Veneers have become increasingly popular in recent years, as aesthetic standards and expectations lead many to search for a whiter, healthier, and more-rounded smile. With the cost of veneers not usually covered by dental insurance, prices for the procedure can vary dramatically. Likewise, patients have a range of veneers to choose from based on their wishes and requirements, with each type of veneer varying in cost. With so many options available, the choice of where to go and which veneers to have can be confusing. Veneers tend to cost a bit more than other restoratives as they are custom-made to fit the individual preferences of the patient.
A veneer is a long-lasting dental treatment, so finding the right clinic and deciding on the most suitable material is essential. This MEDIGO guide to veneers is designed to help you make the right choice.
How much do veneers cost?
The average cost of a porcelain veneer in the United States is around $1,600, and it is unlikely you can find one for less than $1,000. A composite veneer will cost around $900 on average.
In the United Kingdom, the cost of a veneer can be anywhere between £150-400 for composite and £500-1,000 for porcelain. The National Health Service (NHS) may sometimes agree to cover the cost of a veneer, but only if it is medically necessary.
Popular destinations for veneers
Traveling abroad for veneers is an increasingly popular option for those in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom who cannot access affordable treatment at home. The cost of veneers abroad tends to be considerably less, with the standard of treatment remaining just as high. Even factoring the costs associated with transport and accommodation, traveling for veneers can save patients up to 80% on their treatment. While the cost is significantly lower, there is no compromise on quality. In fact, many dental clinics abroad are using advanced materials and techniques which are not yet being used in the US or the UK.
While there are quality dental clinics all around the world, some destinations are more suited to medical travellers from English-speaking nations. These destinations see high volumes of patients from abroad, and as a result the clinics and staff know exactly how to make a trip for veneers as comfortable as possible.
Mexico’s proximity to the United States combined with its competitive prices for dental treatment means that thousands of American patients make the journey south of the border each year. The border towns of Tijuana and Los Algodones are home to quality dental clinics providing veneers, whilst treatment can also be found in the capital Mexico City and beach resorts such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
The average cost of veneers in Mexico is around $400, with prices starting from $250 at some clinics.
With a reputation as a centre of excellence for dentistry, Hungary is visited each year by patients from across the world. The cost of veneers in Hungary is just a fraction of that in the UK, with Hungarian clinics boasting advanced technologies and specialists trained around the world. Veneers can be found in Hungary for as little as $70. Besides the capital Budapest, whose thermal spas and cultural highlights attract nearly 5 million visitors a year, there are many other clinics in towns such as Pec and Bukfurdo.
Veneers in Hungary can be fround for as little as $300, but on average you can expect to pay about $380.
Thailand is well-known as a destination for plastic and cosmetic surgery, but it is also home to a number of quality dental clinics. Whether it be in the bustling capital of Bangkok or near the golden sands of Phuket, Thailand’s dental clinics are quickly building a reputation for quality dentistry.
The price of veneers in Thailand starts at around $280, with an average cost of about $340.
Why are veneers so expensive?
The cost of veneers varies depending on a number of factors, most notably the type of veneers and the country in which the procedure is being undertaken. Prices are generally given per tooth, so the overall treatment cost will naturally be higher if more veneers are applied to several teeth. With costs of veneers varying quite dramatically from country to country, it pays to make a bit of extra effort in researching and comparing clinics. Additional work may be required before the veneer is fitted, which will also push the price of the procedure up. Enamel shaving, for example, is often required prior to the veneers procedure. Patients may also choose to have temporary veneers installed whilst the permanent ones are being manufactured, which entails an additional fee.
In general, veneers are far more affordable outside the United States. The average cost of a porcelain veneer in the United States is around $1,600, with the lowest possible price being in the region of $900. The price of porcelain veneers fluctuates from state to state, whilst other factors such dental insurance coverage will also dictate how easy it is to find affordable veneers. Many insurance packages will not cover cosmetic procedures, with veneers considered to be a non-essential procedure.
It is a similar story in the United Kingdom, where veneers can only be obtained on the NHS if the patient can prove that they are clinically necessary. At a private dental clinic, patients can be expected to pay a minimum of £300 ($436) for a non-branded veneer and as much as £2,000 ($2,911) with a specialist cosmetic dentist.
Composite veneers are the cheapest available, though they are known to be prone to damage and are not as resilient as other materials. An average composite veneers in the United States will cost around $350. Made from a plastic resin, composite veneers require a great deal of maintenance in order to prevent them from cracking and staining. They must be polished extremely well to retain natural whiteness, whilst additional teeth whitening may also be needed. On the other hand, composite veneers require less tooth enamel to be removed than other forms of veneer and are therefore often preferred over porcelain. The porous nature of composite veneers makes them prone to staining. A standard composite veneer will generally last between 5-7 years.
