Veneers and Your Overall Dental Health
Dental veneers are composed of an extremely thin shell that is custom made out of a tooth colored material. They are designed to help cover the front surfaces of your teeth to help improve upon the way you look. The shells are then bonded to the front part of your teeth to help change their shape, color, length or size.
Veneers can be composed of a resin composite or porcelain material. Porcelain is able to resist staining better than that of the resin material. They also mimic the natural reflecting properties of your natural teeth. Resin is a lot thinner and they require less of your tooths surface to be removed before they are put into place. You will want to discuss the best materials for your veneers with your dental provider.
Problems Corrected with Veneers
Veneers are often used to correct the following problems:
- Discolored teeth Regardless of whether the discoloration is the result of staining from tetracycline or various other types of drugs, root canals, excessive amounts of fluoride or the presence of any large resin fillings, veneers can help to correct the discoloration in no time.
- Worn down teeth
- Chipped and broken teeth
- Uneven, misaligned or irregular shaped teeth
- Teeth that have gaps in between them
Procedure Involved to Getting Veneers
Getting your veneers put in will take a total of three trips into the dentist. The initial trip is for the consultation and then two additional trips to apply and make the veneers. You can have a single tooth or multiple teeth go through the process as outlined below.
- Treatment and Diagnosis Planning The first step is going to involve active participation on your part. Make sure to explain what results you are trying to achieve to your dental provider. During the appointment, the dentist is going to examine your teeth and ensure the procedure is going to be appropriate for your specific condition. Discuss what it is that the procedure is going to involve and the various limitations involved. They may also take some x-rays and an impression of your mouth to help begin the process.
- Preparation To help prepare your tooth for the veneers, the dentist is going to remove 0.5 millimeters of enamel from your tooths surface, which essentially equals the thickness of the veneer that is going to be applied in its place. Before the enamel is trimmed off, both you and the dentist are going to decide whether you are in need of a local anesthetic to help numb the surrounding area. The dentist will then take an impression of the tooth, which will be sent into the lab that will create the veneer. On average, it will take a week or two before the veneer is back into the dentist office. If you have extremely unsightly teeth, temporary veneers are available for additional fees.
- Bonding Before the veneers are permanently affixed onto your teeth, the dentist is going to place it onto your tooth the help determine if the coloring and fit is correct. They will remove and do any necessary trimming to the veneer to help achieve the correct fit. The color of the veneer can be changed with the cement shading that is used. To help prepare your tooth for the placement of the veneer, the tooth will need to be polished, cleaned and etched. This helps to roughen the tooth and allow for a stronger bond. Special cement will need to be applied onto the veneer before it is placed onto your tooth. Once it is in the proper position, the dentist will use a special light that activates the cement chemicals causing it to harden quickly. Finally, any excess cement will be removed and your bite will be evaluated to determine whether there are any necessary adjustments to be made. The dentist will ask you to come into their office for a follow-up visit to ensure your gums are properly responding to your new veneers. They will also examine the placement to ensure everything is working together properly.
Advantages to Getting Veneers Placed Onto Your Teeth
Some of the common advantages to veneers are:
- They provide you with a natural looking tooth appearance.
- Your gum tissue will often tolerate the porcelain material well.
- The porcelain material helps to resist stains.
- You can select a color of the veneer that is going to make darker teeth appear whiter.
- Since they offer a conservative approach to transforming the shape and color of your tooth, veneers do not require a lot of shaping before the procedure begins. They offer you a stronger and more aesthetically appealing alternative to getting a crown on your teeth.
How Long Can Veneers Last For?
On average, you can expect your veneers to last for anywhere from five to 10 years. After this amount of time, you will want to replace the veneers.
Will They Require Any Specialized Care?
Veneers are not going to require any extensive care routine. Make sure you are following a good oral hygiene regime that includes flossing and brushing as normal. Even though the porcelain material is going to help resist stains, the dentist may tell you to try to avoid any beverages and foods that promote stains on your teeth.
What Are the Alternatives to Veneers?
Some of the alternatives to veneers are that of crowns and bondings. Veneers help to provide you with an immediate solution to your discoloration. They are best utilized in those who want to change the manner in which their teeth appear significantly. This is done with bonding, but without having to worry about using a crown to help complete the process.
Cost of Veneers
The cost of veneers is going to vary based upon where it is that you live and how extensive your procedure is. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from $500 up to more than $1,000 for each tooth. Most of the time, the procedure is not going to be covered by your insurance company. To determine for sure, you will want to check with your provider and ask about coverage options.