Dental Veneers: What To Know Before Getting One

All of us have suffered from some or the other type of dental challenges from time to time. This is why all of us are well aware of just how much pain dental issues can cause. There have been many advances in the field of dental treatment in recent years, and the growing use of dental veneers is just one such example. Dental veneers are thin and tooth-colored shells that get attached to the front surface of the teeth in an attempt to improve the appearance of your teeth. Dental veneers are usually manufactured from porcelain or resin composite materials that get permanently bonded to your teeth. There are many advantages to dental veneers as they can significantly improve your overall appearance by fixing how your teeth appear. They can also enhance the beauty of your smile since your teeth are not well-aligned, and the presentation has been improved. However, there are certain things you should be knowing before you go ahead and get dental veneers. Here is a complete list of what all you need to know before getting dental veneers.

Dental Veneers: What To Know Before Getting One

What are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are very thin, tooth-colored shells that are attached to the front surface of the teeth in an attempt to improve the appearance of teeth. Dental veneers are usually manufactured either from porcelain or resin composite material, and they are permanently attached to your teeth to correct their appearance.

Dental veneers can also be used for treating several types of cosmetic issues with the teeth, such as:

  • Discolored teeth
  • Chipped or broken tooth
  • Small than average-sized teeth

In some cases, people end up getting only one veneer if it is just a case of a chipped or broken tooth, but many people may even get anywhere between six to eight veneers to create a symmetrical and even smile and teeth line. The most commonly applied dental veneers are usually at the top front of eight teeth.

Know About The Different Types of Veneers

Porcelain veneers are one of the most commonly used dental veneers.(1) There is a lot of intensive preparatory work that is involved in applying the traditional dental veneers as compared to the alternative veneers that have become popular today. These are usually addressed as ‘no-prep veneers’ and take lesser time to prepare and apply, and the process of implementing them is also a lot less invasive. These no-prep veneers are available in options such as Vivaneeres and Lumineers.(2)

Getting the traditional dental veneers put involves many steps, with the first one being to grind down the present tooth structure. Sometimes some of the teeth may even have to be removed, even well past the enamel at times. This is necessary to allow for the proper placement of the veneers, but remember that this is an irreversible procedure that is going to be quite painful to go through, and you will usually need to undergo this procedure under local anesthesia.(3)

On the other hand, when you opt for getting no-prep veneers, there might be some requirement of tooth preparation and alteration, but these are usually minimal. Instead of having to remove the layers of the tooth under the enamel, the no-prep veneers only impact the enamel of the tooth. In most cases of applying no-prep veneers, there is no need to administer a local anesthetic.

It is essential to know that dental veneers are not the same as dental crowns or tooth implants. Dental veneers cover the front surface of the tooth, but dental implants end up replacing the entire tooth itself. Dental crowns, on the other hand, also encase the whole tooth. Veneers, though, only cover the front visible surface of the tooth since that is the part most visible when you smile.

What is the Cost of Dental Veneers?

It is essential to know that dental veneers are not usually covered by medical insurance since they are considered to be a cosmetic procedure. According to data from the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, traditional dental veneers can cost anywhere between $900 to $2,500 per tooth.(4) The conventional dental veneers tend to last for at least 10 to 15 years.

On the other hand, the no-prep veneers can cost anywhere between $800 to $2,000 per tooth, and they can last for five to seven years only. So when you consider your options, the traditional dental veneers are usually the most cost-effective option for people.

After this, also, the final cost of the dental veneers depends on factors such as what type of veneers you choose, which dentist you go to, the overall cost of living in your area, and the level of expertise of your dentist. Remember, the more experienced the dentist, the value of the veneers will also be higher. But then again, always make sure to do your research well before you select your dentist.

What Are The Benefits Of Getting Dental Veneers?

People get dental veneers for a variety of reasons, but the most significant benefit to getting veneers is that they improve the appearance of your teeth, and as a result, of your smile. Dental veneers are typically used for treating cosmetic issues, such as:

  • Gaps in the teeth
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Uneven discoloration or severe discoloration that cannot be fixed with whitening
  • Smaller than average-sized teeth
  • Unusually shaped or pointed teeth

Dental veneers can easily last for more than a decade if you take good care of your teeth, and also depending on what type of veneer you have chosen. So keep in mind that this is a type of semi-permanent investment that you will be making to gain more confidence in your smile.

