If you’ve ever dreamed of having a celebrity smile, veneers are an ideal option to consider. This incredibly popular cosmetic dentistry procedure offers a wide range of benefits and is often the perfect choice for people with disfigured teeth or people who have had little luck with teeth whitening products. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about veneers, including what they are, how much they cost, and the benefits that they provide.
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What Are Veneers?
Simply put, a veneer is a thin, tooth-colored shell that is placed over the front of a patient’s tooth and permanently bonded in place using dental cement or another type of adhesive. They are typically made of either porcelain or a resin-composite material. Unlike many dental procedures, installing a veneer is not meant to improve the health or functionality of a patient’s teeth. Instead, this procedure is considered a cosmetic dentistry procedure that is designed to improve the appearance of a person’s smile.
In some cases – such as a patient who has chipped or broken a single tooth – only one veneer is needed. In other instances, though – such as teeth that are severely discolored, teeth that are smaller than average, or teeth that are unusually shaped – your dentist may recommend installing six to eight veneers in order to provide you with a smile make over and create a smile that is more even and symmetrical. A veneer is most commonly placed over the eight teeth that make up the top, front row of your smile. However, they can be placed on other teeth as well.
How Much Do Veneers Cost?
Since veneers are considered to be a cosmetic dentistry procedure, they are not typically covered by dental insurance. This means that most patients will have to pay out-of-pocket for this procedure, and it makes the price an important factor to take into account.
The reality is that it isn’t so easy to pinpoint an exact price on how much the procedure will cost without getting a quote from your dentist. Depending on the type of veneer that you choose, their price tag can vary quite a bit. No-prep veneers, for example, tend to cost anywhere between $800 to $2,000 per tooth while traditional veneers tend to cost anywhere between $925 to $2,500 per tooth. Since traditional veneers can last up to eight years longer than their no-prep counterparts, though, they are often the more economical choice over the long run.
Traditional Veneers VS No-Prep Veneers:
We’ve already mentioned that there are two main types of veneers that you have available to choose from: traditional and no-prep. These two types of veneers differ in several key ways, so it’s important to compare and contrast the two before you decide which is the best choice for you.
As the name suggests, no-prep veneers are simpler and less invasive to apply. With no-prep veneers, your dentist will simply roughen the surface of the enamel on the tooth where the veneer is being applied in order to create a better surface for the adhesive to bond to before installing the veneer. This process doesn’t tend to cause any discomfort, and a local anesthetic is typically not required. Installing no-prep veneers is also a reversible procedure, meaning that the structure of the tooth remains intact and that the tooth will still be functional after the veneer is removed.
Installing traditional veneers, on the other hand, requires a dentist to grind down the structure of the tooth where the veneer is being installed. In some cases, a dentist may have to grind past the tooth’s enamel in order to prep it for installing a traditional veneer. Unlike prepping a tooth for no-prep veneers, this process can sometimes be painful and tends to require the use of a local anesthetic. Since installing traditional veneers involves significantly altering the structure of a patient’s teeth, installing traditional veneers is also not a reversible process.
However, while installing traditional veneers is a more invasive and non-reversible process, traditional veneers do offer one key advantage over their no-prep counterparts. On average, no-prep veneers will only last five to seven years before they need to be replaced. Traditional veneers, meanwhile, are designed to last ten to fifteen years.
While we’re comparing traditional and no-prep veneers, it may also be beneficial to take a look at how veneers differ from other, similar dental procedures. Unlike tooth implants, veneers do not replace the entire tooth. Rather, they simply cover its front surface. Veneers also differ from crowns in the fact that crowns are designed to completely encompass the tooth that they are covering while veneers only cover the front surface of the tooth – the part that is visible when you smile.
Veneers Vs Other Dental Procedures:
Installing a veneer is not the only way to improve your smile or fix a broken tooth. Other options include crowns, dental implants, and dentures. Unlike a veneer – which only covers the front surface of the tooth – crowns are shells that cover the entire surface of the tooth where they are installed. Crowns are often used to protect a weak tooth or hold together a tooth that has cracked. With this being the case, crowns are not typically considered to be a cosmetic procedure.
