When it comes to improving the appearance of your teeth, veneers have long been a popular option for achieving a perfect, bright smile. However, veneers can be expensive and may not be a viable option for everyone. Fortunately, there are other cosmetic dental treatments available that can provide similar results at a more affordable price point.
From teeth whitening to bonding, this article will explore some of the cheaper alternatives to veneers, comparing their effectiveness, durability, and cost. Whether you’re looking for a quick fix or a long-term solution, we’ll help you find the best option to enhance your smile without breaking the bank.
What are veneers?
Veneers are thin pieces of tooth-colored material, usually porcelain or composite resin, that are custom-made to fit onto a person’s existing teeth.
Veneers can correct defects like discoloration, chips, and minor misalignments of the teeth. They also make teeth look more even due to their uniformity in size and color.
On the other hand, veneers require the removal of enamel from each tooth they will cover, and they may not last as long as some other treatments available. Additionally, they may cause sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks until the patient gets accustomed to them.
See our article: Teeth Veneers Pros and Cons.
Cost of Veneers
The cost for veneers ranges from $900 to $2,500 per tooth depending on the scale of the issue needing treatment and the quality of the material used. It is also useful to know that most insurance providers will not cover veneer treatment as this is viewed as a cosmetic procedure.
There are other affordable options available. From crowns and dental bonding to clear aligners and teeth whitening procedures, there is likely one that fits your budget without sacrificing quality.
We will give an overview of each procedure so that you can make an informed decision on which one best suits your needs and budget.
Lumineers are a specialized type of dental veneer, designed to fasten themselves to the tooth’s front surface.
The main difference between traditional veneers and Lumineers is that Lumineers are incredibly thin, making their application much less invasive than their traditional counterpart. This means that little to no alteration of the natural tooth enamel is needed before bonding. The result of this comparatively simple procedure results in a surface which appears more natural than traditional veneers.
However, since they are so thin, Lumineers offer somewhat less protection against cavities or further damage from grinding compared to full veneers. They do offer a good solution for issues such as discoloration, slight misalignment, and mild chipping; but for those requiring greater treatment, you would be better off looking at other options.
Lumineers are a cheaper option to veneers costing between $800 to $2,000 per tooth, with the price depending on the material used.
Snap-on veneers don’t require any reshaping or drilling of the original teeth, meaning they are reversible if you don’t like the look.
The pros and cons of snap-on veneers depend on your particular situation though, while they can provide a quick fix for minor discoloration and shape issues without requiring a permanent alteration, they can also clash with natural teeth if used inappropriately and can cause issues with speech. This type of veneer is not intended for everyday use and should be worn on an ad-hoc basis when required.
The cost of snap-on veneers can be as little as $299 for one arch depending on the brand and model you choose.
Overall these may be the right choice for people who want to correct minor cosmetic flaws such as slight misalignment or chips without undergoing lengthy treatments.
Dental bonding is a popular and reliable cosmetic technique that can fix issues such as broken, chipped, decayed, misaligned, or discolored teeth.
The treatment involves the application of a tooth-colored resin on the surface of the teeth to restore their natural look.
Compared to veneers, dental bonding requires fewer procedures, leading to less discomfort for many people as only a light etching pass of the enamel is necessary for application.
Pros of dental bonding include its lower cost compared to veneers, faster procedure time, and its reversibility due to the material being easily polishable. On the flip side, its main disadvantage can be that it stains more easily than porcelain veneers and does not usually last as long as them either.
According to an article on the BUPA website dental bonding is a fast and effective way to fix minor cosmetic issues and is a non-invasive procedure that requires only a slight roughening of the tooth to help the resin bond, which means the structure of the tooth remains intact.
Crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are placed over damaged teeth to strengthen and protect them from further damage. They perform the role of a cover to strengthen the existing weak structure by providing additional strength, restoring shape, allowing for proper functioning, and providing an aesthetically pleasing look.
Crowns can be made out of different materials such as porcelain fused to metal, resin composite, and ceramic.
