Updated on February 7, 2024
6 min read

Porcelain Veneers: Costs & Procedure

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What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin, custom-made shells that enhance your smile by changing the shape, color, and overall look of your teeth. 

Because of their cosmetic nature, they’re considered elective rather than medically necessary.

People get porcelain veneers to:

  • Lengthen worn-down teeth
  • Fill gaps between teeth
  • Cover up chipped, cracked, or crooked teeth
  • Whiten their smiles
two hands comparing two fake teeth 1

Who’s a Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are ideal for people with minor esthetic complaints about their teeth. You may be a good candidate for porcelain veneers if you have:

  • Severe staining that won’t respond to whitening products
  • Minor chipping, cracking, or misalignment
  • Spacing issues
  • Overall healthy teeth
  • Plenty of enamel

Porcelain veneers may work well for someone with multiple cosmetic issues that can’t be resolved with other types of treatment. 

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers

If you’re considering investing in porcelain veneers, it’s crucial to know their benefits and drawbacks. 

The pros of porcelain veneers are:

  • Strong and long-lasting — Porcelain veneers can last 10 to 20 years with proper care.
  • Natural look — You can choose your shade of veneers to match your teeth.
  • Stain resistant — Porcelain doesn’t stain easily, so you’ll have whiter teeth.
  • Minimally invasive – Porcelain veneers are relatively conservative compared to dental restorations like crowns.
  • Comfortable to wear — Porcelain veneers won’t irritate your gum or soft oral tissues.

The cons of porcelain veneers include:

  • Expensive — Porcelain veneers can cost between $500 to $2,500 per tooth.
  • Permanent — Porcelain veneers are permanent solutions. They can only be removed by a dentist.
  • May cause tooth sensitivity — Since they require tooth alteration, veneers may make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
  • Not a solution for everyone — Not everyone is a candidate for porcelain veneers. They can’t fix more serious issues, like severely damaged teeth.

Schedule a visit with your dentist to discuss whether porcelain veneers are right for you.

How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?

Porcelain veneers cost between $500 and $2,500 per tooth. Insurance typically does not cover the cost of veneers, as they are considered cosmetic restorations.

Porcelain veneers are more expensive than many other dental restorations:

  • Composite veneers — $500 to $1,500 per tooth
  • Removable veneers — Around $300 per arch
  • Dental crowns — $500 to $2,500 per tooth, but may be covered by insurance if not completed for cosmetic reasons 

Porcelain Veneers vs. Other Treatments

When deciding what dental restoration to get, it’s always a good idea to explore your options. There are many alternatives to porcelain veneers you can consider.

Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers

A composite veneer is another permanent veneer made from a tooth-colored composite resin instead of porcelain.

Composite veneers don’t require as much enamel removal as porcelain veneers, and they tend to be less expensive. However, composite veneers are not as durable, long-lasting, or stain-resistant as porcelain veneers. 

Removable vs. Porcelain Veneers

Removable veneers, also known as snap-on veneers, are an alternative to veneers that you can easily remove. They are custom-made in full arches rather than tooth by tooth.

You might choose removable veneers if you don’t want permanent tooth reduction or reshaping. Removable veneers work well for temporary use for minor esthetic or structural complaints like mild misalignment or chipping.

Removable veneers are much less expensive than porcelain veneers but don’t look as natural or last as long.

Porcelain Veneers vs. Crowns

A dental crown is a cap that fits over a damaged tooth. Dentists will usually recommend a crown for a tooth that’s suffered from decay or other damage. 

While most people choose porcelain veneers for esthetic reasons, a dental crown can be either cosmetic or medically necessary. 

Dental crowns tend to run the same price as porcelain veneers, but you can invest in just a single one and receive insurance coverage in some cases.

Porcelain Veneers vs. Teeth Whitening

Many people invest in porcelain veneer to improve the esthetics of their smile, including the color. If you’re primarily interested in whiter teeth, you may consider teeth whitening techniques.

Teeth whitening comes in many forms, from toothpaste you can buy at the local pharmacy to an in-office procedure. Most in-office teeth whitening procedures cost between $200 and $1,000. 

If you want to improve other aspects of your smile, such as damaged or crooked teeth, you might want to consider porcelain veneers. Teeth whitening can be a great option if you’re only interested in brightening your smile.

Process for Getting Porcelain Veneers

Once you’ve decided to get porcelain veneers, the procedure is quick and easy. It typically only takes two visits. 

Here’s how the process typically goes:

1. Preparing Your Teeth

Your teeth need to be reduced or reshaped before placing veneers. Your dentist will remove some enamel from the front and sides of your teeth to make room for the veneer.

2. Making an Impression

Your dentist then makes an impression, or mold, of your teeth. The dental lab will later use this impression to model your custom veneers.

3. Picking a Color

You and your dentist will decide on a veneer shade that best matches your smile so that the veneer looks natural.

4. Manufacturing the Veneers

Your dentist will send the tooth impression to a dental lab that custom-makes the porcelain veneers. 

This step can take several weeks, so your dentist will cover the teeth with temporary veneers to wear in the meantime.

5. Placing the Veneers

At your second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary veneers and place the permanent veneers on your teeth. They’ll check the fit and confirm that you’re satisfied with how it looks and feels.

6. Bonding the Veneers

If you’re satisfied with how the veneers turned out, your dentist will permanently bond them to your teeth. They will clean and prepare your teeth before bonding the veneers to them.

Recovery from Veneers Procedure

It can take up to two weeks to adjust to your new veneers. During this time, you may notice:

  • Changes in how your bite feels
  • Different sensations with chewing
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Speech impediments

These issues should resolve within a few weeks. Contact your dentist if they persist beyond that time period.

Caring for Your Porcelain Veneers

You should care for your veneers like you would your natural teeth. 

Practicing good oral hygiene will increase the longevity of your porcelain veneers and help prevent oral infections and gum disease.

Some tips for caring for your porcelain veneers are:

  • Brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste
  • Floss once daily
  • Use a fluoridated mouthwash once daily
  • Avoid chewing ice or hard foods
  • Wear a nightguard if you clench or grind your teeth
  • Visit your dentist every 6 months for regular check-ups and cleanings 

Summary

Porcelain veneers are thin, shell-like dental restorations that fit over your teeth. They’re ideal for minor tooth misalignment, damage, or discoloration.

The procedure for getting porcelain veneers involves reducing or reshaping your teeth. Your dentist will then make an impression of your teeth and send them to the lab for manufacturing. At your second visit, your dentist will permanently bond the veneers to your teeth.

Porcelain veneers can be more expensive than other restorations, but they are durable and long-lasting. If you take care of your veneers like you would your real teeth, you can have them for up to 20 years.

Last updated on February 7, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 7, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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  3. Alothman, Y., et al. “The Success of Dental Veneers According To Preparation Design and Material Type.” Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, National Library of Medicine, 2018.
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