Q: I’ve watched make-over shows on television where people get fabulous new teeth for free, but what do those sparkling dental veneers cost ?
A: Reality TV shows have definitely affected the popularity of dental, or porcelain veneers. One minute the contestant has the ugliest teeth on the planet and two minutes later they’re sporting a glamorous, Hollywood smile, all seemingly for free. The cost of porcelain veneers average about $1,000 per veneer, however it varies across the country. Cities such as New York and Los Angeles with a greater cost of living may charge even more, whereas a Midwestern state may be able to outfit you for under $800.
Q: I read on the internet that some cosmetic dentists charge $500 for dental veneers. How is that possible?
A: You may have read that correctly, but a word of caution about cosmetic dentistry. This professional is not legally recognized. A person can implement the procedure with dental school training and no more. Don’t go looking for bargains and don’t assume that very expensive veneers are offered by a really good cosmetic dentist. Your teeth are nothing to fool around with.
Q: I would really like to improve my appearance with veneers. Will my dental insurance policy cover them?
A: Since porcelain veneers are a cosmetic procedure, most dental plans will not cover the cost when they are applied for the first time. However, should your veneers deteriorate early due to faulty workmanship, you might find a loop hole in your policy that would may pay for a replacement, but probably not in full.
Q: How long does it take to have porcelain veneers made and applied?
A: The procedure for applying veneers is typically done over three separate appointments. The first appointment is when the cosmetic dentist will take off some of the outer enamel of your teeth – about the width of a finger nail. He will then take an impression of your mouth from which the veneers will be made. Veneers are wafer-like pieces of porcelain made by technicians at a dental lab. During the second appointment, the dentist will have you try on your veneers. This is where you get to test them out and small corrections can be made such as shortening them for proper alignment. If they are a perfect fit, they may be bonded to your teeth at this point, or a third appointment may be made for adhering them to you own teeth.
Q: Do they need any special care? Will they crack easily?
A: Keep your teeth well brushed with whitening toothpaste and continue to floss as usual. Porcelain veneers will break, just as your natural teeth would break if you bit on a hard object or played sports without a mouth guard. Don’t keep nails or pins in your mouth or open packaging or bottles with your teeth, with or without veneers.
Q: How can I find a trustworthy cosmetic dentist who will give me a fair deal?
A: References are the best indicator of quality workmanship. You can find plenty of cosmetic dentists online or in the phone book, but talking to someone who has porcelain veneers and is satisfied with the quality and the expertise of the cosmetic dentist is likely the safest way to help you make that decision. Make sure not to get caught up on the porcelain veneers cost, as quality of work should be your primary priority. If you don’t know anyone personally, call a modeling agency for a reference. Or the casting director of a reality TV show – maybe you’ll get a free make over too!