We’ve all seen people who can light up a room with their smile. It could be the latest favorite celebrity or the cashier at your local grocery store. Perhaps it is you. Whatever the case, that radiant white smile takes a lot of care, and sometimes a little extra assistance.
Dental veneers are a popular go-to choice to get a magnetic smile. Dental veneers (also called porcelain veneers or laminates) are paper-thin shells that bond to the front surface of teeth, changing everything from color and shape to size and length. These veneers are typically made from porcelain or a composite resin, with the former being widely used for its resistance to stains and ability to closely match some visual properties of natural teeth.
Reasons to opt for dental veneers
Veneers are an excellent approach to address a range of common dental issues:
- Discolored teeth resulting from excessive fluoride, certain drugs, smoking, resin fillings, and other causes
- Chipped, broken, or worn teeth
- Closing gaps between teeth
- Repair uneven, misaligned, or misshapen teeth
- Cosmetic reasons
How many veneers do you need?
Before answering that question, you need to make sure dental veneers are right for you. If you wish to repair some of your teeth or change their appearance, then veneers are a great choice. They usually last about 10 years and can do wonders in changing the look of your smile. However, veneers are expensive, ranging from $800-2,000 or more per tooth. In that regard alone, it is important to decide how many veneers to include in a procedure.
The good news is you don’t need to cover every one of your teeth. For the common issues noted above, you can select any individual tooth in need of attention. If you’re after Hollywood star-perfect teeth, it is common to add veneers to the front and side teeth.
Ultimately, the number of veneers is up to you. With appearance being such a large measure of so much today, some people choose to add veneers to as many teeth as possible and lock in a luminescent smile.
The dental veneer procedure
Dental veneers typically require three trips to the dentist, the first being a consultation and two more to build and apply the veneers. A single tooth or several can be addressed during a procedure. Here’s how it works:
The first step is removal of about ½ millimeter of enamel from a tooth’s surface. This closely matches the veneer thickness added later. Your dentist will then make an impression of the tooth which is sent to a lab to construct the veneer, a two- to four-week process.
Prior to final bonding, the veneer is temporarily placed on the tooth to review fit and color matching. The veneer will be trimmed as needed to ensure exact fit. The tooth is then thoroughly cleaned, polished, and etched—etching roughens the surface to provide a strong bond.
The tooth side of the veneer is covered with special cement and the veneer is then positioned on the tooth. Your dentist uses a light beam to activate the cement’s chemicals and helps it quickly harden. After excess cement is removed, final adjustments are made and a follow-up visit will review how teeth and gums have responded.
The downside of veneers
Aside from their high cost, patients must consider other negatives to dental veneers:
- The procedure is not reversible. Be 100 percent sure before moving forward
- Veneers look great but are typically not conducive to repair if chipped or cracked
- A veneer’s color cannot be changed once in place and might not exactly match the color of adjacent teeth
- It is unlikely but not impossible for veneers to dislodge and/or fall off—refrain from biting your fingernails, chewing ice, or otherwise putting excess pressure on your teeth
- Your teeth may be more sensitive to hot or cold after the removal of enamel
- Veneered teeth are still susceptible to decay and in extreme cases requiring a crown for the entire tooth
- Veneers do not work well with unhealthy or weak teeth, or those with lower amounts of enamel.
If you are considering dental veneers, be sure to determine if the procedure is right for your specific scenario.
For more information on dental veneers, contact Elevate Dental at (210) 686-1888 or elevatedentalsa.com.