Most people who want pristine, clean teeth try to accomplish this by upping their oral hygiene routine, but, as our Mint Dental cosmetic dentists know too well, brushing and flossing alone might not be enough to restore your teeth to their former shine.
When too much damage has been done to a tooth, from a small chip, to a strange hooked shape, or severely stained teeth, things like professional whitening might not be enough to get the job done. For these bad situations we a better idea; porcelain veneers.
What are Dental Veneers?
Porcelain veneers, often referred to simply as dental veneers, or veneers, offer a chance for a patient to “reset” their teeth by essentially getting rid of old canvas. In other words, porcelain veneers are a way by which you could completely replace and cover up the surface of your teeth.
Materially speaking, veneers are incredibly thin, custom-made “shells” that can be bonded to the surface of a tooth, completely covering the original tooth with a realistic-looking replacement. The power of porcelain veneers is incredible.
They can help to change the color, shape, size, and even length of a tooth by simply altering the outside layer of it. This is especially nice when fixing just one tooth, the veneer is thin enough and can be customized so perfectly match the surrounding teeth.
Why Might I Need a Veneer?
Because they can have such a profound effect on a tooth and are so customizable, veneers can be used to fix a variety of cosmetic-related dental issues. The most common ones include:
- Discoloration that can be the result of food stains or just aging and that teeth whitening might not be able to adjust.
- Worn down teeth, perhaps because of teeth grinding.
- Chipped or broken teeth, though severely damaged teeth may require more intense forms of restorative dentistry.
- Slight misalignments, anything more than a slight misalignment needs orthodontist.
- Uneven or asymmetrical teeth that can be evened out.
- Irregularly shaped teeth like remaining health baby teeth.
- Slight gaps between the teeth, which can be closed by porcelain veneers.
- Tooth strengthening, because veneers can protect a tooth from decay.
Pros and Cons of Veneers
We’ve already mentioned many of the benefits of dental veneers. They can quickly help restore confidence in your smile that may be lacking due to chips, alignment problems, small gaps, and discoloration to name a few.
Porcelain also closely resembles the tooth’s natural enamel giving them a very realistic and natural appearance.
Now, experts agree that there are a few drawbacks you should consider before getting Veneers. The first, and probably the most important, is that veneers are permanent. You really want to consult with your Mint Dental professional to guarantee this is the solution you want. Porcelain Veneers will last for around 15 years, so until they need to be replaced, they are there to stay.
Another factor is that veneers tend to be fairly pricy, we discuss the cost in greater detail below.
Lastly, because the procedure involves removing a small amount of enamel, a tooth might become more sensitive to extreme temperatures. In some cases of extreme damage where the tooth has been weakened from decay or previous fillings, there may not be enough enamel left. If this is the case a crown or other dental procedure will be needed.
What is the Dental Veneer Procedure Like?
When you decide to get a veneer, your dentist starts by conducting an in-depth evaluation of the state of your teeth. Because each porcelain veneer must be specially designed for your teeth to get the best results, your dentist must make sure he or she has all the information needed to create the ideal veneer. The examination might involve X-rays.
After making sure of the state of your teeth, your dentist next prepares the teeth in question for the actual treatment. As thin as veneers are, they do take up space, and to avoid adding bulk to your teeth, your dentist will remove a tiny layer of enamel from your teeth after applying a local anesthetic.
Impressions will be taken at this stage which will be used to create the veneers. In the meantime, you might be given temporary veneers to cover up the prepared tooth.
Once you finish healing and after the veneers are set, the dentist begins to bond the veneers to your teeth. This is done via the application of a special type of cement that permanently attaches the veneers. Once the cement dries, you will have permanently changed the surface of your teeth and fixed the cosmetic problem.
You can expect two or three visits to the dentist to complete this procedure depending on things like the need for an X-ray. In the final visit we will cover long term care of your veneer, which includes standard brushing and flossing.
Dental Veneers Cost
We will generally recommend porcelain veneers to clients since they are a better quality than their direct composite counterparts. These type veneers will normally last 10-15 years while the composite ones only range from 5-7.
With the additional quality of material does come a price increase though. The average porcelain veneer is around $1500, while composites tend to be under $1000 each.
Generally speaking, veneers are a cosmetic procedure and thus not covered by insurance. Dentists are trying to use procedures like this more as both a restorative and cosmetic procedure to help mitigate the cost to the patient.
Dental Veneers Questions
If you’re curious about the process or if you want to see if you could get a dental veneer, make sure to visit a Mint Dental Alaska dentist to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
We can help you explore your options and select the best possible route to take. Just call us at (907) 646-8672 or visit our website at mintdentalak.com today to set up an appointment.