Veneers, ten years ago, were only highly sought after by movie stars interested in a dazzling, beautiful white, well aligned smile. These days, just about everyone can have a beautiful smile. People with nice teeth can have their teeth whitened. People whose teeth are discolored, too small, too big, uneven or chipped can look great after a few visits or less to a cosmetic dentist with veneers. Veneers are very thin sheets of porcelain resin or composite resin that dentists artistically and technically apply over your teeth for enhanced beauty.
- Veneers are great to cover teeth that are severely discolored − either because of root canal treatment, stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes, or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth.
- Veneers also work well for uneven teeth and tiny gaps that do not require orthodontics to provide for a beautiful smile. Veneers offer protection for chipped, cracked teeth, which may be bonded initially for added strength.
How Dental Veneers Work
Unlike a cap, which covers the entire tooth (or what is left of it), veneers are attached over the front of the tooth, making them easier and less expensive to apply. Veneers generally don’t stain, and they’re strong and very durable, lasting 10 to 15 years.
If you’re interested in veneers, you should plan on three visits to the dentist: one for a consultation, and two trips to prepare for veneers, and the last trip to apply the veneers. Sometimes, veneers may be accomplished in a lower number of dental visits.
- During your first dental visit, let your dentist know what you expect and how you want your smile to look. After examining your teeth and mouth, your dentist should be able to determine if your expectations are reasonable; and if you’re a good candidate for the procedure.
- On your second visit, the dentist will delicately shave about a half-millimeter off the front of each tooth to accommodate for the veneers. (Because of this, the American Dental Association cautions individuals that applying veneers is usually an irreversible process.) Some dentists use local anesthetics to numb the area for this preparation procedure.
- Once your teeth are prepared, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth, which will enable lab technicians to create the veneers.
- It usually takes two weeks for the dental laboratory to create the veneers. In some cases, the dentist will apply temporary veneers while you wait for your permanent veneers. In this way, you may benefit from a preview of the look, feel and fit of your veneers.
- Before the veneer is permanently bonded on your third visit, your dentist will place each porcelain sheet over the tooth to examine how it fits. The tooth may have to be trimmed until the fit is perfect.
- At this point, you should be given a mirror so that you can approve of the veneers and your new smile BEFORE the dentist permanently bonds them to your teeth. If the color is not exactly right, your dentist can adjust the shade of the resin cement to create a perfect translucent match.
- Once the fit and color are right, your dentist will clean your tooth and roughen its surface to make it easier for the veneer to bond.
- Once the veneer is bonded and placed on your tooth, your dentist will remove any excess bonding material and make any necessary final adjustments.
- Your dentist may ask you to call the office or return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to identify how your gums are responding to the veneers.
How Much Do Veneers Cost?
Veneers cost vary depending upon the experience of your dentist, your geographic location, the materials used in the procedure, and number of teeth veneered. Generally speaking, cost estimates for traditional porcelain veneers are typically $850 to $2,500 per tooth. Veneers made of porcelain last longer than less costly plastic resin. Composite veneers cost significantly less, about $250 – $900 per tooth or more, but typically only last five to seven years.
If you’re not smiling as often as you’d like because of how your teeth look, why not look into dental veneers? And remember, you dentist and the materials you select play a role in the outcome of your treatment. So, be inquisitive. Check in with a veneers dentist and learn more about why your dentist has selected his or her preference for your veneers.
It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.
Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.