Veneers are thin shells that are affixed to the front of the tooth. They can be used to fix a number of things like broken or worn down teeth, or teeth that are stained. They fit over the teeth and make your teeth more attractive. Veneers are made from resin or porcelain, unlike the enamel your natural teeth are made from.
What are veneers?
What are veneers? Veneers are thin caps of either tooth colored porcelain or resin that are bonded to the front of your natural teeth with a light, special cement. They can cover up stained or broken teeth, and they are a good solution for dental issues like crooked front teeth. Veneers are also custom made for your teeth.
They are one of several cosmetic dental procedures and they can be used for just your front teeth, or for all of your teeth. They can even help fill in gaps between teeth by making each tooth slightly larger.
What kinds of veneers are there?
There are two main types of veneers. Let’s take a closer look at them.
- Porcelain veneers are very thin shells that are affixed to your teeth with a special cement. They are also the most common kind of veneers. These can last for at least 10 years but if you are very good about caring for them, they can last for 20 years or more. The porcelain is color matched to your teeth so they are nearly invisible, and the porcelain is more stain resistant than the enamel of your natural teeth.
- Composite veneers from resin are a less expensive option and can even be affixed to your teeth in one dental visit. They are also color matched to your own teeth. Generally speaking your dentist will need to remove less enamel when compared to a porcelain veneer.
There are also temporary veneers that are removable and can be slipped on over chipped or broken teeth. These allow you to remove them to eat, but you will need to brush them and keep them clean before you put them back in.
What happens when I get dental veneers?
When you want to get veneers, you will start with a visit to your dentist or cosmetic dentist. He or she will look at your teeth and gums plus take X-rays to see if you are a good candidate for veneers. They will then take an impression of your teeth to build your veneers with. This impression is sent to a professional lab to make the actual veneers. Your dentist will also assess your overall dental health as well to make sure your teeth and jaw are healthy.
At this visit, if you go ahead with the process, you may have your teeth shaved down to prepare to receive your permanent veneers after receiving a local anesthetic. Then you will receive a temporary veneer to keep your teeth protected from temperature and protect the tooth structure from wear while you wait.
When you return for your next appointment, your dentist will check to make sure the porcelain or resin is the correct color to match your teeth. Then your veneers will be shaped to make sure that they will be a perfect fit and then they are affixed to your teeth using a special cement.
You will likely be asked to come back for a follow up visit to make sure that everything fits correctly and that your gums are doing ok with the new veneers.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of veneers?
There are several advantages to veneers.
- Veneers offer a comfortable solution and their thin design means that you will hardly notice them
- They are ideal for people who have healthy teeth and are free from gum disease
- Veneers look completely natural, like your own teeth
- The porcelain is hypoallergenic so most people will have no reaction to them
- They are strong and built to last
- They are stain resistant
- Less enamel needs to be removed for a veneer compared to a crown
Before you get veneers, you should have the full picture about these dental treatments. Veneers do have a few disadvantages.
- Dental veneers typically are not a permanent solution as they are more fragile than your natural teeth and they run the risk of needing to be replaced.
- Veneers will also cause a reduction in the amount of enamel that is on your natural teeth, so once you decide to get veneers, there is no going back. Enamel does not grow back once it has been removed.
- If you grind your teeth while you sleep, a condition called bruxism, you are not a good candidate for veneers, especially on the back teeth.
- Porcelain veneers will mean you need to have at least a couple of dental appointments to complete the process.
- Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite or resin
- The preparation of the teeth and removing of enamel may make your teeth more sensitive to temperature
- Veneers may come loose if they are not cared for properly
How much do veneers cost?
If you think veneers are the right dental care solution for you, you might then wonder how much veneers cost. There are a lot of factors that go into pricing, including:
- how many teeth you want to cover
- what material you pick
- the experience of your dentist
- where you are located
It can cost you anywhere from $12,000 up to $30,000 to get veneers, and since they are most likely a cosmetic dental procedure, dental insurance is not likely to cover it. If it is deemed medically necessary, that can change, but you should check with your dental insurance provider or company benefits department to confirm.
Caring for your new veneers
Making your veneers last as long as possible depends on good home care and also making sure your visit your dentist regularly to let him or her check how they are doing. This means keeping your dentist appointments every six months for a checkup and a cleaning. This also gives your dentist a chance to see how your veneers are faring.
Good home care is also important including brushing and flossing your teeth daily to keep your teeth clean. By keeping your teeth clean, you will avoid cavities that can form under your veneers and also keep from needing to have root canals done.
You should also avoid using your teeth like scissors or to open packages. Your veneers are durable, but can break if you chew ice cubes or misuse your teeth.
What are veneers? Veneers are a type of cosmetic dentistry that cover your teeth with a porcelain or resin cap. They are durable but not permanent, but when you practice good oral hygiene, they can last you for 20 years or more. Your dentist will color match them to your natural teeth. They can be used to correct a gap between teeth or fix a broken or stained tooth. Veneers can be quite expensive, so check with your insurance company to see if you have any coverage for veneers.
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