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What are Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your teeth’s appearance. The shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their shape, color, size, and length.

Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflection properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. Ask your dentist which ones are best for you.

What types of problems Do Dental Veneers Fix?

  • Discolored teeth. either because of root canal treatment, stains or other substances are cause permanent staining
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Teeth that are chipped or broken
  • Teeth with gaps

How does the getting Dental Veneers work?

Dental veneers usually require 3 trips to the dentist. One for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers.

Diagnosis and treatment planning. The 1st step involves you going to the dentist to get an exam. You’ll explain what you what to achieve with your dentist. During the exam, the dentist will make sure you are a good candidate for dental veneers.

Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will need to remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth. Before starting your dentist will determine the anesthetic needed. Next, they will make a model or impression or your tooth or teeth. They will then need to send this out to a  dental lab. It can take 1-2 weeks for your dentist to receive your finished veneers.

Bonding. Before they can permanently cement them to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to ensure proper fitting. Once they are aligned perfectly your dentist will apply a special light beam that will activate the cement to harden permanently to your teeth. Then any excess cement will be removed afterward. You might have to go in for a followup checkup a couple weeks after.

Advantages of Dental Veneers

  • Provide a natural tooth appearance.
  • Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.
  • Porcelain veneers are stain resistant.
  • The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.
  • Veneer offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape.

Disadvantages of Dental Veneers

  • The process is not reversible
  • Veneers are more costly than composite resin bonding.
  • Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack
  • Your teeth become more sensitive to hot and cold food and beverages.

How long do they last?

  • Generally, they will last between 5 to 10 years. Then they would need to be replaced.
  • What are the alternatives?
  • Bondings and crowns can be an alternative to Dental Veneers.
  • How much do they cost?

They can vary depending on the part of the country that you live in. Usually, they run anywhere between $500 to $1,300 per tooth. The cost of veneers is generally not covered by insurance but check with yours just in case they do.

As always contact your dentist for any specific questions you might have.

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