Chipped, stained, or oddly-shaped teeth can get in the way of an otherwise stunning smile. Everyone knows that a bright smile leaves a lasting first impression, but sometimes your teeth need some help. Veneers can correct or alter the appearance of your teeth to get the smile you want.
The word “veneer” means a thin sheet of material. That’s exactly what dental veneers are, a sheet of material that fits over an existing tooth like a thin cover or shell. The custom-fit cover is bonded to the tooth, altering the tooth’s appearance from the front. The results are brighter, younger, and healthier-looking smiles. They are also considered a part of cosmetic dentistry. You can get a single veneer to hide a chipped tooth or get several veneers at once. The front six to eight teeth are the most popular for veneers because they are the most visible. Dentists can correct the discoloration of one or two teeth and a small visible cavity on another while making the rest of the teeth uniform in color and shape.
The different veneer types involve the materials used to make the veneer and how and where the veneer is made. Common materials used to make veneers include:
Porcelain is by far the most durable (and popular) option for its appearance and durability.
Porcelain veneers offer one of the most durable and aesthetically-pleasing options. The dentist takes an impression of the tooth or teeth and sends it to a lab that makes a custom-fit porcelain veneer. This method sometimes requires more removal of the original tooth to get a good fit. Porcelain veneers are a good option for those with more severe dental issues.
The dentist takes an imprint of your teeth to make a custom-made veneer that snaps into place. You can eat normally, but you have to take out and clean the veneers after eating. These veneers cost less than porcelain, but they aren’t as durable, nor do they function as well as porcelain.
With composite veneers, the dentist applies the composite material directly to the tooth’s surface then sculpts and shapes the tooth. The composite material either matches the surrounding teeth or is done in a color that unifies the teeth with surrounding veneers.
Dentists can apply a pre-made veneer, called an instant veneer, to your teeth. The dentist matches the veneer style and color to your teeth and applies it in a single appointment. This method is less expensive than porcelain veneers, but you don’t get the custom fit of porcelain or composites, nor do they last as long.
As one of the most popular veneer options, we have to mention the cost of porcelain and what exactly you’re getting. Porcelain has unique properties, such as the way it reflects light and resists staining, which makes it look more like natural teeth.
Porcelain veneers cost anywhere from $925 to $2,500 per tooth. However, of all the veneer options, they last the longest, from 10 to 15 years. If they’re cared for properly, they can last even longer.
Veneers do not ruin your teeth. They require removing a small amount of tooth material to adhere to the tooth and look natural. A dentist can repair veneers if they get damaged or cracked.
Porcelain veneers are not considered permanent because they typically need replacement after 10 to 15 years. They can last longer if cared for properly.
You care for veneers just like you do your natural teeth by brushing and flossing. You should also avoid foods that stain the teeth, like coffee and wine.
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