If you’ve ever wished you could have a smile free of stains, gaps, or chips, veneers may be the solution you’re looking for. As an alternative to lengthy orthodontic work or whitening treatments, they’re a relatively quick and effective treatment for restoring the appearance of teeth. Whether you’re trying to regain the smile you once had or simply looking for better-looking teeth than you have now, veneers are definitely an option worth considering.
The Basics: What Are Veneers?
Essentially, a veneer is like a thin shell made of porcelain or some other composite material that’s placed over the surface of your teeth. They’re made to match the contour of your existing teeth so that they look natural, but they also cover up stains and gaps. Though thin, the materials used to make veneers are durable enough to last up to twenty years. They may not suitable for everyone, but they are a popular cosmetic treatment among those seeking a quicker, more permanent solution for their smiles.
Here’s How They Work
As a starting point, your dentist will make an impression or scan of your teeth to create a sort of working model. This mock-up helps determine the optimal shape and thickness of the finished product, and it can also give you an idea of how your smile will eventually appear.
Following this, your dentist will remove a small amount of enamel to allow for proper adhesion and to keep your lips from protruding. A second scan or impression is then taken to create a model for the permanent veneers, and you are given temporary veneers to wear until the permanent versions are ready.
About 8 weeks later, your veneers will be ready to be bonded to your teeth. After a few final adjustments, you’ll be able to walk away with a brighter and more beautiful smile to last for years.
Veneer Pros & Cons
- A relatively easy procedure for issues with chipped or crooked teeth compared to orthodontics and other cosmetic procedures.
- Remarkably natural appearance that can be made to resemble the inherent shade of your teeth.
- The hardy material can protect teeth with weakened enamel.
- With porcelain veneers, you’re unlikely to have periodontal irritation.
- A small amount of enamel needs to be removed for the procedure, which is irreversible.
- Not suitable for those who grind teeth, as this can lead to expensive damage.
- May cause temporary or prolonged sensitivity to temperature.
- Relatively expensive.
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How Much Do Veneers Cost?
The most common varieties of veneers are made of porcelain, which can cost between $800 to $2,000 per tooth. The final cost will depend on how much preparation was needed on your teeth beforehand. A full set of veneers on most or all of your visible teeth will cost between $8,000 to $12,000 at this range. Veneers made from a composite resin tend to be less expensive, however, they also tend to be less durable and are shorter-lasting. In addition to this initial cost, you will also need to purchase replacements and pay for any repairs in case they are prematurely damaged.
Because veneers are a cosmetic procedure, most dental insurance plans aren’t going to cover them. Fortunately, many dental practices are willing to work with you and many offer their own payment plans. In some rare cases, insurance plans may cover part of a veneer replacement if medically necessary to fix cracked or broken teeth.
Are Veneers Right For You?
Depending on the condition of your teeth, veneers may be the most effective option for restoring a bright and visually appealing smile. Similar options like crowns, whitening treatments, and braces may require significantly more time and effort, and may not be as suitable.
For example, other treatments that restore damages like crowns and implants may be better for teeth that have been severely damaged, but they wouldn’t be as practical or cost-effective as veneers for slightly damaged teeth.
As for saving time, veneers can offer the appearance of whiter teeth and help somewhat with alignment as well. The difference is that with veneers the procedure is complete after just two visits to the dentist, whereas orthodontics and whitening treatments can take years and require many more visits.
Anyone with lightly damaged or stained teeth could be suited for veneers, provided their mouth has finished growing and their teeth are in good condition. Generally speaking, males who’ve reached the age of 18 and females who’ve reached the age of 16 with good oral health should have matured enough to qualify. After an evaluation and determining together if veneers are best suited for your individual needs, your dentist will give the final say to approve the procedure.
Taking Care Of Your Veneers
After your veneers are permanently bonded to your teeth, be prepared to manage a few changes. Initially, you’ll need between a few days to a week to heal properly. During this time, your teeth may be extra sensitive to heat and cold. You may also want to avoid things like gum and foods that require lots of chewing.
Following this brief healing period, you’ll be able to use your veneers almost identically to how you would use your teeth normally. You will, however, need to maintain good oral hygiene habits just as you would otherwise. This includes brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and regular dental checkups. The natural teeth you have under your veneers are still vulnerable to tooth decay, which can become especially problematic if left neglected. Remember to wear a mouthguard if grinding your teeth is an issue, and be sure to avoid using your teeth to do things like open packages, as this can wear them out quicker.
Though rare, veneers may sometimes fall out because of damage or otherwise. When this happens, or if they become damaged at all, be sure to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Veneers that have fallen out may be reattached using adhesives, though damaged veneers may require newly-made replacements.
Finding Veneers In Houston, Texas
When looking for veneers, it’s always best to seek a professional service that can help you evaluate the options and formulate the best possible approach for your specific needs. Our extremely experienced dental specialists are standing by to provide you with a consultation.