Teeth veneers are very thin porcelain shells that cosmetic dentists can apply to the front of people's teeth to hide chipped, pitted, discolored, worn-down, poorly spaced or crooked teeth. Porcelain veneers are not appropriate in every case of a damaged tooth, but they are very effective in covering up certain flaws and giving wearers an appearance of near-perfect or perfect teeth. Unless prescribed by a dentist to correct a flaw caused by an accident, most health insurance policies will not cover the cost of veneers, but dental veneers are now available at very affordable rates. ( How much do veneers cost per tooth?)
After you have established yourself as a candidate for teeth veneers, you may next jump to the obvious question of 'how much do veneers cost?'
Porcelain veneers are a fairly recent technology that allows dentists to make spot repairs to a client's teeth. Available in a variety of shades that allow the dentist to match the brightness of a client's smile, veneers are custom-fitted to address each client's particular needs and then attached directly to the trouble spot(s). Porcelain is a strong, durable material that won't stain, allowing the veneers to remain in place for ten to fifteen years.
The procedure for applying dental veneers begins with a consultation with a qualified cosmetic dentist, who will help the client determine realistic goals and results. The dentist then gently buffs the tooth or teeth in question to make room for the thin veneer and applies temporary cement to the area, using a shade that will match the color of the veneer as well as the client's healthy teeth. The dentist then takes an impression of the tooth or teeth in question and sends the impression to a lab to create the customized veneer. At the next appointment, the dentist applies the custom-made veneers to the client's tooth, using water or glycerin as a temporary adhesive to allow the client to approve the color and the fit before its permanently attached. Once the veneer is approved, the dentist cleans the tooth and applies the veneer, using glue or cement.
The best candidates for veneers are teenagers and adults whose teeth are crooked or show imperfections such as chips, pits, holes, misalignment, stains and other flaws. These flaws are usually easily corrected with dental veneers, which yield the appearance of near-perfect or perfect teeth. People who have a tendency to grind or clench their teeth should be careful, though, because such movements can chip, crack or otherwise damage the veneer.
There are no real risks or side effects to having porcelain veneers put in when its performed by a board-certified dentist in a sterilized setting. Clients may experience increased tooth sensitivity due to the buffing of their teeth, particularly if a fair portion of the tooth needs to be treated. Some clients can also experience a very slight discomfort as they adjust to the feel of the veneer in their mouths.
The veneer process generally requires two appointments that can last up to 90 minutes each, one for a consultation and to make the impression, and a second one to attach the custom-made veneer. After that, no additional maintenance beyond proper brushing and flossing is required unless the veneer is damaged in some way. As noted earlier, veneers can be expected to last for ten to fifteen years.
Cosmetic dentistry procedures involving porcelain veneers can only address flaws in the client's teeth. Other facial flaws may be treated through different cosmetic procedures. Clients should discuss their goals and desired results with a qualified, board-certified cosmetic dentist before undergoing any cosmetic dentistry procedure.