Dental veneers are thin, permanent shells that cover the front of your teeth. They are designed to improve the appearance, color, and shape of teeth.
Dental veneers have been used since the 1930s to improve the aesthetic and protection of teeth. Veneers are made of porcelain (ceramic) or composite resin (plastic and glass). They vary in cost depending on the chosen material.
You can get a veneer for just one tooth or multiple teeth. You can also choose to get partial veneers or a full smile makeover, depending on your needs and budget.
Veneers are permanent restorations that change the appearance of teeth. However, semi-permanent and temporary veneers are available if you are looking for a quick solution.
Veneers improve the appearance of teeth rather than repair damage.
Veneers can fix teeth that are:
Veneers are best for patients in good oral health who maintain adequate oral hygiene. They may not be suitable for patients who grind or clench their teeth because the shells can crack.
Veneers cannot correct teeth that are severely crooked. You may need orthodontic treatment prior to veneers if your teeth are not in the proper position.
Veneers can fix a wide range of cosmetic issues, but cannot repair damaged teeth. Any dental health issues must be addressed before veneer placement.
Popular types of veneers include:
Porcelain veneers create the most authentic-looking final result and are indistinguishable from natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are incredibly durable, stain-resistant, and should last between 15 to 20 years.
Porcelain veneers are expensive and can cost between $700 to $2,500 per tooth.
Composite veneers create a natural-looking result. They are much easier to apply than porcelain veneers and can be applied in one visit. Composite veneers are less durable than porcelain veneers. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers will stain like natural teeth and typically last between 4 to 8 years before they need to be replaced.
Composite resin veneers are more affordable than porcelain veneers. They cost between $200 to $600 per tooth.
Porcelain and composite veneers are the most common treatment options. Composite veneers are cheaper than porcelain veneers. However, porcelain veneers are stronger and more natural-looking than composite veneers.
Dental veneers are expensive because they are a highly specialized procedure in cosmetic dentistry, requiring custom molding, specialized tools, and advanced training.
Veneers are usually placed by a cosmetic dentist specializing in veneers, rather than a primary dentist or DDS. Because veneers are considered a cosmetic treatment rather than a medical procedure, they are not covered by dental insurance.
Patients who take care of their veneers can expect them to last between 15 to 20 years (for porcelain) or 4 to 8 years (for composite) before needing replacement.
While veneers are expensive, they can save money and time in the long run. Veneers fix imperfections that would otherwise require several dental office visits.
In most cases, dental insurance does not cover veneers. Veneers are a cosmetic procedure, making the entire process an out-of-pocket cost that patients will need to pay independently.
While veneers are expensive, some cosmetic dentists offer a payment plan for veneers, so patients don’t need to pay for the entire procedure upfront.
Veneers are not covered by insurance, but many dentists offer payment plans.
Cheaper veneer alternatives include:
Lumineers is a specific type of semi-permanent veneer. Lumineers don’t require preparation or shaving of the teeth before placement. However, not everyone is a candidate, and not every dentist offers Lumineers. Check with your dentist to see if Lumineers are an option for you.
Lumineers cost between $800 and $2,000 per tooth, depending on the individual's needs. Factors that will influence the cost of treatment include case difficulty, size, geography, and more.
Snap-On Smiles, also called "temporary" or “no-prep” veneers, are a type of removable veneer that can be put on and taken off quickly by the wearer.
Snap-On veneers are an excellent choice for people who have:
Snap-On veneers are also suitable for people who wear cosmetic dentures and are looking for a more affordable or attractive option. Snap-on veneers are great for people who are not ready to invest in a permanent solution like veneers or crowns.
Snap-On veneers aren’t suitable for everyone.
For example, Snap-On veneers are not the right choice for people with the following:
Snap-On veneers cost between $1,000 to $3,500 or more per upper or lower arch. Some dentists may charge as low as $500 to $1,000 per arch.
The cost of Snap-On veneers varies depending on the size, shape, and style of the teeth and the dentist.
Alpha Veneers are custom-made, removable, clip-on veneers that fit perfectly over existing teeth. They are more affordable than traditional veneers and improve the color, shape, and size of your teeth.
Alpha Veneers range from $299 to $799.
For more information on Alpha Veneers, visit alphaveneers.com
TruSmile veneers are made from a special German co-polyester material. These veneers can last as long as five years. TruSmile offers a 2 to 3 week expected delivery after receiving your impressions and a 100% guarantee if they do not fit your teeth properly. TruSmile veneers are $470.
