Are Veneers an Affordable Dental Care Option?
By Susan Braden
Men and women across the U.S. are looking for ways to improve their smiles. A cosmetic dentistry procedure that people often consider is the placement of a veneer. When investigating this procedure, many patients question if it is truly an affordable dental care solution for a tooth that is less than satisfactory, and if they need more than one.
What is a veneer, and do I need one?
A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that is bonded to the front of a tooth to create a cosmetic improvement. When attached to your tooth, a once brittle veneer becomes strong and sturdy. Veneers are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S, as television shows such as Extreme Makeover have given viewers the impression that smiles can be significantly improved in one or two dentist visits. They are able to help people with a number of oral issues. You may consider obtaining them if your enamel is wearing out, or if your teeth are severely cracked or chipped. Also, they may be helpful if your enamel has been severely discolored due to smoking or drinking staining beverages such as soft drinks and coffee.
How much do they cost, and are they covered by insurance?
As patients explore affordable treatment options, they should be aware that the cost of veneers is quite high. Prices vary depending on the type of veneer as well as the number of veneers needed. Typically, they can cost anywhere from $700 to $2000 per tooth. With prices this high, most people looking to purchase these will search for cheap treatment to bring the cost down. If you have traditional dental insurance, you will find out quickly that it typically does not bring down the price at all. Veneers are nationally labeled as "cosmetic procedures," so is rare to find savings on them unless you have a discount plan.
How can I find affordable dental options for this procedure?
There are two primary avenues that patients can investigate to make veneer placement a more affordable option.
Dental discount plans are set up with low pre-contracted dentist rates, so patients only pay a portion of the overall bill. Cosmetic procedures such as veneers can be discounted as much as 15-20% off the dentist’s normal price, which could amount to several hundred dollars in savings, depending on the number needed.
Dentist offices often work with programs that allow patients to pay off their dentistry procedures in monthly installments. These programs typically have to be applied for, and are often credit-based, but can be very helpful for breaking up large bills for this type of procedure.
People throughout the U.S. are becoming increasingly conscious of the appearance of their mouths. Veneers are a way to greatly improve the look of your smile in a short time frame. While veneer placement is a great way to aesthetically improve your teeth, patients should be aware that few affordable options exist for this procedure. The American Dental Association (ADA) has labeled veneers as “cosmetic,” and unless the ADA changes this categorization, financing and discount plans will remain the primary ways to reduce their cost.