Whether you want your teeth to be whiter and brighter, or if you want to restore their functionality, porcelain veneers (sometimes called dental porcelain veneers) are an excellent treatment for a variety of tooth conditions.

Porcelain veneers are a form of cosmetic dental surgery. The veneers themselves are a wafer-thin shell that is custom-made to fit your teeth, and they bond to the front of the tooth to change its color, shape, size, and/or length. Porcelain veneers prices vary by cosmetic dentist, but visiting a cosmetic dentistry practice can let you know how much they charge.

Not sure if porcelain veneers are right for you? Check out these frequently asked questions below.

What are porcelain veneers used for?

Many patients prefer to get porcelain veneers to restore the look of their teeth. For some, this means giving them an even, white appearance, especially if conventional whitening treatments have failed in the past. Sometimes this discoloration is the result of medication, excessive fluoride, or root canal treatments; other times it results from common stains from coffee, tea, wine, or cigarette smoking. Veneers can also be used to repair teeth that are chipped, worn down, irregularly shaped, or spaced unevenly (with gaps or by misalignment).

What is the process for getting porcelain veneers?

The first step is getting your dentist to examine your teeth to determine their needs. The dentist may take X-rays and impressions of your teeth, as well. As your dentist prepares you for the veneer, he or she will remove about half a millimeter of tooth enamel from the front of the tooth, after consulting you on the use of a local anesthetic, if needed. Your dentist will create a model of your teeth in order to create the veneers, and once they have returned from the lab (after one or two weeks), your dentist will bond the veneers to your teeth. As your dentist bonds the veneers to your teeth, he or she may repeatedly remove the veneers in order to ensure that they have the right shape and fit for you. Once this process is completed and the veneers are bonded, you may be required to return for a follow-up appointment at a later date.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of dental veneers?

The advantages are that veneers can provide a natural appearance for fixing your teeth, unlike some treatments such as dentures (if they are not well-made). Dental porcelain is stain-resistant and does not adversely affect the gums or teeth. Veneers generally last between five and 10 years with proper treatment. However, the downside to this is that they generally need to be replaced after that period. Also, veneers do not prevent tooth decay, and it is possible for the veneers to become dislodged, so those who grind their teeth are not ideal candidates for this treatment.

What are the porcelain veneers prices charged by cosmetic dentists?

Porcelain veneers prices vary, but they can average anywhere from $500 to $1,300 per tooth. Veneers are almost always charged by the tooth, so it’s important to work with a cosmetic dentist who can determine how to best evaluate your need for veneers. Most dental insurance companies do not cover porcelain veneer costs, so it’s important to budget your tooth restoration when you choose a cosmetic dentist.

If you believe that porcelain veneers are right for you, find a cosmetic dental practice in your area that can provide this treatment. Be sure to weigh the advantages and disadvantages, and choose an affordable and experienced dentist to provide this treatment for you.