Dental Veneers: The Ultimate FAQ

March 22, 2022

Women putting on Dental Veneers

Are you thinking about dental veneers but still have some questions? We’ve got the ultimate FAQ guide for you. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about using dental veneers to enhance your smile.

What Are Dental Veneers?

Veneers are a very thin covering that is bonded to the surface of the teeth and gives the appearance of a flawless natural smile. 

What Are Dental Veneers Used For?

Dental veneers are a quick way to fix common dental issues like discoloration, misaligned or spaced teeth, or teeth that are chipped or irregularly shaped. 

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Veneers?

Patients who have stained or chipped teeth might choose dental veneers because they cover up your existing teeth.

Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Dental Veneers?

If you have excessive tooth decay or structural damage, dental veneers may not be the best option for you. You can discuss other options with your prosthodontist and make a plan to remove decay or fix your damage before moving on to veneers. If you grind your teeth, you might damage your veneers once they are installed, so you might consider a custom night guard to protect your investment. 

Are There Different Types of Dental Veneers?

Yes. Veneers are commonly made from porcelain or composite resin. Each material type has its own benefits. Porcelain veneers are more resistant to staining, but composite veneers are often more affordable. 

Should I Choose Porcelain or Composite Veneers?

You should discuss the various options with your prosthodontist, and they will help you decide which type of veneer is best for you. Depending on the condition of your natural teeth, one material may be better than the other. If your teeth are in good shape and only need a few cosmetic improvements, composite veneers might work for you. If your teeth are spaced, damaged, or stained, porcelain may be the better option. 

What Is Involved in the Process of Getting Dental Veneers?

Getting dental veneers will require a few visits to a prosthodontist. Your first visit will be a consultation where you will talk about your concerns and what results you’d like to see. The prosthodontist will explain how veneers work and will likely take x-rays or impressions of your teeth.

For porcelain veneers, your second visit will involve the removal of a small amount of tooth enamel, an impression will be made. You will then have a temporary veneer placed over your teeth. At your final appointment, the temporary veneer is removed, and your permanent veneer is bonded to your teeth.

 For composite veneers, you will only need one appointment after your consultation. At that appointment, the prosthodontist removes a small amount of tooth enamel and bonds filling material to your teeth.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Veneers?

The preparation process for dental veneers preserves most of your existing tooth structure because very little enamel needs to be removed. The gums tissue also responds well to veneers, and there will be very little irritation. You customize the color of your veneers, making for a quick and natural smile makeover.

What Are the Drawbacks of Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are a permanent change to your smile. The process cannot be reversed. If your veneers become damaged, you will have to replace them. If you have habits like pencil chewing or nail biting, you may be more susceptible to cracking your veneers. 

How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

Dental veneers usually last between 5-10 years. You’ll prolong the life of your veneers by properly caring for them and keeping up with professional cleanings and dental exams every six months.

How Much Do Veneers Cost?

Regardless of the material you choose for your veneers, the cost may vary greatly for each patient. The cost depends on where you’re having the procedure done, the material used, and how many teeth are being covered with the veneers. 

Are Veneers a Covered Insurance Benefit?

Dental veneers are usually a cosmetic procedure and unlikely to be covered by insurance. However, some insurance companies may cover a portion of the procedure. You can work with your prosthodontist and insurance provider to get an estimate of what your out-of-pocket costs will be before you have the procedure. 

What Questions Should I Ask Before Getting Veneers?

You can ask your prosthodontist to show you before and after photos of veneer cases that they’ve done and ask specifically to see cases that look most like your situation. You can also ask how many patients they’ve treated with veneers over their career to get an idea of how much experience they have with this procedure.

How Many Veneers Do I Need? 

You will discuss this with your prosthodontist during your initial consultation. Most providers will suggest an even number of veneers. Two, four, eight, ten or twelve veneers give the best results. 

Can I Preview My Veneers Before They Go In?

You will be able to see a digital smile preview, which is made by editing a photo of your smile. This will give you an idea of what the size and shape of your veneers will be and if you are comfortable with the aesthetic outcome. 

How Do the Veneers Match My Other Teeth?

Your prosthodontist can closely match the shade of your veneer to your natural teeth. Some patients may choose to have a whiter veneer and undergo tooth whitening on the natural teeth.

Does the Installation Process Hurt?

Most patients will be numbed for the veneer installation, so there should be no pain during the procedure. If you are getting a small number of veneers, you will have very little discomfort after the numbing wears off. For larger numbers of veneers, you should expect some soreness of the gums or jaw, but this can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medications.

Will I Need Gum Contouring?

In some cases, veneers will look best if the prosthodontist also does gum contouring. This creates symmetry in the smile and can lengthen short teeth. This usually doesn’t add any additional discomfort during or after your procedure. If your teeth are very short, you may be referred to a periodontist for surgical contouring.  

How Do I Care for My Veneers?

You can care for veneers the same as you would natural teeth. Brush two times each day for two minutes and floss once daily. You should also consider using a protective mouth guard at night to prevent damage from clenching or grinding the jaw. You may also want to avoid eating hard foods like nuts. 

What Happens If One of My Veneers Comes Off?

Although rare, it is possible that one of your veneers comes off. If that happens, do not try to fix or glue the veneer yourself. Call your prosthodontist immediately and get an appointment as soon as possible. Your exposed tooth may be sensitive to cold food or liquid while the veneer is off. 

Put Your Best Face Forward

If you’re ready to enhance your smile and put your best face forward, Dr. Tejas Patel and the team at Austin Cosmetic Dentistry are here to help. Request a free consultation today to hear how our high-quality veneers can work for you.

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