Understanding the Value of Veneers

This young man had a  "peg" lateral incisor.

This young man had a “peg” lateral incisor.

a single veneer  solves the problem of a too small  tooth.

a single veneer solves the problem of a too small tooth.

Patient  was missing enamel on the front and edge of two front teeth

Patient was missing enamel on the front and edge of two front teeth

Over the years, I have received a number of questions from patients interested in improving their smile with porcelain veneers. Questions range from what is a veneer, to how long should they last? Yet, one of the most common questions I receive is, why would I spend $1,500 on a porcelain veneer?

I know what you’re thinking – that’s outrageous. But when shopping around for cosmetic dentistry, it’s important to remember that it is not the porcelain that you are purchasing, it is the experience of the dentist who will perform the procedure.

The reality is, that redesigning a smile with porcelain veneers requires a keen eye and attention to detail, and this is not something you will find with every dentist you visit. It is through experience and repetition that cosmetic dentists are able to diagnose your smile and envision a better aesthetic.

veneers were done on four front teeth for a beautiful result.

veneers were done on four front teeth for a beautiful result.

Beautifully shaped teeth...but areas of discoloration.

Beautifully shaped teeth…but areas of discoloration.

10 durathin veneers.  Problem solved!

10 durathin veneers. Problem solved!

This is part craft, part skill and part art, and there are many nuances that must be considered to achieve the desired, natural look.

For cosmetic dentists, this experience will command a higher fee. However, it will also yield a better result. And that result is something that you must live with for years to come.

So what are you actually paying for with porcelain veneers? And why does this make a difference?

For starters, you are paying for your smile design. This means that you are paying your dentist for his or her time spent behind the scenes designing your smile based on your wants and needs. From color and contouring, to spacing and proportions, this design process requires a great deal of decisions, all of which will impact the smile aesthetic.

In addition, you are paying your dentist to ensure that the tooth structure remains intact. For those who do not have a great deal of experience with porcelain veneers, the instinct is typically to shave the tooth down. However, this strips the tooth of its enamel and strength and may lead to failure in the future. For experienced cosmetic dentists, there is a fine line between taking too little and taking too much, and this is a judicious process that you must trust your cosmetic dentist to navigate.

Finally, you are paying for your veneers to be engineered. Once your consultation is complete and your impressions have been taken, your dentist will send your case off to a lab where your veneers will be engineered. The cost of this process will depend on the quality of the lab.

As stated in my previous blog, the cost of veneers will also vary greatly depending on the market. If you are in New York, the average cost of a veneer will be $2,500. In Los Angeles, this will be $2,800, and so on and so forth. This can range anywhere from $800 to $4,000 depending on where your dentist is located.

Yet, outside of these regions cosmetic dentists exist with the same level of skill of experience as their urban counterparts. Many dentists, including myself, have trained under the same professionals that teach today’s leading cosmetic dentists. In addition, many facilities utilize the same laboratories as those dentists practicing in New York or L.A.

So if you are interested in porcelain veneers to improve your smile aesthetic, remember that it is much more than porcelain that you are paying for. It is an experience and expertise that only the most trained dentists can provide.

For more information on porcelain veneers, call us at 813-689-4226 to schedule a consultation today.

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