Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. And a beautiful, healthy smile can make a significant impact on your confidence and well-being.
If you’re looking to enhance the appearance of your smile, veneers may be the answer you’ve been searching for. Veneers are a thin layer of tooth-coloured porcelain or composite that covers and protects the outer surface area of your teeth.
Veneers are not just cosmetic fixes. This dental treatment can help restore worn-down or eroded teeth, close gaps, and improve tooth function. Aside from that, they provide an extra layer of protection for the teeth.
In this guide, we’ll walk through the entire dental veneer procedure step-by-step so that you understand what to expect before, during and after treatment. We’ll discuss why people opt for dental veneers as well as how they should care for them afterwards. So get ready – it’s time to learn all about one of cosmetic dentistry‘s premier treatments!
Summary of the Article
- Veneers are a cosmetic and restorative method for addressing imperfections in your smile.
- The procedure of getting dental veneers begins with a consultation. From there, your dentist will take the appropriate steps to prepare your teeth, take impressions and send them to the lab for fabrication. Then the veneers will be bonded to your teeth to create a beautiful smile.
- Porcelain and composite resin are the most common materials for veneers. Porcelain veneers are more expensive but last longer and are stain resistant. Composite resin veneers are a more affordable option, and they can create beautiful, natural-looking smiles as well.
- Individuals who are in good dental and general health and wish to address cosmetic flaws in their smile may be suitable candidates for veneers.
- Avoid chewing on hard foods, protect your teeth from injury, and maintain good oral hygiene to extend the longevity of your veneers.
- Composite veneers have a median cost of $525, and porcelain veneers average at $1128.
Veneers are great for enhancing the appearance of your smile. But patients must go through several steps to get the beautiful smile they want.
A consultation is a meeting between the dentist and patient wherein the health, needs and desires of the patient will be the primary concern. Your dentist will review your dental history and your current dental health status. X-rays and other diagnostic images may be taken to ensure no underlying problems exist, which might prevent the successful placement of veneers.
After the patient decides to push through with the treatment, the dentist will prepare the teeth for veneer placement. The dentist will remove a thin layer of the enamel to make room for the veneers. The amount of tooth enamel removed during this step depends on the type of veneer that will be used.
- Veneer Design.
Depending on the type of veneer, your dentist may use models or computer imaging technology to ensure an accurate representation of how your teeth and smile will look once the veneers are placed on your teeth.
- Veneer Fabrication.
Your dentist will take impressions of the teeth and send them to the dental laboratory, where each individual veneer is fabricated. The veneers are crafted from porcelain or composite and then colour-matched for optimal results. These customised shells are sent back to the dentist’s clinic once production is completed.
Your dentist will attach each custom-made shell to the teeth. Special adhesives and dental cement provide long-lasting stability and retention. Following placement of each veneer, it’s buffed and shaped until a natural-looking, and bright smile is achieved.
Types of Dental Veneers
- Porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers are among the most popular types of veneers used to improve the appearance of teeth. They offer natural-looking results and last longer than other types of veneers. They resist staining better than composite resin materials.
- Composite veneers.
Composite veneers are less expensive than porcelain veneers and require less tooth preparation. They’re made in a single visit and also provide a natural look. Composite veneers can be designed to match the colour of your teeth.
Lumineers is a brand name for ultra-thin porcelain veneer shells that fit over natural teeth. They don’t need any tooth preparation, such as filing down teeth or altering them in any way. These shells protect against further damage while providing you with a beautiful smile.
- Snap-on veneers.
Traditional veneers require enamel removal, making it an irreversible procedure. If you do not want permanent change on your teeth, snap-on veneers are a good option. They are removable veneers that can be easily worn over teeth by patients who want to have an improved smile.
Candidate for Dental Veneers
Dentists identify the right candidate for veneers by considering several factors, including the following:
- Dental Health.
The candidate must have healthy teeth, gums, and enough enamel for the veneers to adhere to.
- Dental problems.
Veneers can be used to address a variety of cosmetic dental problems, such as gaps, cracks, chips, discolouration, misshapen teeth, and slightly crooked teeth.
Your dentist will assess your smile and face shape to determine the most suitable veneers that will help in achieving a natural-looking and pleasing appearance.
Your goals and expectations for the veneers will be discussed to ensure that the veneers can meet your needs. The right candidate should also understand the procedure and its limitations.
Preparation For Dental Veneers
Before dental veneers can be placed, the teeth must be prepared. The dentist will take an x-ray to determine if the teeth are healthy enough for the procedure. Any pre-existing dental conditions, such as tooth decay, must be addressed before veneers can be placed.
The treatment proper will begin with the administration of local anesthesia to minimise discomfort during tooth preparation.
Veneer tooth preparation involves the removal of a very thin layer of enamel, creating enough space for the veneer to be placed without adding bulk to the teeth. Proper tooth preparation also improves the retention of the veneer.
