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All you need to know about veneers

What are veneers?

Have you wondered how Hollywood stars, business leaders, artists, and social media influencers show pristine-looking teeth? The answer is veneers.

A veneer is a thin custom-made shell designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance and recreate the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel.

The shell is bonded to the front of the teeth, changing its color, shape, size, or length.

Dental veneers help you achieve the look you dream and are a less intrusive option than crowns.

They are a popular choice for those with chipped teeth, a gap between teeth, or misshaped teeth.

Veneers are a lasting, affordable, and quick cosmetic fix for imperfections in your teeth that prevent you from having the smile you have always wanted.

What are veneers used for?

Veneers can be used to correct a wide range of dental issues, such as:

  • Stained or discolored teeth that cannot be whitened by bleaching

  • Chipped or worn teeth

  • Crooked or misshapen teeth

  • Correcting small misalignments

  • Uneven spaces or a large gap between the upper front teeth

People use veneers as a cosmetic solution to enhance the appearance of their teeth.

A board-certified prosthodontist or cosmetic dentists are the suitable professionals to put veneers.

What are the benefits of veneers?

Dental veneers have the following benefits:

  • Durability

Veneers are able to resist staining and decay better than normal teeth. Given proper care, you can expect your porcelain veneers to last between 10 and 15 years, depending on the care you take, making them a fine investment for a confident smile.

  • Keeps a more natural tooth structure and appearance

Veneers are based on the impression of your teeth, guaranteeing that the contours and color of the porcelain shell look and feel natural, allowing you to eat, drink and talk normally.

  • Solves cosmetic dental issues

Veneers provide a solution for missing teeth, cracks, chips, misshapen teeth, and stained or discoloration of teeth that are visible when you smile or talk.

  • Easy to maintain

Veneers maintenance is similar to your normal teeth. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily would help to reduce the tartar and plaque buildup.

Since dental veneers are non-porous, they are able to resist permanent stains and cavities better than natural tooth enamel.

  • Minimally invasive

Veneer procedures are much less invasive as just a small portion of your front surface (enamel) is needed by your cosmetic dentist to create room for the veneers.

 

To make room for your porcelain veneers, your cosmetic dentist will just need to shave ½ millimeter from the front surface of your teeth.

Who is an ideal candidate for veneers?

Veneers are a popular cosmetic treatment for smile makeovers or for individuals who want their dream smile.

Porcelain veneers are suitable for a large percentage of dental patients and the ideal candidate is someone that:

  • Wants to fix minor cosmetic dental issues (cracks, chips, discolored teeth, gaps).

  • Has have severely stained teeth.

  • Has healthy teeth and gums and good overall health.

  • Has healthy and sufficient tooth enamel for a strong bonding surface.

  • Has properly aligned teeth.

  • Practices good dental hygiene.

Individuals who bite their nails or grind their teeth are not ideal candidates for porcelain veneers, as these activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip.

Also, those who drink excessive coffee, bite down on hard foods such as nuts, seeds, or ice are not good candidates to have veneers if they do not take care of those habits.

Which types of veneers are available?

Veneers are made of either porcelain or composite resin.

No-prep veneers like Lumineers or Vivaneers, on the other hand, may require some tooth preparation or alteration, but these alterations are minimal. In many cases, no-prep veneers don’t require local anesthetics.

How many veneers do you need?

When you smile, you want all your teeth to match and look good, right?

In general, people assume they will need veneers on both upper and lower teeth for a matched set of teeth, but this isn’t always necessary because it depends if the lower teeth are exposed, and every face and lip line is unique to the individual.

 

For many people, this will mean having eight veneers on their upper teeth. For others, ten or twelve might be needed. And for some, only one to four veneers will meet their goal of having a great smile.

Small aesthetic changes are achieved with cosmetic bonding on some lower teeth instead of treatment with veneers.

 

A prosthodontic consultation is needed to determine how many veneers are required or if veneers are the best option.

It is a good idea to have an even number of veneers. Eight, ten or twelve veneers give the best aesthetic results.

What are some disadvantages of veneers?

The downside to dental veneers include:

  • The process is not reversible.

  • Veneers are more costly than composite resin bonding.

  • Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack.

  • Your tooth may become a bit more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.

  • The veneer’s color cannot be altered once in place.

  • Though not likely, veneers can debond and fall off.

  • Teeth with veneers can still experience decay if you do not practice good oral hygiene.

It is important that you consult a board-certified and experienced aesthetic dentist for a quality veneer treatment.

Read patients testimonials to ensure that your prospective doctors does not have a track record of bad results.

Are veneers safe?

The short answer is yes. Veneers are actually very safe and effective.

How is the veneers procedure like?

The veneers procedure takes two or three visits to your dentist's office. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.

Here is a breakdown of how the veneers are put:

  • Diagnosis and treatment planning

Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve.

During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations.

To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface.

Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area.

Next, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to send to the lab. He will put temporary composite veneers to protect your teeth.

  • Bonding

After your porcelain veneers arrive from the lab, your cosmetic dentist customizes your veneers to fit over your teeth in a way that will look and feel natural, by cutting excess material or matching the color of your tooth enamel.

Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched, which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process.

A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth.

Once properly position on the tooth, the veneer is then light cured for 60 seconds on all surfaces of it to attach it to the tooth structure, which activates chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly.

The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary.

Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer’s placement; a comfortable veneer will be a long-lasting veneer.

Are veneers painful?

Typically, patients receive mild anesthesia for the veneering process, thus, there should be no pain during the procedure once numbness takes effect.

On smaller cases (two or four veneers) there will be very little or no discomfort after the numbness subsides.

Patients should expect some soreness of the gums and possibly the jaw in cases that involve eight or more veneers.

The soreness can typically be alleviated with over the counter medications.

What are the requirements to get veneers?

X-Rays and dental impressions of your teeth are needed for veneers.

Check with your cosmetic dentist for a complete list of requirements.

How long do veneers last?

How long your veneers will last is directly determined on how you care for them. Veneers generally, if properly cared, last between 10 and 15 years.

After this time, the veneers might need to be replaced.

They do not require any special care other than regular brushing and flossing.

A professional cleaning every 6 months and yearly exams are highly recommended.

Here are guidelines to ensure your porcelain veneers last as long as possible:

  • Avoid excessive soda, red wine, coffee, tea, and other staining agents

  • Avoid grinding your teeth

  • Avoid bitting your nails

  • Avoid chewing hard foods or ice

What is the recovery time for veneers?

Veneers have no recovery time. You should be able to resume your regular activities right away, unless your doctor says otherwise.

However, it could take a week or so for your gums to return to normal.

To aid in the process, you may want to use a gum gel and a mineral rinse to strengthen the teeth.

Do veneers require special care?

A beautiful smile feels great and can increase both your confidence and well-being.

Veneers do not require any special care.

Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash as you normally would.

What should I expect after veneers?

You want your veneers to last, so you need to know how to care for them.

You should expect a brighter and beautiful looking smile that will have people saying that you have changed from the last time they saw you.

Are veneers covered by insurance?

Veneers are not covered by insurance.

Nevertheless, you should speak with your dentist and insurance provider if you have suffered an accident that requires veneers.

How much do veneers cost?

The cost of your veneers depends on factors like what type of veneers you’re choosing, what brand name your dentist has available, and the expertise of the dentist.

According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, porcelain veneers can cost an average of $925 to $4,000 per tooth.

 

In the Dominican Republic, average cost is about a third and holds the same quality.

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