If you’re looking for a smile makeover, or you’ve damaged a tooth, dental veneers can give your teeth a new look.

Here are some details to help you understand this simple, smile-enhancing treatment.

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are attached to the front and side surfaces of teeth. Typically used on the upper row, veneers can be a long-term solution to cosmetic concerns including crooked, discolored or smaller-than-average teeth. Veneers can also help repair damage, such as broken or chipped teeth.1

Types of dental veneers

Dental veneers are typically made from porcelain or composite resin. Although both types serve the same purpose, they’re different in many ways. Here’s a list of their differences to help you compare:

made of ceramic porcelain
made of tooth-colored filling material
more expensive
less expensive
usually requires enamel removal
may not require enamel removal
2–3 appointments
usually 1 appointment
last around 20 years
last around 5 years
will not stain
may stain over time
less likely to chip or fracture
more likely to chip or fracture
more difficult to fix
easier to fix

How much do dental veneers cost?

Like many dental procedures, there isn’t 1 set price for veneers. The cost can depend on many factors, such as:

  • Veneer material
  • Brand name of veneers
  • Where you live

Here are some cost estimates of a single tooth veneer:2

Veneer type

Average cost

Cost range

Resin, chairside (composite veneers)



Resin, laboratory (composite veneers)









Getting veneers is often considered a cosmetic procedure. Most dental insurance providers won’t cover the cost of veneers unless they’re medically necessary (e.g., tooth damaged in an accident). It’s also important to note there may be other costs involved, including a dental exam, X-rays and a dental cleaning.

What to expect when getting dental veneers


To begin, the dentist will likely take X-rays and make impressions of your mouth and teeth. If you’re getting porcelain veneers, it could take days or weeks for the veneers to be made. If you’re getting composite veneers, your dentist may be able to create them on the spot.


First, the dentist will reshape the surface of each tooth receiving a veneer. The amount of enamel taken away will be nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer.* Next, each tooth will be cleaned, polished and etched. Etching roughens the tooth and can help create a stronger bonding process.

For porcelain veneers, the dentist will match the fit and color before permanently cementing it to the tooth. Composite veneers are also matched for fit and color and typically custom sculpted on the tooth. To help the cement or composite dry, the dentist may use a special light. The last steps include removing excess cement, making sure your bite is correct and performing a final polish.

*No-prep veneers may only require minimal tooth preparation. Instead of removing layers of tooth beneath the enamel, only enamel will be removed.3


Once the procedure is complete, a follow-up appointment will likely be scheduled. This allows the dentist to check your gums for irritation and make sure the veneers are in place. It also gives you a chance to talk about any discomfort or other symptoms.1

Other than that, dental veneers don’t require special care. Good oral hygiene such as brushing, flossing and mouthwash can benefit veneers the same as real teeth.

Learn about dental plans with Humana

Humana offers a broad range of dental plans with varying levels of coverage, many with low monthly premiums. Some of our plans also feature no waiting periods, which means you could get covered in about 5 days. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana dental insurance page.

Frequently asked questions

1. What’s the difference between veneers and crowns?

The main difference is that a veneer only covers the front of a tooth and a crown covers the entire tooth.

2. Do veneers damage your teeth?

Properly installed veneers should not damage your natural teeth. However, it’s important to brush, floss and get regular cleanings to avoid tooth decay underneath the veneers.

3. What is the difference between dental bonding and veneers?

Dental bonding typically costs less than veneers and is a faster procedure. Veneers cost more, but the long-lasting durability and beauty can make them a better value.

Related articles


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From budget-friendly monthly premiums to low office-visit copays, Humana has a dental plan that is sure to fit your needs.

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  1. Dental Veneers,” WebMD, last accessed Jan. 24, 2024.
  2. How much do dental veneers cost in 2024?,” Authority Dental, last accessed Jan. 24, 2024.
  3. What to Know Before You Get Dental Veneers,” Healthline, last accessed Jan. 24, 2024.