Is your smile crooked and makes you uncomfortable? Are you sick and tired of having to hide your front teeth? Are your misplaced teeth the reason for your lack of self-confidence? Then you have come to the right place. What if I told you that there is an easy and cheap solution to your problem? It’s called dental veneers, and they have changed the lives of millions of people. And it’s about to change yours too. You will be incredibly happy with your new smile.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are a prosthetics device that a dentist would use to cover your teeth for aesthetic purposes. If you do not want to undergo more invasive cosmetic dentistry procedures such as dental implants, dental veneers are something you may be interested in. Such a device can be used to cover a single tooth or multiple, depending on your specific needs. For instance, if you have one tooth that looks bad, you can cover only the surface of the tooth in question. The same can be done for the entire front surface of your teeth.
The purpose of this revolutionary solution is to give you that ‘Hollywood’ smile without going through too much trouble and without spending a whole lot of money on cosmetic dentistry.
Please note that tooth veneers are not to replace oral health. You cannot wear them unless your natural tooth is healthy. That is why you must fix any issues to your teeth before veneers are placed.
How do dental veneers work?
The way dental veneers work is quite simple. Your dentist will make a mold of your existing teeth after they have been properly prepared. The impression is then sent to a dental lab that will make the veneers. The whole point is to make the veneers fitted perfectly for your teeth. Once you receive them, the dentist places them on the front surface of your teeth, and voila! You have perfect front teeth. It is as simple as that.
Dental veneers – indications
Dental veneers can be used for multiple reasons, some more serious than others. Here are the instances in which it is perfectly acceptable to opt for veneer teeth:
- You have fractured or discolored teeth
- You have small teeth, and the spaces between them cannot be corrected with traditional orthodontics
- Your teeth are worn out, and the irregular edges give you the impression of premature aging
- You have mispositioned teeth. People also use veneers for crooked teeth
- You suffer from gum recession, and you want for the black triangles between the teeth to go away
- Your teeth are asymmetrical
- Teeth bleaching has proved inefficient in the past for you
- Your teeth are worn out due to aging
The list can go on, but the reasons above are the most common for which people choose to go through a veneers-placing procedure.
Types of dental veneers
Ever since dental veneers hit the market, people have shown more and more interest in them. Consequently, manufacturers came up with new and improved products, which led to several types of such products. There are several categories, and we will discuss them all one by one.
Based on the material used for the manufacturing process, there are three subcategories of dental veneers: dental porcelain veneers, also known as ceramic veneers, composite veneers, otherwise called resin veneers, and zirconia veneers.
What are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers are sometimes called ceramic veneers, and they consist of a thin shell that is made of porcelain. Many people choose a porcelain veneer because they last long and are durable, they have a natural look, it is very difficult to stain them, and it requires less tooth enamel to be removed in the placing process compared with a cap or a crown. Plus, the surface of the tooth looks incredibly natural.
Porcelain veneers cost
In case you are wondering how much porcelain veneers are, then the answer would be somewhere in the middle. They cost less than zirconia veneers, but more than composite veneers.
What are composite veneers?
A composite/resin veneer is made of a tooth-colored material similar to a filling material, and it is bonded with the teeth. There are several reasons why people prefer this solution. For one, less enamel must be removed from the tooth surface than with the porcelain veneers. It does not take as long to place, and sometimes it is enough a single visit to the dentist. If it gets damaged, a composite veneer is easy to fix.
Composite veneers cost
If you want some cheap veneers, then you may want to opt for composite veneers. Apparently, from all the options, they are the most affordable.
What are zirconia veneers?
A zirconia veneer is the latest technology when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. That is why not all dentists can place them. Basically, they are made of a type of porcelain, but the ultra-thin layer of zirconia makes them the best on the market so far. We say ultra-thin because unlike the other two kinds, a zirconia veneer is machine-made, and that allows high precision cutting. Nevertheless, it is known to be the strongest.
Zirconia veneers cost
As you can imagine, zirconia is a semi-precious material, which is why veneers that are made from zirconia are the most expensive. In fact, all dental products that are made of zirconia are the costliest. However, if you can afford it, you do not have to worry about damage for a very long time. The quality is worth the price, and you will be happy with the results.
Based on the placing method, there are two subcategories of dental veneers: permanent veneers and clip on veneers. The latter kind is also known as Snap-on veneers. You may hear the term of temporary veneers as well.
The permanent veneers are the ones that are placed by a dentist, and they are cemented to the tooth surface. However, keep in mind that the ‘permanent’ term is used loosely in this context. They are just as permanent as a crown. It needs to be re-cemented from time to time, and replacement can occur. Even so, solutions such as this one provide a long-lasting effect.
Clip-on veneers, on the other hand, can be removed whenever you see fit. They are custom-fit, but you can place them and take them out at home whenever necessary. So, if you are looking for removable veneers, this is what you want.
How much do veneers cost?
The answer to this question depends on the type of veneer you choose to go over your teeth. However, what we can tell you is that composite veneers are cheaper than porcelain veneers, and the zirconia veneers are more expensive than the other two.
How much do veneers last?
Again, it depends. Not only on the material the veneer is made of, but on the level of maintenance as well. Porcelain veneers, for example, can last for 10 or even 15 years as long as they are adequately cared for. Resin veneers have a shorter lifespan of 5 to 7 years, but they are easier to repair. However, same as with your natural teeth, some things can shorten the lifespan of a veneer. Here is some advice on how to care for your veneers:
- Practice good oral hygiene – veneers must be taken care of as if they are your natural teeth. They can get chipped, stained, or even severely damaged. Make sure to brush your teeth often and use other oral health products. Your dentist can provide you with some proper advice on that
- Don’t use your teeth as tools – it may seem a little thing to use your teeth instead of scissors, right? Many people seem to think so, and that is how you damage your teeth. When you wear veneers, you have to avoid that at all times
- Avoid biting hard food/materials – if you are in the habit of chewing your pen, you should stop. Also, avoid biting ice and other hard foods. You can lose a natural tooth by doing that. Why would a veneer be any different?
