To achieve that perfect Hollywood smile, you need to talk to your dentist about getting dental veneers. A dental veneer is a cosmetic dental treatment that can alter your tooth’s shape, size, and color to give you a beautiful esthetic appearance. Many people are self-conscious about the dental spacing or the size discrepancy of teeth. This is common and normal because teeth do not always erupt how we think they should. The good news is dental veneers can correct many cosmetic defects to give you the healthy and gorgeous smile you desire.
I am a licensed dentist and dental consultant who has spoken to hundreds of dentists about why they think dental veneers are the way to go when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. Out of all types of dental treatment, when a patient is looking to make a drastic transformation, they are looking for dental veneers to make that difference. Here we discuss all the advantages and some drawbacks of getting dental veneers, so you can decide if it is the right type of treatment for you.
What is a dental veneer?
Dental veneers are thin porcelain shells covering the front part of your teeth. A veneer is often fabricated from porcelain because it is durable and stain resistant. Another type of veneer is composite veneers. The main difference between the types of veneers is the material used and the cost of each type. Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers, but have a longer life span.
They are typically done in pairs to give a great esthetic result, but there are many times there are single veneers done. A dental veneer can cover all anterior teeth or just one. Veneers can help alter the shape or size of a tooth, but here are the top reasons people typically request veneers:
- Irregularly shaped teeth
- Discoloration that cannot be corrected with teeth whitening
- Gaps or spacing between teeth
- Chips or fractures
- Worn down teeth from teeth grinding
- Fluorosis that causes permanent white spots or stains
People tend to love porcelain veneers because they are stain resistant to dark-colored food and beverages. Unlike composite bonded veneers or fillings, a veneer can’t stain and is more durable to breakage. Lastly, they won’t irritate your gums or soft tissue because they are biocompatible.
How long do dental veneers last?
Porcelain veneers are not a forever solution, but the average veneer lasts a decade with good oral care. This means you should take care of your dental veneer, like your teeth, by brushing and flossing regularly, eating healthy, and visiting your dentist for routine visits. A veneer can last longer, but keeping up with your hygiene appointments is always recommended to ensure they are in top shape.
The Journal of Dentistry reports that dental veneers last up to 10 years before requiring replacement and that ceramic veneer failures usually occur because of marginal failures or discoloration. Porcelain veneers tend to last around the same time frame but can last longer because they are more durable than indirect composite veneers.
The lifespan of a veneer is important to understand because of the dental veneer’s cost. A veneer can be an expensive venture, and many people need to know the veneer will eventually need replacement.
The process of getting dental veneers
Your dentist needs to assess if you are a good candidate for dental veneers by your oral health and bite condition. Some people require orthodontics before getting veneers so that teeth are in the proper position and are esthetically pleasing when your veneer is cemented.
- Your dentist will take intraoral photographs and any necessary dental x-rays. Some practices use an intraoral scanner to show you your before, and final result before you even begin the procedure.
- A tiny amount of enamel is removed from the anterior portion of your tooth to make room for your veneer. Your dentist may need to administer a local anesthetic, so you are comfortable during the procedure.
- A traditional putty impression or intraoral scanner is used to create a mold of your teeth so that the laboratory can fabricate a custom veneer.
- The impression and personalized shade are sent to a laboratory to create a custom porcelain veneer that fits precisely to your teeth.
- A temporary veneer is fabricated chairside to give you a restoration to wear until your veneers are ready. Temporary veneers are not made to be permanent and usually last a few weeks.
- When your dental veneer is ready, the dentist will fit and adjust your veneers until they are properly placed. Then, your bite will be checked to be comfortable when you bite and speak.
- Lastly, the veneer is permanently bonded to the front part of your teeth. Excess cement is cleaned off. You can eat and drink and, most importantly, smile right away.
Are there any drawbacks to getting teeth veneers?
Most people are very satisfied with getting veneers because it makes a drastic and positive change to your smile. If there were any downsides of a veneer, it would be the high cost and being cautious not to bite into something super hard to chip or fracture the edge of the porcelain veneer.
Since veneers are expensive, you want to ensure they last as long as possible, so taking care of your natural teeth and avoiding injury to the veneer is crucial. Unfortunately, fixing a veneer is not as easy as a composite filling or affordable, so take every precaution by wearing an athletic mouthguard during sports and avoiding biting into very hard foods.
Many dentists recommend a night guard, made by the dentist, to protect veneers from chipping, breaking, wear, etc., especially if the patient is a bruxer/grinder.
Speak with your dentist about veneers today
There are so many benefits of getting dental veneers because of the durability, smooth appearance of the veneer, and how it can create a perfect shape to compliment your smile. The main downside of getting veneers is the price tag, but many dental practices offer in-office financing or payment plans to make it affordable for everyone.
If you have any concerns about how your smile looks and want a cosmetic change, a dental veneer is the most beneficial treatment compared to a filling or crown. Teeth veneers offer patients the greatest transformation because you can choose the color and size of your teeth, giving you many years of a perfect smile. Contact us today to learn more!