A veneer is a thin, tooth-colored shell that can be placed over the fronts and/or sides of teeth to correct discoloration, chips, decay and sometimes crowding. Veneers are not the same as crown, which usually cover the entire tooth above the gum line. One way to describe them is that they are similar to fake fingernails, with the exception that they are made to last much, much longer. On make-over shows they are frequently used to make a person’s smile more attractive.
Usually a small portion of tooth enamel must be removed to make space for the veneer but that is not always necessary. Whether or not enamel has been removed, patients should consider that once a veneer has been attached, it will need periodic replacement during a person’s lifetime. Typically a veneer cannot be removed and the natural tooth used alone again. As with all dental replacements, careful home maintenance is important for a long lasting veneer.
Will my insurance pay for my veneers?
Some plans will pay a portion for veneers when decay is present in teeth. However, there is almost always an amount left for you to pay. Many plans will not pay for any treatment that is for cosmetic reasons only. Remember, it is not legal for either patients or dentists to send in a claim for decayed teeth when cosmetic treatment is what is actually needed.
Why do veneers cost so much more than fillings?
All dental treatment is expensive because it is performed by hand, by extensively trained and educated dentists, hygienists and staff, on a service by service basis. Unlike items such as shoes and shirts that can be mass produced for retail sales; dental treatment and restorations are unique and individual. Each restoration is made just for you. Dental treatment and restorations can affect a person’s general health, feeling of well-being, and appearance. Veneers are usually more expensive than fillings because of the laboratory expenses they require.
If my insurance will not pay for my veneers, why should I have them done?
Your insurance plan can help you pay for treatment that you need, however it was never designed to pay for everything. Most plans typically pay a minimum regardless of what you might require as an individual. Benefits should not be your only consideration when you are making decisions about your teeth. You owe it to yourself to carefully consider the advice your dentist is giving you. People who have lost their teeth often say that they would pay any amount of money to get them back. Your smile, attractiveness, ability to chew and enjoy food, and general sense of well being are dependent on your dental health. Many people would say that it is worth the expense to keep your teeth for a lifetime.
How long do veneers last?
With regular dental checkups and good home maintenance, they can last indefinitely. In some cases, they may even add to the longevity of a tooth. Even so, it is reasonable to assume that replacements might be needed some time during a person’s life.