If you have been struggling with cosmetic issues regarding your smile, you may have come across dental veneers in your search to remedy these concerns. But what exactly are dental veneers? What are your options when it comes to different types of veneers? And how much do veneers typically cost?
These are all excellent questions if you are considering dental veneers as a solution for brightening up your smile. Keep reading to uncover the answer to these questions and more about veneers and what they can do for you.
What Are Veneers Exactly?
Most people have probably heard the term veneers or come across the idea of veneers in their life, but may not know what they actually are. Veneers are a thin coating of material affixed to the front surface of the teeth. They are tooth-colored and used to improve the appearance of one’s smile and teeth.
Typically veneers are made out of porcelain or a resin-composite material. In order to provide a lasting effect, they are permanently attached to your teeth once placed. Veneers are used as a solution to orthodontic cosmetic issues, such as discolored, broken, chipped, or unseemly teeth.
The most conventional use of veneers is to improve the appearance of the top front eight teeth. However, veneers can be applied to just one tooth, or a number of teeth, in order to provide a brilliant and even smile.
Why Do People Get Veneers?
As we mentioned above, people look to get dental veneers in order to fix cosmetic issues with their teeth. Perhaps the most common reason people get veneers is to gain a whiter and more noticeable smile. Veneers can come in a range of natural tooth-colored whites that improve the appearance of your smile.
However, veneers are not simply sought after to improve the color of one’s teeth, but also the shape and form. Veneers can fix cosmetic dental issues, such as chips, gaps, misalignments, and worn down teeth.
How Do Dentists Attach Veneers?
The first step in preparing veneers is to discuss with your dentist exactly what you are looking to achieve with your veneers. Once your dentist knows what the final goal is, they can begin to prepare you for your veneers.
Initially your dentist will need to use a dental drill or file to trim off a small portion of the enamel and front of the tooth, or teeth, that will be receiving the veneer. This reshapes the tooth so that the veneer can be fitted properly.
Once the teeth have been shaved down to fit the veneer, molds are taken and then sent off to a laboratory to prepare the veneers. This process can take between one to four weeks. When your dentist has received the finished veneers it is time to attach them.
Before permanently affixing the veneers to your teeth, your dentist will check to make sure the veneers are the right color and shape you desire. Once you and your dentist are satisfied that the veneers are exactly as you want them, your dentist will clean, polish, and etch your teeth. This prevents any bacteria from being trapped by the veneer and allows for a stronger bond.
With the use of a specialized dental cement, your dentist will fix your veneers into the proper position. After the veneers are aligned perfectly, a light beam is used to active the chemicals in the cement, causing it to solidify and bind very quickly.
Finally, once all veneers have been properly placed, your dentist will then shave off any excess cement. Your dentist will then assess your bite and make any necessary adjustments to your veneers. Typically you will be asked to return for a follow-up appointment to see how your teeth and gums are responding to the new veneers.
Do They Last A Long Time?
The expected life of your veneers can depend on the type of veneer you choose. Traditional porcelain veneers tend to last longer than resin-composite based veneers. Veneers typically last between 5 to 15 years before they need to be replaced.
Resin-composite veneers also tend to require more maintenance and are more likely to chip. On the other hand, porcelain veneers do not usually require any additional upkeep once they have been securely bonded. Of course, practicing good dental hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and using an antiseptic mouthwash, can help extend the life of your veneers.
Do You Need To Change Your Eating Habits With Veneers?
Some people may be concerned that you will not be able to eat all the same foods after getting veneers. Fortunately, this is not the case. When your veneers have finished bonding and any anesthetic used for the procedure has worn off, you can resume your regular eating habits with your new veneers.
However, there are some precautions you can take to help protect your veneers from unwanted damage. Be sure to avoid chewing hard objects, such as ice. Aslo, when eating hard foods, such as chocolate or nuts, only use your back teeth to chew and avoid breaking off pieces with your veneers.
Some other precautions you can take to protect your veneers include:
- Wearing a mouthguard while playing physical sports.
- Avoid opening packages or other items with your teeth.
- Consider a retainer to protect your teeth from grinding on them at night.
How Expensive Are Veneers in North Carolina?
When considering the cost of veneers it is important to know that most insurance carriers do not cover veneers, as they are considered a cosmetic procedure. With that being said, veneers can vary in costs depending on several factors, such as:
- The number of teeth receiving veneers.
- Your choice of dentist.
- The type of veneer you opt for (porcelain or resin-composite)
Resin-composite veneers can typically range between $750 to $2,000 a tooth and usually have a shorter lifespan than porcelain veneers, around 5 to 10 years. As you might expect, porcelain veneers tend to be more expensive than resin-composite veneers, between $900 to $3,000 a tooth. However, this can be a better investment considering porcelain veneers require less maintenance and last an average of 10 to 15 years.