Questions And Answers
What are dental veneers?
Veneers are thin durable shells made of tooth colored materials that are bonded to the surface of a tooth to enhance its appearance.
What are the types of veneers?
Porcelain and composite bonding are the most common veneer materials. Composite veneers are made of a resin that is shaped and bonded to a tooth to enhance the appearance. Porcelain veneers are usually made in a lab and are more resistant to staining, compared to other materials.
Should I choose composite bonding or porcelain veneers?
Ask your prosthodontist which option is best for you. If the needed changes are minor and the teeth function properly, cosmetic bonding is an appropriate choice. If teeth are spaced, broken, dark, and/or the patient clenches or grinds their teeth, then porcelain veneers may be the preferred option.
Why do I need dental veneers?
Dental veneers are a great solution for people with discolored, worn down, chipped, misaligned, spaced, uneven or irregularly shaped front teeth.
What is involved in getting a dental veneer?
Getting a porcelain veneer is usually a multi-step process. The first step is to get a consultation with a prosthodontist. At this visit, you can outline your goals and concerns, and a prosthodontist will explain how veneers will work for you. X-rays or impressions of your teeth may be needed. The second step is to prepare the tooth for the veneer. A small amount of tooth structure is removed and an impression is made. The prosthodontist will then place temporary veneers. At the next appointment, temporaries are removed, and the final veneer is bonded to your tooth.
In the case of veneers made from tooth colored filling material, or composite bonding, this is a one appointment process in which the prosthodontist will remove a small amount of tooth structure and bond filling material to your teeth. This type of veneer is not as long lasting and doesn’t resist staining as well as a porcelain veneer.
What are the advantages of dental veneers?
The preparation of veneers preserve the most amount of tooth structure, as very little needs to be removed. They can improve the appearance of your teeth, and gum tissues respond well to dental veneers. The color can be custom selected, and in the case of porcelain veneers they are stain resistant.
What are the drawbacks of dental veneers?
Once you have had your tooth prepared for the veneer, the process is not reversible. In the case that a veneer cracks, it is difficult to repair without having to replace the entire veneer. It is important to not have habits like pen-chewing or nail-biting as these can crack the veneer. Veneers are not a good option for people with poor gum health. In addition, people who grind or clench their teeth are at risk for chipping or cracking their veneers. Lastly, veneers are still susceptible to decay so it is important that you maintain optimal oral health and visit your dentist regularly.
Who is a good candidate for porcelain veneers?
If you have stained or chipped teeth, you might be interested in veneers as they will cover up your existing teeth.They are also a popular treatment for smile makeovers or for individuals who want their dream smile.
Who is not a good candidate for porcelain veneers?
If you have extensive tooth decay, it’s not wise to simply cover it up with veneers. Talk to your prosthodontist about removing the decay before getting started. If you grind your teeth, this could also be a problem but your prosthodontist may offer you a solution to help guard against damaging your veneers, such as a mouth night guard.
How long do dental veneers last?
Typically, a veneer lasts approximately 5-10 years. They do not require any special care other than regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the prosthodontist. If they are properly cared for then they can last much longer. Professional cleanings every 6 months and yearly exams are highly recommended.
How many veneers do I need?
A prosthodontic consultation is needed to determine how many veneers are required or if veneers are the best option. It is a good idea to have an even number of veneers. Two, four, eight, ten or twelve veneers give the best aesthetic results.
How do I care for my veneers?
Brushing two times each day for two minutes, flossing daily, and wearing a bite guard at night are great ways to protect the veneers. It is also beneficial to avoid eating very hard foods like almonds, or cracking shells with the front veneers.
What is the most common reason to have veneers replaced?
The porcelain veneer is very strong and should not break under normal circumstances. If gum recession occurs the root of the tooth may become exposed. Patients may want new veneers to cover the roots. The integrity of veneered teeth is marginally compromised, and the veneer is bonded to the existing teeth. There is no higher incidence of decay provided that the veneers are properly cared for as detailed above, regular brushing with toothpaste, and flossing.
How much do veneers cost?
The cost of porcelain veneers will vary depending on where you are having them done, and on how many teeth.
Are veneers a covered insurance benefit?
It depends on your dental insurance. Some insurance companies will cover up to 50% of a fee they see as reasonable, but don’t expect payment without first discussing the procedure with both your prosthodontist and insurance provider.
What should I ask my prosthodontist before getting veneers?
Ask your prosthodontist to show you other cases of veneers they have done, specifically cases that look like your situation.
Ask how many patients they have treated with veneers.
Ask if they use a dental lab that specializes in cosmetic dental veneers.
Ask if the prosthodontist can show you what your veneers will look like before they are permanently placed.
Can I preview my veneers before they go in?
A digital smile preview can be made by taking a picture of the patient’s face and digitally editing the teeth. This will give a patient a very good idea of the aesthetic outcome and help them determine if veneers are right for them.
How do I get veneers to match my other teeth?
This concern will be addressed by your prosthodontist. Most people get their veneers in a whiter shade than their natural teeth and then undergo tooth whitening to create a matching aesthetic.
Does the process hurt?
Typically patients are numb for the veneering process. There should be no pain during the procedure once numbness takes effect. With smaller cases (two or four veneers) there will be very little or no discomfort after the numbness subsides. Patients should expect some soreness of the gums and possibly the jaw in cases that involve eight or more veneers. The soreness can typically be alleviated with over the counter medications.
Will I need gum contouring?
In some veneer cases, contouring the gums will give a better cosmetic outcome. It is done to create symmetry and lengthen short teeth. Most gum contouring causes no additional discomfort during or after treatment. On rare occasions surgical contouring must be done if the teeth are very short. Patients are referred to a periodontist for this procedure.
What can I eat and what foods should I avoid?
You can eat most foods but each patient has a different bite. Therefore, we recommend eating softer foods the first few days until the patient gets used to the new bite position. After several weeks there is no limitation unless your case has specific needs. The most common foods to avoid are: ice, hard biscuits, hard candy, caramel apples, hard nuts, pumpkin seeds, and popcorn.
What habits should I avoid or stop?
Stop all bad teeth habits immediately, such as nail biting, straw chewing, fork nibbling, opening bags with teeth, pulling on clothing or gloves with teeth, and anything that will put undue stress on the veneers.
What happens if one of my veneers comes off?
Try not to panic. Sometimes this happens, although it’s rare. Please try to save the veneer. Do NOT use crazy glue. Please call the prosthodontist’s office and they should try to get you in as soon as possible. Your tooth may be sensitive to cold foods or liquids when the veneer is off.
Can I brush and floss my teeth after veneers, and do I still have to come for professional hygiene appointments?
Yes! You can brush all your teeth the same way. You can floss all the veneered teeth and you should continue your regular hygiene appointments as you have in the past.
What are some alternatives to veneers?
One alternative is called the ‘Snap on Smile’. This is something you wear over your teeth to give the illusion of a straighter, whiter smile. It does not look as natural as Lumineers or veneers but some people prefer this option.
What are Lumineers?
Lumineers are a commercial brand of porcelain veneers. The veneers can be fitted to your existing teeth without preparation (the need to drill or grind them down), making them potentially reversible. Lumineers are considered as an alternative to veneers.
Should I choose Lumineers or porcelain veneers?
If the dental situation is appropriate, traditional porcelain veneers can be made the same way as Lumineers without tooth preparation. It is best to consult a prosthodontist to find the best fit for you.