Once the teeth have been prepared, a dental impression will be taken, and this will be sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. The veneers will be customised based on the dimensions of the mould and matched to the natural colour of the neighbouring teeth to achieve a seamless, natural-looking smile. Temporary veneers will be placed to protect the prepared teeth until the dental veneers are ready for placement.
Placement of Dental Veneers
Veneer fabrication may take a couple of weeks. Once they’re ready, you’ll return to the clinic for veneer placement. Your dentist will carefully place the veneers on your teeth to check if they fit properly and if they match the shade or colour of your other teeth. If necessary, adjustments will be made.
Once everything looks good, your dentist will bond the veneers on your teeth using cement, a bonding agent and a special light. Excess cement will be removed then the veneers will be polished so they’ll be bright and shiny.
Aftercare For Dental Veneers
To maintain the longevity of your dental veneers, it’s important to follow proper aftercare instructions. Here are some tips for taking care of your dental veneers.
- Avoid hard foods.
After dental veneer placement, avoiding hard foods for at least 24 hours is important. This will give your veneers time to set to prevent them from becoming damaged. Stick to soft foods such as soup, yogurt, and mashed potatoes during this time.
- Avoid chewing on ice or other hard objects.
You should also avoid chewing on ice or other hard objects. This can damage your veneers and cause them to break. If you have a habit of chewing on ice, straws, or pens, break it before getting veneers.
- Brush and floss regularly.
It is important to brush and floss your teeth twice a day to maintain good oral health, especially if you have dental veneers. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums to prevent gum disease. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste for proper oral care.
- Protect your teeth from injury.
Protect your teeth from injury, especially if you participate in contact sports. Wearing a mouthguard can help protect your teeth from being chipped or broken. If you suffer an injury to your teeth, see your dentist immediately so the damage can be repaired.
Advantages of Dental Veneers
Dental veneers may be a good treatment option if you are unhappy with your teeth’s appearance. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or composite bonded to the front surface of teeth to change their colour or shape. Veneers can cover stained or discoloured teeth and chips or cracks.
Dental veneers are durable and long-lasting
Porcelain is a strong and durable material. Porcelain veneers can last for many years with proper care.
Dental veneers are stain-resistant
Porcelain is a non-porous material that will not absorb stains from coffee, tea, or red wine. This makes it easy to keep your veneers looking bright and white.
Dental veneers can give you a more youthful appearance
If your teeth are beginning to show signs of wear and tear, dental veneers can help you regain a more youthful appearance. Veneers can also be used to fill in gaps between teeth.
Dental veneers are custom-made for each patient.
Your dentist will work with you to create a custom treatment plan that meets your specific needs and goals.
Risks and Complications
Dental veneers are a cosmetic treatment that improves the appearance of your smile. But, like many dental procedures, there are risks and complications that may occur. It’s essential to understand potential risks and complications before deciding if dental veneers are right for you.
- Tooth sensitivity:
After the procedure, patients may experience transient sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages.
- Allergic reactions:
Some patients may experience an allergic reaction to materials used in making veneers. Talk to your dentist beforehand about which material will suit your needs.
- Gum irritation:
Improperly placed veneers may irritate your gums. This may lead to gum disease.
- Chipping or cracking:
Although porcelain veneers are strong and durable, they are still susceptible to chipping and cracking if exposed to significant force or trauma.
Cost of Dental Veneers
The price of composite veneers ranges from $300 to $600 per tooth and averages at $525 per tooth. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, cost $700 to $2000 per tooth, with a median of $1128.
It is important to note that dental veneers are considered cosmetic procedures, and not all health funds cover this treatment. It is advised that you check which procedures are covered by your health funds before deciding to proceed with dental veneers.
Maintenance and Longevity
Proper maintenance is an important part of their longevity. It extends their lifespan and improves their appearance. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your veneers:
- Brush twice a day:
Like natural teeth, it’s important to brush your veneers twice daily. This removes plaque that may cause gum disease.
- Floss daily:
Flossing helps remove food particles between your teeth. Floss daily to prevent infection or cause discolouration over time.
- Avoid coloured foods & beverages:
Drinking dark-coloured beverages stains composite veneers over time. The same holds true for eating pigmented foods. Eat them in moderation to keep your veneers looking good for longer periods.
- Visit your dentist:
Regular checkups are key if you want to keep your veneers looking good. Have them checked every six months so your dentist can monitor the health of your teeth and the status of your veneers.
- Protect from physical harm:
Veneers are not indestructible. Avoid chewing hard foods or biting your fingernails. Additionally, don’t take part in contact sports without wearing a mouthguard.
Following these simple steps will extend the longevity of your veneers. By taking good care of them now, you can enjoy their benefits for years down the line!