Do you love your smile? According to a recent study by The American Academy of Orthodontics (AAO) only 1/3 of all American’s are happy with their smile. Would porcelain veneers be worth it if they made you feel:
- More confident posing for pictures?
- Meeting business contacts?
- Going on dates?
Depends on what that price actually is you say. Experienced cosmetic dentists who have been working for a long time like San Francisco Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Edward L. Loev, DMD are going to charge more for their expertise than their less experienced counterparts. Before you opt for the smaller price tag says Dr. Loev, remember that the way your smile ultimately looks rests entirely on the shoulders of the cosmetic dentist that you choose. Porcelain veneers are an amazing procedure that can treat many different dental maladies. Whether you have stained teeth, spaces in between your teeth, and/or crooked teeth, your smile can be completely transformed by a set of dental veneers. So tell me the cost you ask…
Let’s first decide on the type of dental veneers that you want. There are two main types of veneers, porcelain veneer and composite veneer. In the San Francisco Bay Area the average porcelain veneer will cost you about $950 to $2,700 per tooth. Composite veneers are less costly often coming in at on average anywhere from $270 to $1,500 per tooth. You noticed, porcelain veneers are more expensive but there is a reason; they look more natural and last far longer than their resin plastic counterparts. An average set of porcelain dental veneers will last about 10-15 years. Some veneers can last as long as 20 or 25 years. Porcelain veneers will usually look more natural, why? Porcelain can be fabricated to reflect light the same way that your natural tooth enamel does; they can also be designed and crafted with slightly translucent edges just like our natural teeth have when we are young. Porcelain veneer preparation, fabrication and placement takes longer than veneers made of composite. Your dentist starts by preparing the tooth/ teeth to be treated and then taking impressions of your teeth, sending them off to a dental laboratory. Once they have been expertly fabricated they are returned to the dentist for him/her to permanently attach to your teeth. In order for your dental veneers to be a success, they have to be properly and securely attached to your teeth. If your teeth have a lot of decay, severe alignment issues, or chips and cracks, your cosmetic dentist will want to address those problems prior to starting and placing the veneers to ensure that you have the best results possible. As you can probably guess, the longer it takes to prepare your teeth for the veneers and the more adjunct procedures required, the more ultimate transformation will cost. That said, prior to starting any procedure your cosmetic dentist and his team should review and discuss your individualized plan and the costs and associated with the process. Once your underlying teeth and gums are good shape, an average porcelain veneer timeline from start to finish is generally between 2-3 weeks. Composite resin veneers, on the other hand, can be done in a single office visit. Your dentist creates the composite veneer chairside eliminating multiple visits and the lab fee associated with the porcelain veneers. Composite veneers in the San Francisco Bay Area average anywhere from $250 to $1,500 per tooth. Chairside veneers can make a nice change in a person’s smile and are certainly much less costly than porcelain. However, they have some limitations. Resin veneers do not last as long as porcelain veneers and they are prone to staining due to their porosity. They are also not as strong as the porcelain version lasting on average 2-7 years.
Does my insurance cover the cost of veneers? Generally the answer is no, as they are considered cosmetic procedures but check with the cosmetic dental office that you are working with and see if any of the teeth might qualify for treatment under your specific insurance guidelines. Also check with your HR department and see if you are eligible for a Flexible spending account. If you are fortunate enough to have such a plan see if they will allow you to put away pre-tax dollars for cosmetic dental treatment. Don’t let the cost of dental porcelain veneers stop you from making a positive change. Most cosmetic dentists offices in addition to helping you figure out the right cosmetic plan for you are happy to assist you in obtaining dental financing (most offer extended and interest-free plans through healthcare financing companies) or setting up a payment plan. Cash discounts for payment in full at the start of treatment are also sometimes available to make treatment more feasible.
So are they worth it? That’s ultimately a decision that every person must make for themselves. “The full person transformations that I have seen in my patients who have opted for porcelain veneers is amazing” says San Francisco Dentist Dr. Loev. “I used to laugh at the before and after pictures I saw of cosmetic plastic surgery patients and dental patients. In the before pictures patients often looked like they had just rolled out of bed and in the after picture they looked like they had stepped out of salon. I stopped laughing about 30 years ago when I really got into cosmetic dentistry and noticed that no salon was needed. Patients transformed themselves right alongside their smiles. In many cases it was as if they were totally different people. It is so gratifying and fun to see and be a part of this change.”
Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Edward L. Loev, DMD has been practicing dentistry in his Downtown San Francisco dental office for over 40 years. He has surrounded himself with an amazing team of individuals who are committed to patient care and service. Call them today at 415-392-2072 to set-up a complimentary cosmetic consultation or even just a new patient visit if you are in need/want of a new dentist.