Dental veneers are the fastest way to dramatically change your smile. They are an innovative and discreet means of achieving the perfect, pearly whites. In recent years, the procedure has become increasingly popular. Veneers are no longer an aesthetic treatment solely for celebrities seeking the perfect on screen smile. They are becoming an option for everyone looking to improve their individual smiles.
When you think of veneers, you may think of them only as a cosmetic option for teeth that are poorly shaped, chipped or worn. In fact, veneers are also a practical solution to a host of different dental problems.
Veneers can improve both the appearance and strength of your teeth. They are widely used to repair cracked, chipped, worn, unevenly spaced or discoloured teeth.
They are the most sought after option for teeth that are damaged and are also often used in orthodontic procedures to correct uneven spaces or to fill gaps between the upper front teeth. If a patient has suffered a severe accident, that led to damaged teeth, veneers are also a common means of correcting the smile.
What are Veneers?
A veneer is a thin layer of restorative material placed over a tooth surface, either to improve the aesthetics of a tooth or to protect a damaged tooth surface. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer, composite materials, and porcelain.
A composite veneer or bonding may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), it is a tooth colored resin that can be shaped to form veneers. Composite veneers are essentially a reinforced plastic. In contrast, porcelain veneers are often seen as the more durable of the two substances.
Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin shells of porcelain that are bonded onto the front side of individual teeth. They act as shields that sit on the front of each tooth. Veneers are used predominantly to enhance the appearance of teeth.
The composition of the porcelain veneers allows for the most natural-looking teeth possible by replicating the translucency and light handling characteristics of natural tooth enamel. Both forms of veneers have the same final appearance.
Veneers fall under the category of restorative dental treatments and can be used in conjunction with dental implants or crowns to achieve a patient’s desired results.
After your consultation, your dentist will begin to prepare a highly tailored set of veneers, that fit perfectly with the rest of your teeth. Veneers are always color matched to your individual teeth to achieve the most natural look. They are bonded directly to each tooth, for maximal functionality and stability.
Your dentist will generally bond the veneers directly to your tooth enamel, to be sure they are well secured and feel as natural as possible. Improvements in dental technology ensure that your veneers will look and perform just like real teeth.
Before a dental patient gets veneers, the dentist will take impressions of the patient’s mouth. This is to be sure that the veneers fit perfectly over the patient’s teeth.
This impression of your mouth will help your dentist determine the size and shape of the veneers to fit your gum and tooth size.
Your dentist takes every measure to ensure your natural teeth and your veneers blend perfectly together. The fitting process is the first start after a consultation, in getting veneers.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Veneers?
Veneers are an excellent whitening option for those who suffer from discolored teeth. Teeth that cannot be bleached effectively due to deep stains from years of using certain medications or teeth that are darkened as a result of an injury or substance abuse are good candidates when considering veneers.
Dental veneers give patients the confidence to smile with pride, without worrying about the state or appearance of their teeth. Veneers aren’t just for celebrities, they are a very common treatment for anyone looking to radically improve the appearance of their teeth.
Porcelain veneers are also extremely stain-resistant, you may not have to alter your lifestyle habits to have freshly white teeth. This is a good option for smokers and people who enjoy coffee, tea, red wine and fruits with deep, staining colors.
Conversely, veneers are not suitable for patients who have severe tooth decay or untreated gum disease.
If there is an oral infection such as an abscess in a patient requiring a root canal, these other dental issues must be treated first, prior to the application of dental veneers. The patient’s teeth and mouth must be healthy in order for the veneers to adhere properly to the teeth.
The ideal patient must have realistic expectations about their veneers. They must be will
ing to adjust to a more vigilant cleaning and flossing regime, and be aware that veneers require proper care in order to last.
Pricing for Veneers
The price of your veneers will depend on several factors. Veneers are normally priced between $500-$1900 per tooth. There are many different aspects involved in the price, and it is mainly based upon the materials of the veneer itself.
For example, the most common type of veneers are made of porcelain, however, there are other composite products that veneers can be made out of. The type of material affects the price of veneers, as well as the amount of veneers needed for a patient.
The overall cost for veneers can also depend upon the quality of the patient’s current teeth, and whether or not other dental procedures need to be performed first. Many dental insurance packages do not cover veneers as they are considered non-essential or cosmetic procedures.
A patient must be willing to maintain a good oral hygiene routine after receiving their veneers, as if they are properly cared for, a patient may never need to budget for having them replaced. It is essential with this type of procedure, that a patient is aware of the cost and be ready to follow a strict at home dental care plan.
How Long Will My Veneers Last?
The average set of veneers will last a patient 10-15 years in good condition. Veneers can last up to 20+ years, depending on different factors. If the veneer is bonded directly to the tooth enamel, the bond will be stronger and last longer.
Depending on your age, you may never have to have your veneers replaced in your lifetime. If you are younger, as with all dental work, you may have to have your veneers replaced once or twice.
Your dentist will set up an individualized treatment plan for your specific case, to maximize the longevity of your veneers. Your bite can affect how long your veneers will last and your dentist may recommend a mouth guard at night if you are prone to grinding your teeth.
It is very important to protect your teeth from certain pressures such as clenching or grinding, or even biting into hard substances when you have veneers.
Caring for Your Veneers
Once you have a new, white smile with your veneers, you will need to know how to care for them and keep them beautiful.
Veneers are built to perfectly replicate the natural appearance and feeling of teeth. Even though they can act as your regular teeth, you may want to be delicate with them when they are new. Try to chew lightly, and avoid biting down hard with your front teeth.
Your veneers can stain just like regular teeth. It may take longer if your veneers are porcelain, however, if you drink dark wine, coffee, or other beverages that may affect teeth, be aware that it can stain your veneers as well. Unlike natural teeth, veneers cannot be lightened with tooth lighteners or whitening treatments.
It is also important to be vigilant about your veneers at night. If you are prone to grinding your teeth, your dentist may recommend you wear a night guard.
This is because porcelain grin
ding on your lower teeth, or teeth without veneers can erode the enamel on your unprotected teeth. Porcelain is a very strong material and even the slightest tooth grinding could cause serious damage to your neighboring teeth.
In general, you can brush and floss your veneers as you normally would with your own teeth, any non-abrasive toothpaste is compatible with your veneers. Veneers can lose luster and shine if they are treated with more abrasive products. Ask your dentist about what toothpaste is right for your type of veneers.