Woman looking at her brightened smile in a mirror
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Cosmetic dentists may recommend veneers for issues such as broken or chipped teeth or root canals. Are your teeth discolored, and whitening won't help? Veneers assist in correcting this common dental issue. Other aesthetic problems corrected by veneers include tiny teeth, gaps between teeth, and oddly shaped teeth. According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, Choosing to have dental veneers placed is the first step to improving the aesthetics of your teeth and getting that winning smile you've longed for. Determining what material to go with is the second. In this section, you will receive answers to the frequently asked questions listed below:

  1. What are veneers?
  2. Porcelain or composite resin?
  3. How much does a complete set cost?
  4. How long do veneers last?
  5. A step-by-step guide through the process.
  6. Will it hurt, and what is the recovery?
  7. Who isn't a good candidate?
  8. Are veneers permanent?
  9. Scheduling a cosmetic consultation.

What are veneers?

Veneers are thin coverings that are permanently attached to a tooth's front surface. Color-matched veneers improve the overall appearance of teeth by making them look straighter and brighter. There is no set number of veneers you need to choose. A chipped or broken tooth usually can be fixed with one or two, but making a smile symmetrical will take more. The dentist usually applies a veneer to your top front eight (8) teeth. So, how do veneers work? Regardless of the type a patient chooses, veneers work just like healthy teeth once attached to the front of your teeth.

Which is better, porcelain or composite resin veneers?

There are two main types of veneers: porcelain and composite resin. Porcelain veneers are thin shells that are custom-made for each tooth. There are several benefits to porcelain veneers, including their strength and durability. They also resemble your natural teeth while requiring less tooth enamel removal instead of having a crown or cap placed. Porcelain veneers also don't easily stain. Composite resin veneers differ from porcelain because they fill material that's bonded directly to the tooth. Because of this, they involve less tooth enamel removal than porcelain veneers. They also typically require fewer dental visits to fit them. Your dentist fixes composites faster and more efficiently than porcelain veneers. However, porcelain is not as strong of a material.

How much does a full set of veneers cost?

There is a significant price difference between porcelain and composite resin veneers. If you're getting all your teeth done, it might be pricey, but the visual improvement may well be worth the investment. Craftsmanship is a significant factor in price and choice. To illustrate, your dentist or prosthodontist bonds resin to a tooth with composites. The success depends on their ability, experience, and bonding technique. A potential patient should expect the cost to range from $250 to $1,500 per tooth. On the other hand, a lab technician's skill set is essential to a positive result with porcelain. With that said, the cost of porcelain varies significantly from $925 to $2,500 per tooth.

How long do veneers last?

The lognevity of veneers depends on the type of veneer. Porcelain veneers are known for their longevity. Patients can expect a solid decade or more from porcelain veneers. Some patients have them for as long as 20 years. Diligence with proper maintenance and care is the key to making porcelain veneers last that long. That includes brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits. Avoid foods that will stain them, like coffee or wine. Also, don't chew hard foods that could crack the veneer, such as nuts, hard candies, and ice cubes. Consider wearing a mouth guard if you play contact sports or grind your teeth when you sleep. Lastly, avoid using your teeth to try to open objects, like a bottle cap.

Composite resin veneers tend to last for at least five years, if not longer. However, they likely won't provide the longevity of porcelain veneers.When it comes to choosing which type of veneer is right for you, lifespan is a vital characteristic to take into consideration.

The Veneers Process: Your Step by Step Guide

Patients might be wondering — how long does it take to get veneers? The porcelain veneer process typically takes three (3) visits. The first visit is a consultation. Your dentist answers questions and provides you with a general picture of the final results. Once you find the style you like, you'll return for a second visit to begin the process. Next, your dentist prepares your teeth by removing some enamel from the front and sides of each tooth. As a result, your veneer's positioning allows for teeth to sit in place properly, so you have a natural-looking smile. After preparation, your dentist takes a mold of the teeth and sends it to a lab. It's the last step to make your porcelain veneers.

