Many people are attracted to the appealing aesthetics of porcelain veneers. Often described as being like instant orthodontics they offer a fast and convenient route to straight, attractive teeth.
Porcelain veneers are expensive however. Even more so when you consider that they do not last a lifetime. In fact, unlike traditional orthodontics such as braces, veneers last on average only five to ten years. This means that for each tooth that is veneered the cost of replacing the veneer will need to be met many times throughout a patient’s life.
This is an important cost consideration when you take into account that the preparation required for veneering means that the tooth can never again be left without a veneer. This is due to the fact that veneers require a tooth to be shaved or filed before they are fitted. A small amount of tooth, approximately the thickness of a fingernail, is removed so that there is room for the veneer to be affixed. This thickness is enough to mean that the teeth will look gappy if they are left without veneers on them on the future.
Many patients do not realise the extent of these ongoing costs and are not always advised of them by their dental professional. In fact, many patients mistakenly view the cost of veneers as a “one off” cost and are not advised at all that their teeth will need the process to be repeated at regular intervals. Were this information made available to them many patients would choose not to use porcelain veneers over braces.
Although porcelain veneers have an average useful lifespan of five to ten years, composite veneers fare even less well having and expected lifespan of only one to two years. In their favor, they are generally much cheaper than porcelain veneers; however they are generally less acceptable to patients as they do not look as natural as their porcelain counterparts.
Any patient considering porcelain veneers or any other kind of cosmetic dentistry process should take into account the considerable ongoing cost that such treatment may entail and ensure that they have made provision for all future costs.