The main difference between crowns and veneers is that crowns completely encase the entire visible portion of the affected tooth while veneers just cover upfront surfaces. Thus it is best to choose between these two treatments based on the evaluation of the overall condition of the tooth being worked upon.
The cost for a crown will vary depending on what type is used and where it is placed in your mouth but can range from $500 to $3,000 per tooth.
Whether you require only slight repairs like veneers or something substantial like crowns depends on what kind of problem needs solving: chips in your teeth, discoloration, etc.
Teeth whitening is a process used to lighten the shade of your teeth and help restore confidence in your smile. It is most commonly achieved through the use of bleaching gels or strips that are applied to the surface of the teeth.
Teeth whitening does not require any removal of enamel or care as veneers do. However, veneers typically offer more durability than whitening products as they are bonded to the tooth permanently whereas whitening agents require regular touch-ups every few months or years.
The cost of teeth whitening can vary from product to product but on average one should expect to pay around $650 per application.
Those with deep stains caused by drugs or smoking may need permanent options such as veneers but for those who don’t mind repeating touch-ups regularly and have mild staining caused by food and drinks opting for teeth whitening may be a better investment.
Clear aligners are an effective way to fix crooked teeth that are causing aesthetic and physical discomfort.
A clear aligner is made of plastic designed to fit your mouth, and it is removable. It works by gently shifting your teeth into the correct position little by little.
See our Aligners Vs Veneers Comparison.
The main difference between veneers and clear aligners is that veneers are a more permanent solution that requires grinding the enamel off to be placed properly, while clear aligners do not require any grinding or damaging of the enamel. This makes them much less invasive than traditional dental treatments.
The pros of using clear aligners include a lower cost than other solutions as well as producing no pain both during and after installation. Moreover, they are completely invisible in your mouth so there is no worry about looking artificial or unnatural.
However, clear aligners can require more time for treatment completion than some other options and you also need to adhere to removing your aligner when eating or drinking.
The cost of clear aligners is dependent on the brand chosen and some other factors but it is possible to begin aligner treatment for under $1,000 with many aligner brands offering no down payment for monthly payment plans, such as NewSmile.
Clear aligners make an ideal choice for people suffering from overcrowded teeth, bite problems, gaps between teeth, and even misalignment after braces were removed previously.
See some reviews of the best clear aligners available here:
SmileDirectClub Review – A popular choice with a lifetime guarantee and free one-time replacement makes this product a great choice.
Byte Review – The top pick these affordable aligners have a lifetime guarantee and come with free accessories.
Candid Review – The most similar product to Invisalign aligners this product is great for mild to severe teeth spacing issues and a Candid orthodontist is assigned to your case throughout the treatment.
NewSmile Review – A low-cost option but with premium aesthetics, this product comes with a teeth whitening kit and a free retainer.
ALIGNERCO – The cheapest at-home aligner products with 24/7 live support and a monthly payment plan with no down payment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Cheapest Way to Fix a Tooth?
It depends on the issue, but if the tooth is chipped to the gum line a dental professional will likely recommend a dental crown or implant to fix the issue.
For everything else, including misalignments clear aligners are a great option as they offer efficient full arch tooth straightening treatment at a lesser cost than other types of procedures.
What is the Less Invasive Alternative to Veneers?
Lumineers are just like veneers but require none of the invasive treatment procedures. They are also a cheaper treatment option than veneers.
If you are looking for a solution to a malocclusion rather than just an aesthetic issue consider clear aligners as an alternative to veneers.
What Can I Get Instead of Veneers?
For aesthetic alternatives opt for lumineers, dental bonding, or teeth whitening. For repair of malocclusion, you should choose braces or clear aligners.
Can I Get Dental Bonding Instead of Veneers?
Yes, dental bonding is a safer and less invasive option for dealing with chips and staining issues on teeth. Bonding is also a cheaper treatment.
Are Snap-on Veneers a Better Choice than Regular Veneers?
Snap-on Veneers are more affordable than regular veneers and require no invasive treatment procedures to fit them. However, they do not last as long as regular ones and are not as aesthetically pleasing as normal veneers.