For more information, visit trusmileveneers.com
Instasmile offers users the choice between a straighter look and a natural look. The straighter look creates the appearance of straighter teeth by making the gum line look more even, and the natural look maintains the existing gum line layout. These veneers can also be shaded to match existing teeth color, if desired. Instasmile ranges from $500 to $799.
For more information, visit instasmile.com
Uveneer is a type of direct composite veneer used to improve the aesthetics of your smile. It is an alternative for patients looking for less expensive veneers than porcelain veneers. They can also be placed in less time.
With the Uneveer system, veneers can be completed in 90 minutes, so you can get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted in just one visit.
The Uveneer kit uses templates to correctly apply composites directly to your teeth, making it more predictable and reliable than traditional veneers made in an off-site lab.
A composite veneer does not replace a longer-lasting porcelain laminate. Still, Uveneers are an excellent option for someone who needs a perfect smile in a hurry.
Uveneer veneers cost approximately $400 to 1500 per tooth.
Uveneers are only available at a licensed dental office. Check with your dentist first to see if they offer Uveneers.
Lumineers, snap-on veneers, and Uveneers are some cheaper alternatives to normal veneers.
Some alternatives to veneers include:
Dental bonding is a procedure in which a resin is applied on top of the tooth and reshaped. Bonding is used to reshape or repair a broken tooth. Dental bonding may be suitable for patients who are concerned about fractured or broken teeth.
Teeth whitening treatment is designed to bleach tooth enamel, lift stains, and leave your smile looking brighter than before. During a teeth whitening procedure, your teeth are exposed to a bleaching agent that causes the tooth structure to brighten. Teeth whitening may be a better option for patients who are only concerned about tooth discoloration.
A dental crown restores a tooth that is severely damaged or decayed. It is designed to preserve your bite and strengthen your tooth.
Crowns cover an entire tooth. Veneers, on the other hand, only cover the front of teeth. Unlike crowns, veneers are not dental restorations, they are only cosmetic. Because of this, a veneer cannot cover a tooth that is severely decayed, poorly positioned, or too discolored.
Crowns may be a better option if teeth are worn down or you chronically grind while sleeping.
Some types of insurance cover up to 50 percent of the cost of crowns. Veneers, which are considered cosmetic, are not covered by insurance.
Veneers help improve the shape, size, and shade of your teeth. Unlike orthodontics, veneers do not fix bite or teeth misalignment issues.
Orthodontic treatment is a better fit for people with moderate to severe teeth misalignment.
Dental bonding, teeth whitening treatment, crowns, and orthodontics are the best veneer alternatives. These treatments may be better options if your teeth are worn down, damaged, decaying, or misaligned.
“2018 Best New Product: Ultradent's Uveneer Direct Composite Template System.” AAWD, www.aawd.org/2018-best-new-product-ultradents-uveneer-direct-composite-template-system/
Alothman, Yousef, and Maryam Saleh Bamasoud. “The Success of Dental Veneers According To Preparation Design and Material Type.” Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences vol. 6,12 2402-2408. 14 Dec. 2018, doi:10.3889/oamjms.2018.353 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6311473/#:~:text=Since%201930s%20dental%20veneers%20have,fractured%20and%20worn%20teeth%203)
Cardellino, Carly and Shunatona, Brooke. “Dental Veneers Guide: The Price, Pain, and Upkeep You Need to Keep in Mind.” Cosmopolitan, Hearst, 17 Feb. 2021, www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a13051650/what-are-veneers/
Ibekwe, David. “An Australian Dentist Created a Cheap Alternative to Porcelain Veneers That Takes Just 90 Minutes.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 31 July 2017, www.businessinsider.com/uveener-cheap-alternative-porcelain-veneers-australian-dentist-dental-sigil-jacobson-2017-7
Lumineers, Den-Mat Holdings, LLC, www.lumineers.com
McGann, Stephanie. “A New Spin on an Old Idea Can Give You a Better Smile, Quick.” The Unionville Times, Brandywine New Media, LLC, www.unionvilletimes.com/?p=46458
Sofan, Eshrak et al. “Classification review of dental adhesive systems: from the IV generation to the universal type.” Annali di stomatologia vol. 8,1 1-17. 3 Jul. 2017, doi:10.11138/ads/2017.8.1.001 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5507161/
“Uveneer® Extra.” Ultradent Products, Inc., www.ultradent.com/products/categories/composites/direct-veneer-template/uveneer-extra
“Veneers.” Healthdirect, Healthdirect Australia, www.healthdirect.gov.au/veneers
“Veneers Vs Dentures: Which One Is Right for You?” ADA Marketplace, American Dental Association, https://marketplace.ada.org/blog/dental-services/veneers-vs-dentures-which-one-is-right-for-you/