Dental Veneers: What You Need to Know

Dental Veneers

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are very thin shells of porcelain or composite resin that are permanently bonded to the front surface of teeth using dental cement to improve the appearance of one’s smile. These veneers are crafted in a dental laboratory using measurements and models provided to them by our dentist.

Who Can Benefit from Dental Veneers?

Many patients can benefit from dental veneers, including those who have chipped, stained, decayed, crooked, gapped, or otherwise blemished teeth. Sometimes, patients who elect other cosmetic or restorative procedures—such as Invisalign or full mouth rehabilitation—also opt for dental veneers to complete their smile transformations.

How Are Dental Veneers Applied?

The complete process for fitting dental veneers usually takes three or four visits to our office. The first appointment involves a consultation with our dentist, where the patient can explain his or her desires for the procedure, and our dentist will go over your medical and dental history, examine your teeth, and offer a full explanation of the procedure, including the benefits and drawbacks. The second appointment is where we take measurements and create models of the patient’s teeth that will be sent along to the dental lab that crafts the veneers. This visit will involve multiple X-rays, teeth impressions, and photographs of the teeth and smile. Temporary Veneers. Depending on several factors, the third appointment is usually to apply temporary veneers. After numbing the teeth, our dentist will remove a thin layer of the front of those teeth that will be receiving the veneers. Any transformation of the gums that needs to occur will likely be done at this visit. Once the temporary veneers are applied, tests will be done to ensure proper fit, bite, and comfort. At this point, additional impressions will likely be taken so that the permanent veneers are perfectly crafted. Normally, the temporary veneers are worn for about two weeks. During the final appointment, the temporary veneers are removed after the teeth have again been numbed. The patient’s natural teeth are then cleaned, dried, and prepared for the bonding of the permanent veneers. Once the permanent veneers are placed, they’ll be fitted, filed, and thoroughly tested for proper appearance and bite before the dentist permanently bonds them onto the natural teeth.

How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

According to the American Dental Association, porcelain dental veneers can be expected to last at least ten years. They often last much longer: 20 years is not uncommon. This, of course, is dependent on patients’ behavior and care for their teeth. Composite resin veneers have an expected life of about five to seven years, again depending on care.

Why Choose Dental Veneers?

There are many reasons why patients choose dental veneers over crowns, dentures, or other dental services. Once of the biggest benefits of veneers is that they leave more of a patient’s natural tooth structure intact. Unlike crowns that involve significant filing away of the natural tooth to accept the crown or extraction with denture/bridge replacement, dental veneers usually only involve filing away a small layer at the front of the tooth. Veneers have the potential to be more aesthetically pleasing after time than other tooth replacement options, since there is less likelihood of veneers showing a gum margin. Additionally, teeth with veneers are less likely to experience movement or shifting than those repaired or replaced by other means. Finally, some patients choose dental veneers because of the savings in cost over other cosmetic or restorative services.

How Much Do Dental Veneers Cost?

The total cost of having dental veneers applied to one’s teeth is dependent on several factors, including how much work needs to be done to prepare the receiving teeth and gum tissue. The veneer material is also a factor, as porcelain is more expensive than compositive resin. Very generally speaking, porcelain dental veneers can range in cost from about $900 to about $2,500 per tooth. Composite resin veneers can range from about $500 to $1,500 per tooth. Our dentist will provide patients with a clear estimate of total cost at the consultation appointment.

Where Can I Find More Information on Dental Veneers?

Here are some helpful resources on dental veneers to help you make the most informed decision possible. You can also call our office at any time to discuss this treatment option with a member of our administrative team.