I was interested in getting a dentist to do a smile makeover over some of my upper teeth. Initially I considered braces or orthodontic treatment, because my teeth were not aligned and there was some crowding. My dentist encouraged me to consider porcelain veneers instead, as they could fix my teeth’s problems much faster than orthodontics.
He examined my teeth, and quoted me an amount that included shaving and shaping my teeth, as well as the porcelain work. It was nearly $10,000! After I got over the sticker shock, he said that price did not include any root canals, which I would also need.
Should I get a second opinion from another cosmetic dentist? Or is this a normal price everywhere? Should I get Lumineers instead to make the price cheaper? I knew cosmetic work would be expensive, but I need something more affordable than $10,000!
Luna, from Tonawanda, New York
The art of the smile makeover is not taught in dental school. Dentists are taught to be pragmatic and functional, to fix problems rather than create artistic solutions. Granted, the higher the sticker price does not always mean the best quality. A lot of research should go into selecting a cosmetic dentist for a smile makeover.
Lumineers are sometimes cheaper because they do not require prep, such as shaping or shaving. However, Lumineers take a special amount of skill to place; in the wrong hands, they can look bulky. If your dentist is not comfortable with Lumineers, do not push them. You may save a few dollars, but if the dentist is working outside their comfort zone, the resulting work may not be the highest quality.
You may be better off looking at smile galleries on local cosmetic dentists’ web pages to find someone you like. The final result is more important than price, and getting work done correctly the first time will save you money in the long run.
This blog post is brought to you by Phoenix Lumineers provider, Dr. Hillary Peck, of Peck Family Dentistry.