Everyone wants a beautiful smile. However, not all have it naturally. Dental conditions like misaligned teeth, cracked or chipped teeth, or worn tooth enamel can affect your teeth’ look. Even a single dental issue can make your smile unappealing. The good news is dentists specialising in cosmetic dentistry can offer various solutions to restore your beautiful smile, and one of the most common options is dental veneers.
What Are Veneers?
Those are thin, customised shells designed to cover the front surface of your teeth. They are an ideal solution for improving the appearance of your teeth and safeguarding them from further damage.
It can be made from any of the two materials – porcelain or composite resin. Both these materials are durable and look like natural tooth enamel.
You may want to get them fixed on your teeth for various reasons. Maybe you are unhappy with the colour of your teeth. Or you have cracks or chips on your teeth that you wish to cover up. Or you want to close the gaps between your teeth. It can fix various issues with your teeth. Before getting them, be sure to talk to your dental professional to understand if they are suitable for you.
What Do Veneers Look Like?
Perfectly created and applied veneers look like better versions of your natural teeth. They improve the appearance of your smile by fixing issues like gaps in teeth, uneven teeth, and chipped teeth. If you have a grey or discoloured tooth due to an injury in the past, it can help fix that as well. Moreover, they can smoothen teeth with bulges or uneven surfaces.
Veneers are one of the best options for anyone having no extensive damage to their teeth and who wants to perfect their smile with a less-invasive treatment.
How Do Veneers Work?
As mentioned earlier, They are thin shells that cover up various dental imperfections to enhance the look of your teeth and give you the freedom to smile freely.
Dental veneers work by: Closing gaps and hiding imperfections: If you have gaps or imperfect teeth, you may not want to hide them behind a close-lip smile. However, such problems can be
resolved with the help of dental veneers that can fill in gaps, hide imperfections, and enhance your teeth’s appearance. They are made to fit your teeth and match their colour to offer a flawless look.
Giving you a white and bright smile: Teeth whitening may seem like a simple fix for removing discolouration of your teeth. However, you must know that not everyone responds well to whitening agents. For example, dental stains caused by medications or exposure to fluoride during childhood may not be removed effectively by teeth whitening products. This is when the need for veneers arises to cover these stains and enhance the look of your teeth. Also, they are more resistant to stains than your natural tooth enamel, so they are likely to stay whiter for longer.
Covering cracks and chips: They don’t just improve the look of your teeth but also offer additional strength and resilience. In addition, It provides an extra layer of protection in case of cracks or chips in your teeth, preventing further damage. However, it is essential to know that though veneers can fix multiple conditions, a severely damaged tooth may require different treatments, like a dental crown or implant, for better appearance, health, and performance.
Teeth straightening without orthodontics
You can achieve a straighter smile with veneers without going through painful and time-consuming orthodontics treatments. They allow you to reshape your teeth and make them appear more aligned. However, it is essential to know that this cosmetic dentistry treatment works wonders only on minor misalignments. If the teeth placement affects your bite or the health of your mouth, orthodontic treatment may be the only solution.
No gummy smile: They can resolve gummy smile issues. Every veneer can be customised to fit perfectly onto your teeth and give you the desired smile. In addition, They can be applied to offer more balance to your smile, allowing you to show more teeth and less gum.
Dental veneers – The Types Available
There are two types of dental veneers: composite veneers and porcelain veneers. While these options provide protection and work perfectly in concealing cracks, chips, and discolouration, they are two different entities.
As their name suggests, composite ones are made from composite resin, the same material used by your dentist for white fillings. Layers of resin are applied onto the tooth to smoothen chips and cracks and cover the flaws. The material is then hardened to look like your existing tooth enamel.
On the other hand, Porcelain ones are custom-made shells prepared to cover the entire front surface of the tooth. They are made from dental porcelain, a material that offers protection and natural translucency once applied.
Both of them are durable and easily replaceable. However, porcelain material tend to last longer than composite ones.
Advantages of Dental Veneers
They cosmetically repair teeth: They can make a smile more pleasing to the eye. They are custom-made for every individual to give their teeth the most attractive look possible. Since they match your tooth colour and reflect light like natural teeth, they are difficult to spot. Moreover, they do not stain easily, giving you a beautiful smile for years.
They offer a natural appearance: To get them, you may have to make multiple visits to your dental practitioner. However, the outcome of this will be an incredibly natural smile. Since they are custom-made, they tend to match the colour of your tooth enamel and the contour of your natural teeth. Therefore, a skilled dentist can sculpt them precisely to give you a great smile.
They are minimally invasive: they can be applied to your teeth using a minimally invasive layer. a minimal layer to make space for the veneer. A special adhesive will then be applied to your teeth to bond the veneer perfectly. Minor adjustments to the size or colour of the veneer may be made to give the most natural look. Patients do not require anaesthesia during the procedure. Also, once they are bonded, patients can see the results immediately.
