How Much does a Dental Veneer Cost?

In Australia: The cost of a porcelain veneer is on average $800-$1200 per tooth. Yes… per tooth.

The cost of a composite veneer would be $250-$500 per tooth.

The ADA dental fee survey for 2012 reported an average price amongst dentists who responded (about 3000 members) of $1087 per tooth for porcelain veneers and $326 for a composite veneer.

In the US: the cost of veneers is actually proportionally higher and can range anywhere from $1000-$3000 per tooth.

Porcelain veneers are expensive whichever way you look at. Does the improvement in self-esteem and psychological impact of having the treatment in your mind outweigh the financial cost ? Have you carefully considered the upside and downside of all the options available to you? Whilst some may consider the high cost not worth it, for others it can literally change their life.

The dentist should discuss the costs of any cosmetic options that are suitable for you and provide you with a written treatment plan/print out to go away with and think about.

I always suggest sleeping on your decision, going over the discussion in your head to make sure you are a 100% happy and if you still have questions or doubts… make sure you address them first before going ahead.

What Determines the Cost of Porcelain Veneers?

Every smile and treatment is individually designed so prices will vary from patient to patient depending on what is required.

The following factors will affect the price of the treatment:

  • Number of veneers

This is the biggest determining factor. Some patients may need a single veneer to restore a fractured tooth, or two to close a gap between their front teeth. Others may desire a full Hollywood style makeover with up to 12 veneers, depending on how wide your smile is.

Some people can get away with the result they want with the front 6 teeth, for others it’s the front 10 and for some only the top teeth are important… it just depends on your desired outcome.

As a rule of thumb, dentists charge per veneer so you can multiply the cost of a veneer by the number of veneers you need done.

  • Dentist

Is the dentist a general dentist, a cosmetic dentist or a prosthodontist? There are no set fees on what a dentist should charge, only guidelines so the biggest price difference, aside from how many teeth you are having veneered, is the individual dentist’s pricing structure.

All dentists are trained to do veneers though it may or may not be a procedure they regularly undertake as part of their everyday practice. A cosmetic dentist is not actually a registered dental specialist, but a dentist who focuses on providing cosmetic treatment. They may do thousands every year unlike in my practice where I would do just a handful of cases. The more experienced the dentist, the higher the prices I would expect them to charge.

A prosthodontist is a registered specialist trained in advanced dentistry and restorative procedures so the prices they charge are likely to reflect this.

  • Technician/ ceramicist

The artistic and technical skill of the person making the veneers is crucial to achieving a great fitting and natural looking result. The more experience and training they have, the higher the lab charges are likely to be to the dentist, and this will end up being reflected in the price you pay.

  • Location

The cost of porcelain veneers will vary not only between countries but also between states and between major cities and smaller towns.

  • Insurance

The health fund you are with and level of insurance cover you have, will affect how much you get back and what you end up paying out of pocket.

  • Temporary veneers

Some dentists may charge an additional fee for temporary veneers which may be necessary for aesthetics or for sensitivity whilst the final veneers are being constructed. In Australia and the UK, this is included in the price; in the US I understand it is an additional charge.

  • Material

The dentist may pay more for certain brands or types of veneers from the dental laboratories and this could be reflected in the price you pay.

  • Financing

A lot of dentists offer payment plans for cosmetic, restorative and orthodontic treatment so ask if they have anything available. Third party financing may be possible if your dentist doesn’t offer this option and you meet the eligibility criteria. That way you can develop a monthly payment plan to suit your budget.

CAUTION: Cheap Veneers

If you are shopping around for the best price, a word of caution… you often get what you pay for…I would, as always, advise against simply going for the cheapest.

Very cheap veneers may suggest a corner is being cut somewhere. This may the length of time the dentist spends working on your teeth and assessing the case or inferior materials or a budget dental lab. If it is a big smile makeover, it is worth doing your ‘due diligence’ and homework on the dentist! The last thing you want is to end up unhappy with the result and out of pocket.

I would always advise seeing a dentist you trust and that can meet your expectations. After discussing your cosmetic goals, if they do not feel confident in providing the treatment, they can recommend someone more specialised who can. I regularly refer to a more experienced dentist for complicated cases because at the end of the day, your happiness and satisfaction with the end result is the most important thing.

Are there any Additional Costs?

Of course there are! You are likely to need a consultation initially, quite possibly X-rays, maybe study models and photographs all of which are likely to cost. Depending on the case, a diagnostic wax up may be needed- this is a wax build up of the intended result so you can visualise what your new teeth will look like. It may be another additional cost, but is invaluable in the treatment planning process to ensure you are totally happy with the final outcome.

What is the Rebate on a Dental Veneer?

To be able to check your out of pocket expenses, you need the item numbers for any treatment you will be having. Only your dentist will be able to provide you with these after he has examined you and discussed over the various treatment options.

When you have this information- we often refer to it as a treatment plan, you can call or go into your health fund and ask them what your rebate is on each particular item number. This way you can work out the gap and know what exactly what it is going to cost you out of pocket.

A porcelain (indirect) veneer has the item number 583

A composite (direct) veneer has the item number 582.