Porcelain is the most commonly-used material, with a porcelain veneer in the USA costing between $500-1,000. Porcelain veneers are popular due to their natural appearance, which is almost indistinguishable from natural teeth. Staining is also less of a problem with porcelain veneers, with the glazing on the surface of the porcelain making them extremely resistant to stains. Porcelain veneers are therefore more suitable for those with more advanced levels of discoloration. The added strength of porcelain also make them far less likely to crack or chip. One disadvantage of porcelain veneers is the additional tooth enamel which must be removed prior to the veneer being fitted, whilst the cost of porcelain veneers is significantly higher than composite. Though more expensive, porcelain veneers will last much longer: between 7-15 years, with some porcelain veneers lasting as long as 20 years.
Lumineers, however, are increasingly being favored over traditional porcelain veneers due to their more natural appearance and the fact that they are thinner and require a smaller amount of enamel to be removed. Lumineers are slightly more expensive than porcelain, costing around $700-1,200 per tooth. Lumineers are translucent, which allows them to replicate natural teeth. With a thickness of around 0.2mm, Lumineers are much thinner than many other types of veneer and therefore require far less tooth removal. Like porcelain, Lumineers are extremely durable can last up to 20 years with correct maintenance.
One of the most expensive forms of veneer is zirconia, which in the US will cost around $1,000 per tooth. Zirconia veneers are considered to be the most resistant to damage, cracking, and chipping. Zirconia's superior strength means that they last upwards of 20 years. Aesthetically, however, the opaqueness of zirconia veneers mean that they do not always replicate the natural whiteness of the teeth and are often described as having a 'chalky' appearance. Zirconia veneers are most appropriate for patients looking for durability and resilience, with zirconia able to withstand excessive tooth grinding.
A snap-on-smile is able to place veneers on a whole upper or lower row of teeth, and will cost in the region of $3,000. The snap-on-smile is fabricated using a mixture of dental resins, which provide a restorative which is both strong and natural-looking. Suitable for patients who are not candidates for bridges or implants, a snap-on-smile fits directly over the existing teeth and can be both temporary and permanent. Unlike other restorative dentistry procedures, a snap-on-smile does not require any discomforting, invasive dental work. Snap-on-smiles may also be suitable for those with partial dentures who desire a strong and more natural alternative.
IPS e.max veneers are all-ceramic restorations which can closely match the natural color of the teeth. A typical IPS e.max veneer in the US will cost around $750. Both strong and aesthetically natural, IPS e.max veneers are becoming increasingly popular. IPS e.max veneers can also be bonded, which means the application procedure is minimally-invasive. Some dental clinics are able to fabricate and fit IPS e.max veneers on the same day.
An IPS Empress veneer is a press-glassed ceramic which is considered to be one of the most aesthetic restoratives on the market. They are recommended for staining and discoloration, though are not suitable for those with bruxism and teeth grinding problems. The excellent translucency of IPS empress veneers means they can reproduce the tooth's natural whiteness almost perfectly. IPS Empress Veneers are also able to replace existing metal fillings.
What are veneers and when do I need them?
Veneers are cosmetic dental enhancements which cover the surface of the tooth in order to correct a range of issues such as discoloration and cracked teeth. Made from a range of materials which are designed and crafted to resemble the natural appearance of the surrounding teeth, veneers are extremely popular in modern cosmetic dentistry. Advances in technology have resulted in veneers which are able to reflect light in the same way as natural dental enamel, whilst imaging systems allow veneers to match almost perfectly to the shape and color of the natural teeth. For optimal results, veneers can be used alongside dental crown and other restorative procedures such as implants.
- Cracks and chips
- Discolored or severely stained surface
- Gaps between teeth
Likewise, there are a number of preconditions that patients must meet in order to proceed with veneers. Patients must:
- Have a reasonable idea of their cosmetic expectations
- Have good overall dental and oral health
- Have an adequate layer of healthy enamel
- Be willing to maintain a good oral hygiene routine
Veneers are not suitable for people who already have extensive tooth decay or gum disease, or who suffer from infection in the root canal. The veneer procedure can only be successfully performed once these underlying issues have been addressed, usually with a root canal procedure to rid the gums and tissue of all infection. In addition, though veneers are generally very durable, they can be compromised by excessive grinding and jaw clenching, which means that people with bruxism (habitual teeth grinding) are not suitable candidates.
Choosing the right clinic
There is no set formula for deciding which dental clinic is the right one for veneers. Price is an important factor but there are many other things to consider, such as reviews from previous patients and the qualifications of the dentists. Dental clinics with their own dental laboratory will usually be able to manufacture porcelain veneers quicker and therefore cut down on the time needed between office visits.