Q&A: My dentist suggested 4 porcelain veneers. Is this abnormal & what are costs?

Ask A Doctor Question: 

I have previously had my uppper front tooth bonded due to be being chipped there is now a crack running up and down the tooth(can only be seen under magnification)my dentist had suggested porcelian veneer or a crown --My question is what would be some typical fees for either of these? Also, do you think it abnormal for my dentist to suggest 4 veneers (with only one necessary and the others for cosmetic reasons)? 

- Barry


Christian Yaste, DDS -

If your front tooth does not bother you and you can only see the crack under magnification, you may not have to do anything to the tooth.  Often front teeth will have what we call, craze lines, that are small fractures but amount to nothing harmful.  My advice would be to ask your dentist if there would be any negative consequences if you left it the way it is now.  
Obviously, if the tooth bothers you cosmetically, than by all means, a porcelain veneer or veneers, are a great option.If your dentist is helping you look at the "big picture" and trying to give you the best esthetic results, it is not unusual to look at the front teeth as a group and not just a single tooth.  Porcelain has a different translucency than natural teeth do.  In order to get that "perfect" result that looks as natural as possible, you may need to do 4 teeth.  This part of your question is difficult to answer without seeing photos or your teeth in person.
In terms of the cost for a veneer or crown, it ranges throughout the U.S.  In larger cities and urban areas the cost may be double what it is in a smaller suburban area.  The reason is due to the differences in cost to run a dental office in these areas as well as the dentists expertise and lab they are using.  I would say in the U.S. the cost can be anywhere from $800-$1600 per tooth. 
Best wishes,

--Christian Yaste, DDS
Charlotte, NC


Marc Moskowitz, D.D.S. -

Hi Barry,
First, just because a crack line is visible under oblique lighting, or under magnification does not mean the tooth needs to be restored or protected. Often it is what we call a "check" line in the outer enamel covering of the tooth and may not go thru the enamel or into the dentin. In the absence of signs or symptoms usually a tooth like this is just monitored over time until there is an esthetic or functional need to treat the tooth. 
If all else is cosmetically acceptable to you, or no significant improvement is anticipated with multiple veneers, usually one veneer is all that is required if your bonding is failing and rebonding is not an option. Bleaching of your smile, if desired MUST be done prior to the start of the  final veneer as veneers will not change color if bleaching is done later.
As for fees, that can vary widely by the area, experience and expertise of the practitioner. But, understand fees are not necessarily directly related to the excellence of the results.

--Marc Moskowitz, D.D.S.
Marietta, GA


The fee for each is approx. $1000.  Placing one veneer in the front of your mouth is very difficult. The problem is matching the shade to the surrounding teeth.That's why the dentist suggested the four.
I would like  to offer you a free consultation to discuss all options to give you a great smile, whether one veneer or four.
Thank You Very much for the question!!

--Robert Pate, DDS
Huntsville, AL


It is quite difficult to match the color/shade of one veneer to the existing natural dentition.
The suggestion of 4 or even 6 veneers is not surprising, as the aesthetic result is far superior. Fees can vary depending on geographical location. In the northeast/ny city region a veneer could range between $ 2000- 2500 per veneer.

--Harvey Shuster
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