You might be wondering what will your teeth look like while you wait? So, in a protective measure for your teeth, your dentist places temporary veneers on your teeth during your second appointment. Many patients find this helpful because they know what it's going to feel like to have veneers. At your third and final appointment, each tooth is covered with its custom-made veneer. In total, the timeframe from consultation to final placement is usually three (3) weeks. Alternatively, dentists who use cerec CADCAM technology often make the veneers on-site and deliver them the same day of your enamel-removal preparation.

Composite veneers take less time than porcelain. Like the porcelain process, a dentist prepares the original teeth for the bonding process. Once finished, your dentist bonds the composite material to your teeth using a special light to make them hard. Finally, the veneers are smoothed and polished to resemble natural teeth. In some cases, composite resin veneers may require one (1) or two (2) cases at most.

Who is not a good candidate for veneers?

Given the cost, the details of the procedure, and the time investment involved with getting veneers, there are a few pros and cons of veneers each patient should consider.

  • Teeth and gum health. Consult your dentist before committing to the procedure. You must have healthy teeth and gums.
  • Expectations and treatment options. Discuss these in-depth with your dentist before going ahead with veneers.
  • Teeth clenching and grinding. If you regularly do either with your teeth, veneers might not be for you. Grinding and clenching can chip or break veneers. One way around that is to wear a night guard when you sleep.
  • Future maintenance. Veneers are not forever. They can become loose, thus, requiring replacements.
  • Tooth enamel removal. In both choices, your dentist removes tooth enamel before veneer placement. Enamel removal is permanent and irreversible.

Many patients ask if dental insurance covers the procedure. Dental insurance rarely covers any or all of the costs with veneers. That will undoubtedly increase your out-of-pocket expenses. Ask your dentist about financing options and the necessity of partial or complete set veneers.

Will, it hurt to get veneers?

Be ready for some discomfort throughout the process. First, you might encounter some gum sensitivity during the veneer placement. During bonding of the final set, your pain or sensitivity level may increase. A patient also might experience a sensation referred to as bonding sensitivity. The sensitivity is comparable to biting into something cold followed by a sharp pain sensation. The pain can be rather intense. Ask your dentist about over-the-counter pain medication and rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. The pain or sensitivity that results from the final veneers tends to last anywhere from a day to several weeks.

Your gums might be tender and sore for up to a week. Once veneer placement is complete, patients still need to maintain proper dental hygiene like usual. Start by brushing and flossing daily. Teeth are still susceptible to cavities under and around the veneers. And don't chew on anything that isn't food, as veneers are susceptible to breaking or chipping under enough pressure.

Are veneers permanent?

No, they aren't. But taking care of your teeth will help prolong their lifespan. Gum recession and grinding can necessitate veneer replacement, so try wearing a mouth guard at night to protect against grinding effects. Brushing and rinsing with fluoride protects against cavities while preventing staining that results from eating and drinking. Finally, you'll want to use dental products that have the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance. Remember, your veneers are new and might give your mouth a bit of an odd feeling initially. Give it a few days to get used to it. But, be sure to speak up right away if your bite feels off after final veneer placement. That gives your dentist the chance to correct the bite before you leave the office.

You also might feel some rough spots initially. Chances are, it is probably just some extra cement from the setting process that has adhered to one of the veneers. A few days of typical eating and brushing should wear it down. Your dentist can smooth those spots out if they linger.

Your consultation is only a click or phone call away!

Suppose you are unhappy with your teeth for any of the reasons listed above. In that case, Smile Generation recommends a cosmetic dentistry consultation is the first step toward new, improved teeth:

  • We recommend searching for a local cosmetic dentist and scheduling your consultation.
  • Your dental veneer's consultation allows you to explain your expectations and desired results.
  • Use the Find A Dentist tool.

We have made it simple to search for the best dentist near you. You can search by the name of the dentist or office specializing in cosmetic dentistry.