Dental or porcelain veneers are thin custom-made shells that are applied to the front of a person’s tooth to improve appearance. They are typically created to match the color of nearby teeth to help provide the appearance of a healthy smile. But why do people order veneers, how much do they cost and will insurance pay for a portion of the veneer? We answer those questions and more below.
Why Are Veneers Used?
Veneers can be used to address a bunch of different dental issues. Oftentimes they are ordered to address teeth that are:
- Worn down
- Chipped or Broken
- Oddly Spaced
Getting a veneer involves a couple trips to the dentist’s office. Your first visit will involve an initial consultation where your dentist will examine your teeth and determine if you would be a good candidate for one or more veneers. Your second visit would involve taking measurements and determining the specifications for each veneer that is to be created. Once the veneers are created, your final visit will involve having the product applied to your teeth.
During the final procedure, the dentist will clean, polish and etch your tooth, as this helps to create a good surface for bonding. A special cement will be applied the the back of the veneer and it is placed on your tooth. Once the dentist is satisfied with its positioning, they will use a special light which activates chemicals in the cement, which causes it to harden very quickly. Any excess cement is removed, and you dentist checks your bite to ensure everything looks as it should. They may also ask you to schedule a final follow up appointment in a few weeks to ensure everything looks good, but this is not always necessary.
The Cost of Dental Veneers
As is the case with almost all medical or dental work in this country, there is no one-size-fits-all pricing model for veneers. However, a ballpark estimate is that they can run from $800 to $2,000 per tooth.
Because they are usually installed for cosmetic purposes and rarely serve a direct dental need, the cost of veneers usually isn’t covered by insurance. That being said, you’ll want to talk to your dentist and your insurance company to see if you qualify for partial or full coverage. Individuals who are having veneers installed to correct damaged teeth may be more likely to have part of the cost covered compared to individuals who have a discolored tooth, but again, it comes down to your individual needs and your dental insurance plan.
Finally, it’s worth noting that veneers do wear down over time, and depending on when you have them applied, they may need to be readministered. Depending on different factors, veneers can last anywhere from 7-15 years before they should be replaced. Talk to your dentist for ways to extend the life of your veneers, and give Dr. Brooks a call if you believe a veneer would be beneficial for your smile.
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