,200 per tooth and have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
There are two types of temporary, removable veneers: instant veneers which cost between $20 and $50, and custom-made snap-on veneers which are similar to invisible aligner trays.
Much like aligners, custom-made detachable veneers are created using molds of the upper and lower teeth so they fit your mouth comfortably. Non-permanent veneers offer a good alternative to permanent ones as they do not require tooth reduction.
However, these particular veneers can be uncomfortable and don’t blend as well with your natural teeth. They must also be replaced more often.
Lumineer veneers are a brand of veneer that are ultra-thin and translucent. They closely replicate the natural shape and color of tooth enamel. Since they are extremely thin, Lumineers are non-prep veneers that don’t require tooth reduction or shaping of the teeth.
This type of veneer can last over 20 years, but they are more prone to chipping than traditional veneers. Lumineers cost between $800 and $2,000 per tooth, which is comparable to porcelain.
CEREC veneers are a unique brand of veneers that are made using 3D computer technology to perfectly replicate your natural teeth. They are a chairside economical restoration that gives you a more uniform smile in a single dental visit.
This type of veneer last anywhere between 10 to 30 years, as long as you care for your teeth and receive regular teeth cleanings. They cost between $500 and $1,500 per tooth and require no tooth preparation.
The biggest downside of CEREC is its availability. The technology used to scan your teeth and make the porcelain molds requires special training that not every dentist has.
Veneers are thin shells attached to the surface of the teeth to alter their appearance. The type of veneer determines what material they are made of, but all of them permanently bond to your teeth, except for removable veneers.
Dental veneers are useful for treating many different cosmetic conditions, including:
In the case of a broken tooth, only a single veneer may be needed, but people often get several to create a symmetrical smile. The most commonly placed veneers are the top front eight teeth.
The purpose of veneers is to improve the appearance of a person’s teeth. A dentist typically removes a small amount of natural tooth enamel from the teeth on which veneers are placed. Removal of this protective outer layer means that once the veneer is placed, it cannot be removed.
They are a long-term solution for those who have persistent cosmetic dentistry concerns with their teeth. Veneers can also be an alternative to other dental treatments, like whitening, braces, or retainers. Depending on the type of veneer, most will last 7-15 years before needing replacement .
Veneers are not harmful in any way. They are made from biocompatible substances that cannot trigger allergic reactions. The bonding agents used to apply veneers are also safe for your teeth and your health.
While custom veneers are a great way to correct aesthetic flaws and achieve a brighter smile, there are a few situations where they are not the best choice.
If you are considering veneers, here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider:
What We Like
The advantages of veneers sound good, but there are some downsides to consider:
Most of the side effects from dental veneer placement are mild and temporary . Here are the adverse effects you may experience after getting veneers:
The best type of veneer for you depends on your reason for getting them. If you are fixing palatal damage on the back of your teeth, palatal veneers will be the best choice.
If you want a permanent cosmetic solution, composite veneers are the most economical and also the easiest to fix should you have issues with veneers detaching, cracking, or breaking. Ultimately this decision should be made in consultation with your orthodontist.
If veneers don’t feel like the right option for you, there are alternatives to veneers, like clear aligners, that can be effective for fixing crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, and bite problems. Byte aligners and AlignerCo aligners can be used at home to fix your smile without the commitment of permanent veneers.
|Byte offers FDA-approved clear aligners
|AlignerCo can correct mild to moderate misalignments in 6 months
The American Dental Association states that the procedure for applying veneers varies according to the type of veneer being applied.
Both regular porcelain veneers and composite veneers require reshaping of the teeth. A dentist will first remove some enamel and take a mold of the teeth. This mold will be sent to a dental laboratory to make the custom-fit veneers.
Sometimes, temporary veneers are applied while the permanent ones are being manufactured. On your second dentist visit, the permanent veneers will be applied.
Composite veneers are bonded and sculpted immediately after preparing the teeth. A light is used to harden the material. Then they are smoothed and polished to look like real teeth.
All permanent veneer materials are bonded to the teeth using a special dental adhesive.
Since most dentists offer to freeze, or numb, your mouth for the first part of the veneer procedure, you shouldn’t feel any pain. For patients with two to four veneers, there is little or no pain experienced after the procedure in most cases.
Patients who receive eight or more often feel some soreness in the gums and jaw after their veneers are placed. This is usually mild discomfort due to the amount of time the mouth has been held open during the procedure. It is often relieved with over-the-counter pain medication.
Caring for veneers is relatively easy. While you will need to be mindful of certain things, no special care is required to maintain porcelain and composite veneers.
