I have porcelain veneers on two of my front teeth. Over time, they have shifted a bit and I am considering having them redone as well as getting some additional ones on other teeth. Honestly, I am hoping to find a less costly way to do this since veneers are not covered by my insurance. Could I maybe serve as a patient to a graduate student in cosmetic dentistry? I appreciate any information that you could provide.
– Audrey in Middlebury
First, we need to clarify that there is no standard graduate program or certification for cosmetic dentistry. It is not a recognized specialty of the American Dental Association and, therefore, any dentist who has graduated from dental school can claim to be a “cosmetic dentist.” It’s up to consumers to do some research to find a dentist with the qualifications to provide results they are going to be happy with. A truly qualified cosmetic dentist will be one who: a) has taken the time to pursue advanced training in cosmetic procedures like the use of ceramics to craft porcelain veneers and crowns, and b) has the right artistic sensibility to understand that ‘one size does not fit all’ when it comes to doing a smile makeover.
Second, porcelain veneers are not the type of dental procedure that you should allow a less experienced practitioner to “practice” on you with in order to save money. It’s highly likely you would end up with a smile that looks worse (if not much worse) than the one you currently have. And, that’s not even the worst-case scenario. People have experienced problems with their bite or problems chewing or speaking after having porcelain veneers placed by an unqualified dentist.
If you are willing to travel, it might be possible to save money by traveling to a place where the costs of living (and doing business) are lower. You might be able to find an expertly qualified cosmetic dentist who would be less expensive than a dentist in your area. However, we urge you not to let the driving factor in your choice be the lowest cost.
Learn more about finding a good cosmetic dentist.
Information about quality porcelain veneers.