Many years ago a California Company, Den-Mat, branded porcelain veneers as “Lumineers.” They have marketed and continue to market Lumineers in magazines, radio, television. But Den-Mat is not the only company, or laboratory, that makes porcelain veneers. They would like the public to believe that they are the one and only company that makes veneers. Cosmetic dentists throughout the country get asked the question, “Do you do Lumineers?” What great marketing Den-Mat has done! In Stamford, CT and the surrounding areas patients are very knowledgeable about the cosmetic options available today. Porcelain Veneers are just the generic name for many of the branded veneers, such as Lumineers. Veneers can be porcelain or resin. In general, in our practice, we do not recommend resin veneers. This is because they tend to require more maintenance, are more susceptible to staining and wear, and lack shade stability. Porcelain veneers tend to last, require little maintenance, are not susceptible to staining or wear and are shade stable. Porcelain veneers are extremely life-like.
The cost of porcelain veneers can vary depending on the case and its complexity. Generally, this cost can range anywhere from $850 to $1500 per veneer. In cosmetic cases that employ porcelain veneers, the laboratory is truly the dentist’s partner. The best results are created when the laboratory and the dentist are fully ‘in sync.’ When this occurs a great result is at hand and is rewarding for not only the patient, but for the dentist and the staff. Obviously the better the laboratory, the increase in cost.
Porcelain restorations are a creation of the dental laboratory technician and the dentist. Having a fine laboratory technician as the dental partner to the dentist is essential for good dentistry. I recently had an inquiry by a friend that moved to Florida that was questioning the treatment plan of her new dentist. The dentist had prescribed changing her amalgam fillings to resin fillings and recommended a number of porcelain to base-metal crowns. Alarms went off! Resin fillings do not last like ceramic restorations and she was not given this option. Crowns should be of noble metal or all ceramic. What is base metal? These are alloys that may add to tissue reaction, i.e. allergic reaction. Base metals are generic and it is really not clear what is in these alloys. They are cheaper crowns. I quickly told my friend that we needed to do some homework to find her a dentist that was more aligned with her needs.
The point is that restorations, whether they be fillings, veneers or crowns, are not good just because they are white and look good. There is so much more to quality than just having a tooth-colored replacement inserted in the mouth to replace an amalgam or older restoration. The cost of a porcelain restoration, whether it is a veneer, crown, inlay or onlay, represents many costs that the dentist has incurred along the way to provide the care. My friend in Florida was quoted a very reasonable cost but the restorations would have been far inferior. I would rather have work done once that will last than many appointments redoing work that has already been done.
I believe the population in Stamford, CT and the surrounding areas of Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Greenwich and Fairfield County, Connecticut in general, demands that we provide the very best that dentistry has offer. The cost of porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns, as well as all dental work, increases tremendously if they have to be redone. It is much better to have the work done right the first time with the proper techniques, materials and skills.