- Wear a guard whenever necessary – do you engage in contact sports? A guard will save your teeth, whether you wear dental veneers or not. Also, if you have bruxism, which is grinding your teeth in your sleep, a nightguard is a must
Veneers – pros and cons
Whenever you want to make an investment, you have to weigh the pros and cons to make sure that you make the best possible decision. You have to be happy with the choice you make. It can be the same with a veneer. After all, they can be pricey. However, as you are about to find out, the pros seem to outweigh the cons.
- Dental veneers are often cheaper than any other dental treatment
- You will spend less time at the dentist if you opt for veneers. In most cases, everything can be done in just 2 appointments, one of which is a consultation, and the pause between them is not long. Implants, for example, can take months
- Your teeth will have better aesthetics with veneers than with dental implants, for instance. While implants must comply with the natural color of your teeth, a veneer can be whiter because it covers the entire front side of your teeth
Like with anything else, there are cons as well. Here are the most notable:
- Placing dental veneers on your teeth requires the dentist to remove some enamel from your existing teeth. Some people do not like that.
- The process of removing enamel is irreversible. Once you have your veneer put on, you will depend on them for the rest of your life. Provided that you want the ‘perfect teeth’ look
How are veneers put in?
Nobody likes going to the dentist, but it is not something you can opt out of. Even so, the procedure of putting veneers on your teeth is not something you should be scared of. The entire process does not take very long, and it should not hurt at all.
The procedure a doctor will follow to place your veneer can differ depending on the type you want. You can both determine that during a consultation, depending on your desires and budget. However, in most cases, this is what it is going to happen:
- It is not always the case, but you may have to undergo some treatment before a veneer can be placed. That is if you have problems such as cavities
- The dentist will remove some of the enamel from your teeth, both from the sides and the front. That will make room for the veneers so that they look natural
- Next is the mold. The dentist will make an impression of your teeth so that the right shape and size can be established. This is also the moment when the shade is determined. Keep in mind that you may not be able to opt for the tone you want because of your complexion. The dentist will help you with that
- The dentist sends the mold to a dental lab that will custom make your veneers. They have to be a perfect fit, so it may take a while to get them back
- Once the veneers are ready, the dentist will check if the veneers are the right shape and size. Keep in mind that it is normal to feel uncomfortable at first, but if something does not feel right, you have to say something about it so that the proper adjustments can be made. If everything is right where it should be, the dentist will clean your teeth and then bond the veneers to them
If you notice any discomfort after your appointment, you can go in for more adjustments until you feel like you have achieved the desired result.
Before and after getting veneers – what is there to know?
Getting veneers now sounds appealing, right? But do you know what happens before and after you put them on? Do you know what to expect? If not, then you should stick around, and I will run you through it.
Before you get dental veneers, there are a few things you may want to be aware of:
- You cannot have dental veneers unless your teeth are perfectly healthy. Every single tooth. So, before you undergo the procedure, your dentist must fix all cavities and other diseases. The health of your teeth under veneers is of utmost importance
- If you are in the habit of grinding your teeth while you sleep (called bruxism,) veneers may not be such a good idea. However, if you plan on wearing a nightguard, all should be well
- The process of removing the enamel from your teeth is absolutely necessary before placing the veneers, but it is also irreversible. Once that is done, there is no going back, so make sure to think hard and well about your decision
- Veneers are just as permanent as a crown is, meaning that you may need new ones in about 10 years. They will come loose in time
This is what you should know after you get dental veneers:
- Veneers, same as teeth, can chip or break. So, make sure to avoid hard foods, biting habits, or contact sports. If necessary, buy a mouth guard for activities such as contact sports
- It will take you a few days to get used to the newest addition in your mouth, so give it some time. However, if something does not feel right after the transition period, let your dentist know and they will make the right adjustment. For instance, you may feel like your bite is not exactly right
- Just because you get veneers, it does not mean you can lose interest in dental hygiene. Not only can they get stained, but cavities can still form underneath them, in which case veneers must be removed to treat the cavities. Not fun. So take care of your teeth as best as possible. As if they would be your own
Frequently Asked Questions
Are veneers permanent?
As permanent as they can be. Porcelain dental veneers can last up to 15 years with proper care, but ultimately, they need changing. Composite resin veneers can last up to 7 years. However, the same can be said about dental crowns. So while permanent does not mean forever in this context, the lifespan of veneers is more than satisfactory.
Are veneers worth it?
That is for you to know. However, think about all the procedures you have to undergo to have a beautiful smile on your own. Braces, painful processes, countless visits to the dentist, expensive whitening treatments, etc. Shall I go on? Why do all that when there is a faster, easier, and cheaper way?
Can you whiten veneers?
If you opt for porcelain veneers, that is not even an issue because they do not get stained. However, if you choose composite veneers, stains and discoloring can happen. If and when that happens, do not use traditional bleaching methods because they will not work. In fact, resin veneers do not respond well to that. Instead, talk to your dentist and have them do professional cleaning. That will certainly improve the look of your veneers.
Are there teeth whitening veneers?
No. That is not the purpose of veneers. While they are bonded to your natural teeth, there is no whitening effect underneath. But the veneers already give you a whiter smile, and most people wear them for the rest of their lives, so there is no point in teeth whitening veneers.
The bottom line is that dental veneers will change your life. Everyone wears them these days. You would be surprised how many celebrities with veneers are out there. Besides, here you have an easy and relatively cheap way of improving your smile. So why not take it?