They are a quick cosmetic fix for various dental issues:
Veneers can fix various issues, including misshapen or uneven teeth and discolouration, that cannot be solved with whitening treatments. In addition, the process is typically less invasive than other cosmetic dental procedures, such as crowns or braces.
Dental veneers can address any of the following dental issues:
- Chipped teeth
- Missing teeth
- Gaps between the teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Stained or discoloured teeth
They are a permanent solution: They can resist decay and staining better than natural teeth, making them long-lasting. They may serve you for about 10 to 15 years with proper care and maintenance.
Disadvantages of Dental Veneers
Tooth Sensitivity: The dental veneer application procedure may lead to sensitivity. This is because a small portion of your tooth’s enamel is exposed before the veneer is placed, which causes mild sensation post-treatment. However, the sensitivity is temporary and may subside in a few days.
Susceptible to Damage: They are durable but not indestructible. They may break, chip or even fall off due to impact. Therefore, it is best to wear a mouthguard while playing a sport and avoid chewing on hard foods to prevent any damage. Moreover, you must practice a regular dental care routine to maintain your looks.
Procedure for Veneer Application
You will first have a preliminary appointment with your dental practitioner to discuss your options. During this appointment, your dental specialist will tell you if this option is right for you, how many of them you will require, and what the expected outcome will be. For example, if your teeth are too crooked or uneven, they may not help, and you may need a different treatment, like braces, to fix the issue.
At this stage, you may expect your dentist to take x-rays to evaluate the health of your teeth. X-rays can help to detect cavities, gum disease, or the need for root canals. If you have any of these dental issues, you will be recommended to undergo an appropriate treatment to fix the problem and then go for veneers.
At the next appointment, your dental professional will trim about half a millimetre of your tooth and then take an impression (mould) of your teeth to get accurate sizing for preparing your veneers. These impressions are sent off to the lab to create your veneers.
How Are Veneers Put on Your Teeth?
Once your dentist takes an impression of your teeth and submits it to the lab, it may take about a week or more to get your veneers back.
Once your veneers are ready, you can fix an appointment to have them placed. During this appointment, your dentist will evaluate the veneers’ fit, shape, and colour to ensure they’re ideal for you.
Next, your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth to prevent bacteria from being trapped under the veneer and causing decay. Then, they will use a grinding tool to create a rougher texture on your teeth to ensure easy application of them. At last, dental cement will be used to bond the veneer to the tooth. Then, it will be exposed to ultraviolet light to harden the cement quickly.
The appointment, during which the veneers are placed, doesn’t last longer than 2 hours. However, this may vary depending on the number of veneers and if a local anaesthetic is used.
Does Getting Dental Veneers Hurt?
Sensitivity and discomfort are common issues that may follow the application of dental veneers. However, any pain that follows the procedure may go away soon, allowing you to enjoy your beautiful smile.
Most dentists numb your mouth before they begin the dental veneer process. When you are numb, you wouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort. Most patients undergoing two to four veneers experience little to no pain post-procedure. However, patients with eight or more veneers may experience soreness in the gums or jaw. But this is mild and temporary and can be quickly relieved with over-the-counter medications.
How Long Do Veneers Last?
Composite veneers, when looked after well, may last for up to eight years. Though composite veneer treatment gets done faster, the material is not as strong and durable as porcelain. Also, composite veneers are more prone to chipping. But you can repair the chip quickly, unlike in the case of porcelain veneers.
Porcelain ones can easily last 10 years or more as this material is much stronger than composite resin and not prone to chipping.
Maintaining Your Veneers
Looking after your veneers can extend their life.
Maintain oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for them. It is best if you brush your teeth twice daily and floss once. Caring for your veneers is similar to caring for your natural teeth. You must know that they do not prevent tooth decay. Hence, it is a must to maintain a high standard of oral care routine.
Moreover, avoiding aggressive brushing and insufficient dental care is recommended as this may lead to other problems like gum recession. Once your gums start to recede around your teeth, they may make the junction between the veneer and your tooth visible. The more they recede, the more visible this junction will be. If this happens, you will have to get your veneers replaced.
Don’t chew hard foods: Hard food that may chip or crack your tooth can also damage your veneers. Hence, avoiding biting directly into hard foods like ice, raw carrots, or nuts is best. Instead, you must chop these foods into small bite-sized pieces before eating them. Also, habits like chewing on pens or pencils or biting nails can damage your veneers.
Avoid teeth grinding (Bruxism): People may grind their teeth when stressed or have an abnormal bite or a sleeping disorder. Patients with dental veneers are recommended to have a nightguard made to help protect their veneers from getting damaged due to teeth grinding or clenching at night.
