How much do veneers cost vs. Lumineers?
Your dentist can perform a consultation to see if you’re a candidate for veneers. (Photo by Katie Jacewicz)
Dental veneers are thin shells placed over your teeth to cover chips, stains or gaps. Lumineers is just one brand of veneers, and your dentist can help you decide whether it's right for you.
The cost of veneers and Lumineers
Traditional veneers cost up to $1,100 per tooth, while Lumineers can cost up to $1,300 per tooth. Many factors will influence the cost of dental veneers, also sometimes called porcelain veneers since they can be made from this material as well as resin composite materials. Factors affecting price include the office location, the dentist and how many you get at one time. Costs can vary greatly between dental offices in the same region, so check Angie's List for highly rated local dentists and call around to compare prices. The dentist may charge less per tooth if you get more than one at a time, so ask whether a discount is available for multiple teeth.
Ask your dentist how much experience he or she has with veneers in general, especially with the type you choose. An inexperienced dentist may not place the veneer properly, and this may require several trips to the dentist to have it fixed. Some problems may be easy to fix and will be covered by your dentist, but other problems related to incorrect placement may be your responsibility. Ask around whether the dentists guarantee their work and for how long.
How are veneers and Lumineers different?
Traditional veneers are typically about 0.5 millimeters thick, whereas Lumineers are typically 0.3 millimeters thick. Many prefer the Lumineers brand over traditional veneers because they're thinner and easier to place on the teeth.
Because they're thinner than other veneers, it may be harder for Lumineers to mask discolored teeth. If your teeth are heavily stained, there may not be enough material to hide the stains, and traditional veneers may be a better option.
Because Lumineers cover the existing tooth surface, you'll notice that your tooth is thicker. You may find it more difficult to clean your gum line, which may place you at a higher risk for gum disease. If you choose traditional veneers, your dentist will smooth the tooth for a better fit.
Does my dental insurance cover veneers?
Most dental insurance plans don't cover the cost of veneers because they consider them cosmetic. Call your insurance agent and ask whether the company will cover part of the cost.
What other price factors should I consider?
You should need to cover only the teeth with visible damage with veneers, so your costs will be less if you only have one damaged tooth. Some people want to cover all of their visible teeth, which drives the cost of veneers up.
Before a dentist can give you a quote, he or she will examine your teeth, which will help you both decide whether Lumineers are a good choice for your teeth, and if they will correct the problem to your liking.
Most dentists want a follow-up appointment about two weeks after the procedure to ensure correct fit and placement. Ask if this appointment is covered in the quoted price or if there is an additional cost.
Ask your dentist for a guarantee and the manufacturer's warranty. Most dentists will fix any problems related to fit or placement, but others may charge a fee to replace a veneer.
This is an updated version of a story originally posted on Oct. 18, 2012.