Preparing for Getting Dental Veneers

Before getting your dental veneers put, your dentist will call you for a preliminary appointment to discuss your options and how many veneers you want to have placed. In some cases, if the teeth are very crooked or quite uneven, then you may even need to get braces put before you can go on to place the veneers.

Your dentist is likely to take several X-rays of your teeth at this stage in order to determine the overall health of your teeth. They are expected to look for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, or if you need to undergo a root canal. If you have any of these conditions, then you might not be an ideal candidate for getting dental veneers.

The next appointment will be to get the accurate size measured for your veneers. Your dentist will trim down nearly half a millimeter of your tooth. To do this, they will remove the enamel of the tooth with the use of a grinding tool. Then a mold or impression of your teeth will be made. This mold will be sent to the lab for creating your veneers.

It takes around one to two weeks after the mold is sent to the lab to get your dental veneers back. Once these veneers are available, you will have to make another appointment to place the veneers on the affected tooth or teeth. At this appointment, the dentist will evaluate the shape, fit, and coloration of the veneers to ensure that they are fitting correctly and are right for your teeth.

After this, you will need to undergo a thorough cleaning of your teeth. This step is crucial as it prevents bacteria from getting trapped under the veneer, leading to decay over time. After the cleaning procedure is completed, the dentist will again use the grinding device for creating a rough texture on each of the teeth on which the veneer needs to be placed. This will make it easier for the veneer to stick on to the tooth.

The dentist will then use a type of dental cement to bond the veneer to the tooth. Ultraviolet light will be used to harden the dental cement quickly, and once everything is in place, you will be ready to leave the dentist’s office with a new smile and shape of your teeth.

The last appointment in which the veneer is applied does not take longer than two to three hours, depending on how many veneers have to be placed. It might take a bit longer if a local anesthetic has been used.

Conclusion: How To Care For Your Veneers?

Getting dental veneers is not similar to other dental procedures because this does not require an extended amount of time for healing. In fact, once the veneers have been placed with the dental cement and dried, and any anesthetic that was administered has worn off, you can start to eat and chew as you normally would. However, it is essential to keep in mind that while the anesthetic is wearing off, you should be careful not to bite on your tongue or the inside of your cheeks.

Some people notice that immediately after the placement of the veneers, they feel a little rough when you run your tongue over them. These rough spots are due to the extra cement that can sometimes stick to the veneer. They will wear down after some days of normal eating and brushing your teeth. If, after a couple of days, you still find that the roughness is persistent, then you can ask your dentist to smoothen them out.

Here are some precautions that will make sure that you are able to make your veneers last for a long time:

  • Avoid chewing on very hard items such as ice, pens, or even your fingernails.
  • Do not use your teeth to open condiments or packaging packages.
  • Avoid chewing your food with your front teeth. For example, if you are eating harder foods, then make an effort to use your back teeth only for chewing. It is also better to cut up harder foods into smaller pieces so that you can avoid eating with your front teeth.
  • If you clench or grind your teeth at night, get a retainer or splint to protect the veneers.
  • Wear a mouth guard while playing sports to protect your veneers.

References:

  1. Your Dentistry Guide. (2020). Porcelain Dental Veneers | Treatment, Recovery & Cost (Updated 2019). [online] Available at: https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/veneer-procedure/ [Accessed 7 Mar. 2020].
  2. Your Dentistry Guide. (2020). Minimal & “No-Prep” Dental Veneers – What They are & How Much They Cost. [online] Available at: https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/min-prep-veneers/ [Accessed 7 Mar. 2020].
  3. Animated-teeth.com. (2020). The porcelain veneers procedure- A guide to the steps of the process.. [online] Available at: https://www.animated-teeth.com/porcelain_veneers/t3_porcelain_veneers_how.htm [Accessed 7 Mar. 2020].
  4. Your Dentistry Guide. (2020). Porcelain Dental Veneers | Treatment, Recovery & Cost (Updated 2019). [online] Available at: https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/veneer-procedure/ [Accessed 7 Mar. 2020].

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