If you have some cosmetic issues with your teeth, you may have looked into ways to improve your smile. Even a small cosmetic dental procedure can boost your confidence and make it easier for you to share your smile with the world. One very popular option is dental veneers. In this article, we will tell you all about the benefits of getting dental veneers, how the procedure works, the average cost, and what results you can expect.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are a thin shell that can be attached to the front surface of the teeth to eliminate imperfections. The veneer is made of porcelain or a composite resin material and is permanently bonded to the surface of your tooth. Veneers can treat many cosmetic dental concerns, like chipped or broken teeth, tooth discoloration, or smaller than normal teeth.
It is possible to get only one veneer for a chipped or broken tooth. However, patients often get between six and eight veneers, so the result is an even, symmetrical smile. In most cases, eight veneers are applied to the top teeth.
The Difference Between Veneers, Crowns & Implants
Veneers are different from crowns and implants in that they only cover the front surface of the tooth. A crown will encompass the entire tooth and tends to be much thicker than a veneer. Veneers are also less invasive, as your dentist will need to remove a significant amount of tooth enamel to install a crown.
A dental implant is installed inside the bone to replace a missing tooth, and then a crown is placed on top of that. After the initial implant is placed, it may take several months for the area to heal enough for the replacement tooth to be placed on top.
What Are the Different Types of Veneers?
Dental veneers come in three types: porcelain, composite resin, and no-prep. Here are some details on each type.
If you choose porcelain veneers, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and remove a small amount of the tooth enamel. After a second set of impressions, temporary veneers will be placed on your teeth while a dental lab is creating the permanent veneers. Once the final veneers are ready, they are bonded to your prepared tooth using a dental cement.
While porcelain veneers are a larger investment than other veneer materials, they are extremely durable. They tend to last longer, and they are very stain resistant. This means you will have a natural-looking, bright white smile for many years to come.
Composite resin dental veneers can usually be installed with just one visit to the cosmetic dentist. As with porcelain veneers, some tooth enamel will be removed. However, it will be a much smaller amount. Then, a thin layer of composite resin material will be applied to the surface of the teeth. It may take additional layers to achieve your desired look. The dentist will finish the process by curing, or hardening, the material with a special light.
Composite veneers are less expensive than porcelain, though they are not as resistant to stains. They may also become damaged more easily and generally only last for about 5-7 years.
You may have heard of brand names of no-prep veneers like Lumineers or Vianeers. These brands are types of no-prep veneers that are made of porcelain but take less time and are less invasive to apply. During the prep for this type of veneer, only a small amount of surface tooth enamel is removed. Many patients require no local anesthetics or temporary veneers.
How to Choose the Right Veneers for You
There are many factors that you can consider when trying to decide on what veneer material to choose. Ultimately, your cosmetic dentist will recommend the option that they think best suits your needs based on your current dental health condition, desired results, and expectations on budget and maintenance.
Cost of Dental Veneers
Budget is an important factor for most people, and veneers can be a large up-front investment. Since they are a cosmetic procedure, veneers are usually not covered by insurance. According to the American Dental Association, you can expect to pay between $925 and $2,500 per tooth for porcelain veneers.
With porcelain veneers, you will pay more up front, but the material is more durable, stain resistant, and lasts longer than other materials. A high-quality and well-placed set of porcelain veneers can last up to 15 years.
Composite veneers are much less expensive to install at around $400-$2,000 per tooth. However, composite veneers only last between 5 to 7 years, so you may end up paying more over time than if you’d select porcelain veneers.
In addition to material, there are a few other factors that may impact how much your dental veneers cost. If you live in an area with higher cost of living, you’ll likely pay more than if you lived in a less expensive area. Additionally, your dentist’s level of expertise may impact how much they charge.
The Benefits of Dental Veneers
Dental veneers can be used to treat a number of cosmetic dental issues. If you have broken or chipped teeth, severe discoloration or uneven coloring, or small or abnormally shaped teeth, you might be a good candidate for dental veneers. Veneers are a good option for several reasons.
While porcelain veneers may require a few trips to the cosmetic dentist, veneers are a much quicker treatment than some other options. Veneers can correct gaps and misalignment within a matter of weeks as opposed to the months or even years it takes with traditional braces. Even tooth whitening is faster with veneers. Over-the-counter whitening agents take repeated use to reach your desired level of whitening if that level is even attainable at all. Even professional whitening may require more than one session.
Veneers are essentially a permanent way to fix cosmetic dental issues. Returning to our previous examples, gapped or misaligned teeth can be treated with braces. However, unless you continue to use a retainer as instructed by your orthodontist, your teeth may begin to shift again and undo what the braces have done. Dental veneers will not shift or gap once they are installed.
When it comes to whitening, veneers remain permanently white and bright, especially if you choose stain-resistant porcelain veneers. Over the counter whitening and, often professional whitening, needs to be repeated regularly to maintain your desired shade.
Dental veneers are virtually undetectable. They look so natural that no one would be able to tell you’ve had cosmetic dental work done unless you tell them. Porcelain veneers also feel extremely natural in your mouth. With veneers, you will have a greater confidence in your smile and have no hesitation about sharing it with the world.
What Is the Procedure of Getting Dental Veneers?
Getting dental veneers will involve a few appointments over several weeks.
Consultation and Impressions
The first step in getting dental veneers is a consultation with a cosmetic dentist. The dentist will talk to you about your concerns and desired results and recommend a treatment plan. Next, they will take x-rays and impressions of your teeth.
The cosmetic dentist will use the x-rays and impressions of your teeth to create a digital design of what your resulting smile will look like.
Prep and Temporary Placement
If you are getting porcelain veneers, the next step of the process is a visit during which a small amount of tooth enamel will be removed from the surface of the teeth to make room for the veneers. Another set of impressions will be taken, then the dentist will take another set of impressions. The temporary veneers will remain in place until your permanent veneers are installed.
Your dentist will send off your x-rays, impressions, and smile design to a dental lab where your permanent veneers will be created.
Once your permanent veneers arrive from the dental lab, you will have a final appointment during which your dentist will remove the temporary veneers and place the permanent veneers individually to each tooth using a cement bonding material. Once all the veneers are in place, your dentist will smooth out any excess bonding material and the installation is complete.
Caring for Your Veneers
With dental veneers, there isn’t really a recovery process, unlike other procedures. Once your anesthetic wears off, you can resume eating and chewing as you normally would. If you do feel any rough spots on your teeth after the procedure, they are normally worn down by regular eating, drinking, and brushing over the coming days. If they don’t, your dentist can smooth them out.
Your veneers won’t require any specific maintenance outside of semi-annual cleaning and check-ups, just like your natural teeth would. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to make your veneers last as long as possible.
Avoid chewing on hard objects like pens, ice, or fingernails, and never use your teeth to open packaging. If you play sports, always wear a mouthguard to protect the teeth, and if you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night, try a mouthguard or retainer.
Want to Learn More? Call Austin Cosmetic Dental.
If you want to learn more about your options for dental veneers, call Dr. Tejas Patel and the team at Austin Cosmetic Dental. With more than two decades of experience in designing winning smiles, Dr. Patel and his team are one of the most preferred dental cosmetic practices in the world and they are here to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Schedule an appointment today to get started.