If you have a good oral health routine, you probably don’t need to change anything once you have veneers. To clean, you need to brush, floss, and rinse. Here are some extra tips:
While they are quite durable, veneers can chip and break. Normal eating shouldn’t be a problem, but chewing on hard items and foods can be. Bad habits like chewing nails and pens seem obvious, but ice and hard candies can have the same effect.
Bruxism is characterized by the grinding and clenching of teeth in your sleep, which is bad news for veneers . Veneers aren’t recommended for people who grind their teeth, but there are other options. Aligners, for example, offer you a new smile and can even help to reduce the effects of bruxism.
While physical activity is important for a healthy lifestyle, contact sports can damage veneers. It’s important to invest in a mouthguard to protect your teeth from breakage and potential trauma.
Veneers can develop stains just like natural teeth do. It’s a good idea to avoid or limit foods that cause discoloration, such as coffee, red wine, soy sauce, and berries. Smoking is another cause of staining.
Routine dental checkups are important for people with veneers. Seeing a dentist every six months will help protect your teeth and ensure any problems are discovered and addressed quickly. In addition, the life of your new smile will be extended with regular professional polishing.
The cost of veneers will vary depending on the type of veneer you choose and which dentist applies it. Porcelain veneers can cost between $900 to $2,000 per tooth, depending on your location. Composite veneers are slightly cheaper at $250 to $1,500 per tooth. Lumineers and CEREC veneers have a comparable cost to porcelain veneers.
Since veneers are considered to be cosmetic dentistry, most dental insurance companies will not cover the cost of veneers. If you are getting veneers to repair structural damage to your teeth, some insurance companies will consider reimbursement of between 30% and 50%, but you must prove that it is a medically necessary procedure.
Certain orthodontic treatments can be cheaper alternatives to porcelain veneers. Orthodontics correct crooked teeth and misalignments rather than covering them up, and technological advances in treatment mean you have options that don’t involve metal braces.
Clear aligner trays can fix bite problems, correct gaps between your teeth, and straighten your smile in a shorter time frame than braces. Since aligners are clear, they offer a more discreet option. They are also temporary and removable, causing no damage to your teeth.
Orthodontic aligners are available through your orthodontist or for at-home treatments. AlignerCo and Byte both offer aligners through online consultation at a significantly lower price than ordering them through your orthodontist.
It’s important to note that the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists don’t approve of mail-order aligners, but they are a budget-friendly option to consider.
To learn more, visit our AlignerCo review to see if clear aligners might be right for you.
It’s important to discuss your different dental veneer options with an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist who can point you in the right direction.
Orthodontic treatments won’t fix broken or missing teeth, but they can give you a more uniform smile. Here is a brief overview of how veneers compare to other orthodontic options.
Veneers and braces both fix crooked teeth. The difference is that veneers cover the teeth up, and braces straighten the teeth into proper alignment. If you have mild crookedness that doesn’t affect function, veneers can be a quick fix. Braces may be the better option for obtaining a uniform smile when the misalignment impacts jaw functioning.
Clear aligners use a series of aligners to gradually move your teeth into the proper position. Unlike veneers that must be permanently worn, aligners are worn for a short period and can be removed to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. Once your course of treatment is finished, the changes in your teeth are permanent.
Our Byte Aligners review shows that the overall cost is less than veneers, averaging between $1,895 and $2,295. This cost covers all the aligners, retainers, and remote monitoring you need to straighten your teeth.
Dental crowns are another procedure that can correct a variety of concerns. Like veneers, they are applied to the natural tooth structure. While veneers adhere to the front of the tooth, crowns are applied over the top of the entire tooth.
They require a significant tooth reduction prior to application. Additionally, conditions that involve repair in the back of the mouth are often better served by placing a crown than a veneer.
If you are looking to fix stained teeth, teeth whitening can be done at home using over-the-counter products or professionally in your dentist’s office. Professional whitening treatments are often more effective than at-home techniques, as they use different ingredients and higher concentrations that aren’t available over the counter.
Veneers are a more permanent solution than teeth whitening. Teeth will re-stain over time and require further whitening treatments. That said, the average cost of professional teeth whitening is approximately $650. If your only objective is to get whiter teeth, this is a much cheaper alternative.
We’ve gathered the most common questions about veneer treatment to help you find quick answers.
Veneers are a form of restorative and cosmetic dentistry that can hide all manner of tooth imperfections. They are a long-lasting and durable solution to a brighter smile, but they are expensive.
There are cheaper alternatives, including temporary veneers, dental crowns, whitening, and clear aligners. Whichever solution you choose, your decision should be made in consultation with your dentist who will help you find the right dental veneer or best treatment for your needs.