Another dental procedure that may be the right option for you is dental implants. Dental implants completely replace a tooth with an artificial replacement and are ideal for instances where a patient is either missing a tooth or has a tooth that is damaged beyond repair.
Finally, some patients may want to consider dentures as opposed to other options. For teeth that are incredibly damaged or disfigured, having all of the teeth pulled and replacing them with a set of high-quality dentures may be the best solution.
How Veneers Are Placed?
If you and your dentist decide that it is the right choice for you, the process of installing veneers will begin with your dentist taking X-rays in order to evaluate the health of your teeth. If your dentist discovers any issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, or the need for a root canal, these issues may need to be addressed before a veneer can be installed. For teeth that are crooked or uneven, your dentist may recommend first installing braces in order to straighten your smile.
Next, your dentist will remove about half a millimeter from the surface of the teeth where a veneer is to be placed before creating a mold of your teeth by having you bite down into a malleable putty that will harden in place after a few minutes. This mold is then sent into a lab and used as a model to create veneers that are perfectly sized and shaped for your teeth. On average, this process should take about one to two weeks.
At the time that your veneers arrive, your dentist will contact you in order to schedule an appointment to have them installed. At this appointment, the installation process will begin with your dentist carefully evaluating each veneer in order to ensure that the fit, shape, and coloration are all perfect. Next, your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth. This is a vital step in the process since any bacteria or food matter that is left in place when a veneer is installed will become trapped and will likely cause tooth decay.
Once your teeth have been cleaned, the next step in the process is dependent on the type of veneer that you are having installed. For no-prep veneers, your dentist will only need to roughen the surface of the teeth’s enamel in order to create a better surface for the adhesive to adhere to. For traditional veneers, your cosmetic dentist will need to inject a local anesthetic before grinding down the teeth where each veneer is to be installed. Once your teeth have been prepped, the veneers are then put into place and secured using dental cement. This dental cement is then hardened using an ultraviolet light. After the dental cement has been hardened, your dentist will polish the surface of each veneer and check with you to make sure that they are comfortable. With all of this done, you are then ready to walk out of the dentist’s office with a glowing smile!
What Are the Benefits Of Veneers?
Veneers are an ideal solution for correcting a number of cosmetic conditions, including conditions such as:
- Teeth that are abnormally small, overly pointed, or otherwise misshapen
- Teeth that are chipped or broken
- Teeth that are too severely discolored to be fixed with more traditional teeth whitening solutions
- Gaps in-between the front teeth in your smile
Since they can often last upwards of a decade before they need to be replaced, installing veneers is a semi permanent solution that can provide you with a more attractive smile for many years to come.
How To Maintain Your Veneers:
The good news for anyone who chooses veneers is that the process of installing them does entail a lengthy recovery process. Instead, you will still be able to enjoy almost all of your favorite foods as soon as you leave the dentist’s office. While installing a traditional veneer is somewhat invasive and does tend to require the use of a local anesthetic, the process should likewise not cause you any discomfort once you’ve left the dentist and the anesthetic has worn off. With all of that said, though, there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind in order to keep your veneers in pristine condition. This includes things such as:
- Always wear a mouthguard when you are playing sports.
- Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice, toothpicks, pencils, and your fingernails.
- Avoid using your teeth to rip open plastic packages.
- Try to avoid chewing with your front teeth. Harder foods should especially only be chewed using your molars. It may help to cut harder foods up into smaller pieces in order to make this possible.
- If you are prone to grinding your teeth while you sleep, you may want to wear a retainer to protect your veneers.
With proper care, a veneer can last an incredibly long time before it needs to be replaced, providing you with a stunning smile that lasts for as long as possible and ensuring that you get the most benefit out of your investment.
Knowing Your Options:
If you would like to achieve a smile that you can be proud of, veneers are an excellent option to consider. This cosmetic dentistry procedure is incredibly popular for a wide range of reasons, including the relative ease in which a veneer can be installed, their ability to completely transform a person’s smile, and the fact that they can last for upwards of a decade. If you feel that veneers are the right choice for giving you the smile makeover you’ve always wanted, be sure to schedule your next appointment here, and speak to one our professional treatment coordinator to learn more about your options and financing.