Dental veneers are custom-made permanent covers that fit the front surface of teeth. They are cosmetic restorations that look like natural teeth. They can correct a wide range of dental imperfections and improve your smile. Therefore, dental veneers are most commonly used on front teeth. Let’s discover the world of dental veneers to see how they can benefit you.
Dental veneers are versatile cosmetic restorations.
Dental veneers can correct many imperfections with your smile.
Dental veneers are less invasive than restorations like crowns and fillings.
Dental veneers closely resemble natural teeth.
Excellent oral hygiene is key to maintaining dental veneers.
How can veneers improve my smile?
Dental veneers help correct many cosmetic issues with teeth. Veneers are non-invasive procedures that require little or no-tooth prep. Properly placed veneers are very natural looking as well. In many circumstances, veneers are the ideal way to correct your smile. However, veneers may not be an option when extensive cavities or periodontal diseases are present. Let’s talk about a few of the most common issues veneers are used to correct.
Straighten misaligned teeth
When teeth overlap and are not aligned properly, it causes areas that trap plaque and increases the risk of developing cavities. While braces are an option for straightening teeth, this can take months or years. Veneers may take two weeks or less to correct some alignment issues.
Correct chipped or broken teeth
Chipped or broken teeth affect your smile. Veneers can repair teeth and replace broken structures.
While many whitening products are available, some discolorations do not respond well. In these cases, veneers cover the tooth's front surface to mask imperfections and match your natural color.
Change the shape and size of teeth
Teeth are differently shaped and sized. Sometimes, the shapes and sizes are not uniform throughout the mouth. Therefore, veneers are commonly used to reshape the teeth to give a better smile.
Close large spaces between teeth
Gaps between teeth, called diastemas, may be closed using veneers. Thus, making a more cosmetic smile.
Types of veneers
Porcelain veneers are typically what most people think of as veneers. The dentist preps the tooth's surface by removing a thin layer of enamel and then places and adheres the porcelain overlay. This procedure can take more than one appointment, but a temporary veneer may serve as a temporary fix between appointments. Porcelain veneers are permanently secured to the tooth using special dental cement. Veneer restorations closely match natural teeth in texture and light reflection. Therefore, these restorations are ideal for cosmetic correction of your smile.
Composite veneers are slightly different from porcelain veneers. The enamel is not removed to place this type of veneer. These restorations are made of composite resin that is placed directly on the front surface of the tooth. The resin is molded into the correct shape. Then, ultraviolet (UV) light is used to harden and bond the composite material in place. Once it is fully secure, the dentist will smooth and polish the veneer. Composite veneers are usually cheaper than porcelain veneers. However, they usually only require one dental appointment. Composite veneers can last 5-10 years before needing to be replaced.
Lumineers are super thin versions of porcelain veneers. They are about as thick as contact lenses. These veneers are sometimes called no-prep veneers because they do not require any changes to the teeth before placement. This makes them completely reversible. Lumineers usually take two appointments, but a temporary veneer is not needed because the teeth are not modified at all. These veneers can last 10 years or longer with proper care.
Cost of veneers
As we previously discovered, there are many different types of veneers. You can expect to pay around $500 to $2500 per tooth, depending on which type you choose. Composite veneers are usually the least expensive option, followed by porcelain veneers and no-prep veneers. However, dentist charges will vary by procedure. In larger metropolitan areas, the cost may be higher. However, dental treatments in a dental school setting can make it more affordable. Unfortunately, most insurances do not cover veneers, which are considered cosmetic procedures.
Special care after veneers
Proper aftercare is essential in keeping veneers bright and beautiful. When veneers are well maintained, they can last for many years. Here are some helpful tips.
- Excellent oral hygiene is a must. As with natural teeth, brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day will help remove plaque and harmful bacteria. However, avoid abrasive toothpaste, as it can damage the veneer surface. Adding a water flosser and mouth rinse may also be beneficial.
- Limit harmful habits. Chewing on fingernails, pens, pencils, or similar things can also damage veneers. Other habits like smoking or chewing tobacco can damage tooth health and stain veneers.
- Avoid hard-to-bite foods. Things like ice and hard candy can chip or break veneers. Also, sticky foods may cause veneers to pop off.
- Limit colorful foods and drinks. Things like red wine, tea, coffee, and many berries can stain veneer surfaces. Though whitening toothpaste can help reduce stains, consuming fewer teeth-staining beverages is best. If you use whitening toothpaste, be sure it's safe for veneers.
- Maintain routine dental visits. Regular dental visits help maintain the health of your veneers and teeth. Preventing problems before they start is the best way to protect your dental investment. So, don’t skip your 6-month check-ups.
- Consider getting a night guard. Clenching or grinding your teeth while sleeping is common. However, these unconscious habits can break and chip veneers, leading to costly replacements. A night guard can help protect your investment and prolong the life of your veneers.
Advantages vs. disadvantages of veneers
- Correct various smile imperfections.
- Closely resemble natural teeth.
- Brighten your smile.
- Less invasive than crowns.
- Can be costly.
- Ideal for the front teeth only.
- May not be useful for teeth with large cavities.
- Not covered by dental insurance.
- Must be replaced if they become cracked or chipped.
- Habits like grinding, clenching, or chewing hard items can damage veneers.
- Need replacement every 5-10 years.
Are dental veneers right for me?
Do you have large spaces between your teeth? Do you dislike the shape or size of your teeth? Do you have minor crowding? Or have you tried whitening for discolorations, but it didn’t help? Many factors can affect how you feel about your smile. However, everyone deserves a happy, healthy smile they can be proud of. Veneers are versatile and can help with many cosmetic issues. Schedule an appointment with your dental team to see if veneers can correct your dental imperfections and brighten your smile.