Avoid staining foods: Porcelain ones are stain-resistant. However, certain foods and drink can affect their pearly white colour. Staining them may occur due to excessive coffee, tea, wine or cigarette smoking. If you aren’t willing to give up on your
favourite drink, you must drink it using a straw to prevent it from touching and staining them.
Why Are Veneers So Popular?
Many celebrities have got porcelain veneers fixed on their teeth surface, and they are not the only ones. They have become a standard treatment for people who want to improve their smile. So if you come across a person with sparkling healthy teeth and a perfect smile, there are good chances they’re wearing porcelain veneers.
It is common for people to have imperfections in their natural smile, and this makes them self-conscious and wanting to have whiter, straighter, and even teeth. They are ideal for people from all walks of life as they offer you the desired results without undergoing invasive cosmetic work.
The Cost of Dental Veneers
The cost of them depends on the type of material you choose and the condition of your teeth and gums. On average, the price of porcelain material is between $850–$2,000 per tooth. On the other hand, composite material cost anywhere between $300–$1,500 per tooth.
Porcelain ones are priced higher than composite veneers because they are made by a ceramist in a dental lab using high-grade ceramic materials. Porcelain is a more durable material than resin; however, both work well in transforming the visual appeal of your teeth.
The exact cost varies on the individual case, depending on how complex the issue is. For example, if your teeth need to undergo significant preparation or health stabilisation before the veneer procedure can begin, the cost may go higher.
Does Health Insurance cover Veneers?
It is a cosmetic procedure. Hence, they are not covered by dental insurance. In most cases, regular health insurance covers primary dental treatments. However, if the upfront cost of dental implants bothers you, you may ask your dentist about comprehensive finance or payment plan. These plans let you pay for your veneers in instalments.
While health insurance doesn’t cover the cost of your veneers, other financial options can help you acquire your dream smile.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Make sure the dentist is reputable and has a lot of experience with them.
- Get a good idea of what your teeth will look like after applying the veneers.
- Please ensure you are comfortable with the dentist and their staff.
- Ask about how long they will last and what kind of care they require.
- Make sure you understand the costs involved in getting them.
- Don’t try to do it yourself – this is a job for a professional!
- Don’t skimp on quality – low-quality ones may not look good or last very long.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – the dentist should be able to answer all of your questions about veneers.
- Don’t forget to look after your veneers – they will require special care to keep them looking their best.
They may last for 10 years or more, but this will vary depending on the type of veneer, how well you care for them, and your lifestyle. Your dentist can give you a better idea of how long they may last in your specific case.
Generally speaking, they are made from either porcelain or composite resin material. Porcelain is a harder material and is, therefore, less likely to chip or crack than composite resin. However, porcelain is also more brittle and may break if struck hard enough. Composite resin is less likely to break, but it may stain more easily than porcelain.
To ensure your veneers last as long as possible, brush and floss regularly, avoid biting or chewing on hard objects, and go to your dental practitioner for regular check-ups. With proper care, they can give you a beautiful, long-lasting smile.
It’s important to understand that it is a cosmetic treatment, not a dental procedure meant to treat any underlying dental problems. Therefore, before you undergo any dental work, it’s necessary to have a complete oral examination by your dentist. This will help your dental specialist determine if you’re a good candidate for this option and whether or not you have any underlying dental problems that need to be treated first.
If you decide to get them, your dentist will need to take an impression of your teeth to prepare custom-made veneers to fit your smile. You’ll also need to schedule a consultation with the dental technician who will be fabricating them so that the technician can get an idea of the colour and shape you’re looking for. Once it’s prepared, your dentist will bond them to your teeth using a special dental adhesive.
The veneers will then be polished to give you a natural-looking smile. Taking care and practising good oral hygiene can make them last for many years. However, you must know that veneers do not replace good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. So be sure to see your dental specialist for regular check-ups and cleanings so that your natural teeth and gums stay healthy.
If you are considering this cosmetic option, you must consult a dental professional to ensure they are the right treatment option. Several factors will need to be considered, such as the condition of your teeth, the severity of any damage or stains, and your overall oral health. They can be ideal for many people, but it is essential to ensure they are the best treatment option for your individual needs. they are suitable for you if:
- Your teeth are severely stained or discoloured, and whitening treatments have not been effective
- You have minor gaps or misalignments in your teeth
- You have chipped or worn-down teeth
- You have a tooth that is misshapen or too small
If you are considering them, consult a dental professional to ensure they are the best treatment option.
Yes, they can stain with tea, coffee and red wine. However, they are more resistant to staining than natural teeth. To help keep your veneers looking their best, brush twice daily and floss once. You may also want to avoid foods and drinks that cause staining, such as tobacco products. Some other tips to avoid staining veneers include:
- Use a straw when drinking beverages that can stain
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking
- Avoid chewing on ice or hard candy
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings
If they become stained, you can talk to your dentist about options for whitening them. In some cases, the veneers may demand replacement.