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Veneers: cost, types, pros and cons

What are veneers?

The term comes from English and means something like “veneer”, “facade” or “facing”. The wafer-thin, translucent veneers are made of ceramic or a plastic-ceramic mixture (composite). The dentist bonds them permanently to the visible side of the front teeth with a special adhesive. Broken teeth, tooth discoloration, tooth gaps and crooked teeth disappear behind the wafer-thin ceramic shell. The visible teeth are given an aesthetic appearance and the tooth color is also corrected individually with this type of treatment.

Since veneers are always purely aesthetic dentistry, the costs must be borne privately. That can easily be four-digit amounts. The test winner DFV-ZahnSchutz assumes these costs up to 100% if medically necessary.

Veneers: types

Dentists differentiate between four different types of veneers. The choice of procedure depends on the condition of the teeth. The types differ in terms of strength, attachment and material. Depending on the procedure, the price varies from 300 to 1,500 euros per tooth.

Conventional veneers:

These are made of ceramic and are up to 1 mm thick. An adaptation to the tooth shape takes place in the laboratory. During attachment, the outer surface of the tooth is minimally sanded (under local anesthesia). Gluing takes about half an hour for each procedure.

Non-prep veneers (e.g. Lumineers):

The veneers are only about 0.3 mm thick and therefore significantly thinner than conventional veneers. No preparation is required for attachment. The impression is taken without pre-processing the teeth and the trays are made with it. Thus, the tooth substance is not attacked and an anesthetic is not necessary. The method is considered painless. Here, too, the veneers are permanently fixed to the tooth using a special adhesive.

Veneers-to-Go (instant veneers):

These consist either of all-ceramic or a plastic-ceramic mixture. The attachment to the tooth can be carried out with little or no substance removal. Veneers-to-go are adapted to the shape of the tooth and glued on directly at the dentist's site. The immediate procedure is the cheapest, because the entire procedure extends to a single treatment session, made possible by standardized veneer templates. There are no costs for custom-made products in the laboratory.

Composite veneers:

They are made of dental plastics and are applied directly to the tooth like instant veneers. These are, however, temporary veneers that bridge the time until the conventional veneers are delivered from the laboratory.

Who are veneers suitable for?

The veneers are suitable for patients who want to whiten their incisors or correct slight misalignments.

Particularly suitable for:

- discolored teeth
- Tooth enamel defects
- small misalignments, tooth gaps or chipped teeth
- irregular tooth surfaces


Veneers are not suitable for:

- grinding your teeth
- Chewing finger nails
- Martial arts or ball sports where there is a risk of dental injuries
- large fillings

How is the treatment going?

The treatment takes place in four steps.

Step 1: investigation and preparation


First of all, the dentist will give you a consultation and examination and you will receive a cost estimate. The teeth are then thoroughly cleaned and, if necessary, older fillings are renewed or tooth decay is treated. The initial situation is then documented photographically.

Step 2: preparation


With a conventional ceramic veneer, the corresponding tooth is lightly ground down so that the veneers on the front teeth look as natural as possible and do not appear too thick. How much tooth substance is removed depends on the misaligned teeth or the degree of discoloration.

Step 3: impression and manufacture


This is followed by a precise impression so that the dental technician can manufacture the shell with a perfect fit. A temporary veneer made of plastic can bridge the transition period until the finished shell is inserted.

Step 4: glue it on


After production by a dental technician, the ceramic veneer is tried on and, if the fit and aesthetics are good, the dentist finally fixes it with a special adhesive. The gluing process usually takes about 20 minutes.

Advantages and disadvantages at a glance

Advantages:

- quick treatment
- aesthetic result
- Color and tooth shape can be determined individually
- relatively high durability

Disadvantage:

- It is necessary to grind down healthy tooth substance
- Pain in the teeth is possible
- relatively high costs

The results speak in favor of veneers when it comes to improving tooth discoloration, closing tooth gaps and correcting crooked teeth in the front area, especially in the upper jaw. The veneers are also very well tolerated - a long-term study by the German Society for Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine showed that only 2% of the shells came off within 6 years.

The risk of tooth pulp inflammation, which can occur due to the grinding of the teeth during conventional procedures, speaks against veneers.

How much do veneers cost?

  • conventional veneers: 500-800 euros
  • Non-prep veneers: 600-900 euros
  • Lumineers: 600-1,100 euros

Lumineers are the most expensive to make because the patent is in the US and only a single laboratory makes them.

Another cost factor is the dentist's fee. The dentist can set the prices for his treatments himself.

Any pretreatments that the patient needs to do also have an impact on how much veneers cost.

What does the statutory health insurance cover?

Veneer treatment is purely aesthetic dentistry without medical necessity. For this reason, legally and privately insured patients have to bear the costs themselves. Partial or full coverage of the costs is only possible in justified exceptions.

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frequently asked Questions

What can veneers improve?

You can correct enamel wear, misaligned teeth, tooth gaps, tooth discoloration and chipping or cracking. The teeth look more aesthetic overall.

What materials are veneers made of?

They are made of ceramic or composite.

How long are veneers durable?

The veneers have a very long shelf life. In a period of 6 years, only about 2% detach from the tooth. In most cases, however, they last longer than 10 years and are also very well tolerated.

Veneer or Lumineer - what's the difference?

Lumineers are a further development of the classic veneers and at 0.3 to 0.5 millimeters thinner than conventional veneers. At Lumineers, the tooth is not ground down beforehand, it is only cleaned and chemically roughened. This means that local anesthesia is no longer necessary.

Crown or veneer?

In a direct comparison, the veneer appears to replace the crown, because the effort is less. The processing of the tooth is more extensive with crowns and therefore more uncomfortable for the patient. With a full crown, significantly more tooth substance has to be ground off in some cases. Furthermore, the long shelf life speaks in favor of the veneers.

Conclusion

Correcting unsightly teeth without sacrificing tooth structure or undergoing orthodontic treatment is a common desire of many patients. The use of veneers, using the latest technology and materials, makes this quite possible. However, the dream of a perfect smile and white teeth is offset by high costs that few people can afford without the support of health insurance.

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