Hollander Dental Associates | Porcelain Veneers: What Are They and Do I Need Them?
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09 May Porcelain Veneers: What Are They and Do I Need Them?

In modern society, the bright white smile is a mark of beauty. Given the nature of wear-and-tear as well as genetics, it is not always an easy mark to attain. Dental and orthodontic work has emerged over the last century or so that is dedicated to the development and maintenance of straight white teeth. Porcelain veneers, or dental veneers, are one of the leading choices to achieve that perfect smile.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are a popular, new revolution in the realm of cosmetic dentistry. These veneers are made of a thin piece of porcelain that is placed over each tooth as a means of attempting to return teeth to their “natural” healthy appearance. Their purpose is to cover up damaged enamel or unsightly stains on the teeth, making it appear as if the teeth are whole and healthy.

Porcelain veneers are not entirely cosmetic, either, in their use. For some, veneers serve as a protective covering for teeth that have perhaps lost too much enamel or have become misshapen or uneven because of excessive tooth grinding or just the usual wear and tear. Each porcelain veneer is custom made for each tooth, and they are irremovable, so deciding to go forward with this procedure should be carefully considered and discussed with your Carlsbad Ca certified dentist.

How Much do Veneers Cost?

The average porcelain veneer runs anywhere between $900 and $2500 per tooth, making them one of the more expensive options to cosmetic or repair dentistry. However, porcelain veneers are more likely to last up to twice as long as its closest competitor, the composite veneer: 10 to 20 years versus 5 to 7.

In addition to the veneers themselves, cost will also include the actual procedure and how many teeth are being fitted with veneers. If veneers are a necessity because of damaged teeth, then certain dental insurances may cover part of the costs. Purely cosmetic purposes probably will not be covered, but it is up to you to discuss your options with your insurance company. Also keep in mind that prices vary between regions and between dentists, so make sure you do comparison shopping to find the best treatment option for you before committing to any procedure.

What Does the Procedure Look Like?

If you and your dentist agree that porcelain veneers are the right choice for your smile, then here’s what you can expect in the upcoming procedure:

1) The enamel on the surface of your teeth will be trimmed so that the veneer can fit against the tooth. The amount removed is generally about the size of the veneer that will be placed, and a good dentist will know when to stop so not too much enamel is removed.

2) After the enamel has been trimmed, your dentist will make an impression of your mouth using dental putty. The impression will be sent off and porcelain veneers made from the impressions so that each veneer matches each tooth as perfectly as possible.

3) Once the porcelain veneers have been created, you will return to your dentist’s office and he will ensure that the veneers fit well and that the color of the porcelain is correct.

4) When the actual bonding process is ready, your dentist will start with an acid etching gel that creates a rough surface on the enamel of your teeth that the veneers will bind to. The dentist will then add a layer of clear bonding agent to the surface of the tooth and place the veneer onto the tooth with a cementing agent inside the veneer itself. Afterwards, a “curing light” is used to fully bond the veneer.

How Do I Know if I am a Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?

If you feel like you may be a candidate for a veneer procedure, schedule an appointment with your dentist and discuss your options. Since the process of veneer placement cannot be undone, it is important to have all the facts and be certain that this is the right option for you.

The following are a few factors that may make you a good candidate for veneers if you are still on the fence:

Your teeth are badly stained
You have cracks or chips in your teeth
Your teeth are crooked or uneven
Your mouth is healthy and does not have any outstanding tooth or gum diseases
Your teeth still have enough enamel for the veneers to adhere to

The degradation of teeth does not always involve improper oral care, but rather just time, age, and certain food and drinks. If your mouth is healthy but you are unhappy with your smile, then you may be an excellent candidate for porcelain veneers.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Veneers?

As with any cosmetic procedure that changes the appearance of the human figure, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of pursuing dental veneers as a tooth straightening and whitening option. We have covered many of these in the article above, but let’s take a moment to go into a little more detail so you have a clear understanding of what to expect.

Advantages

They appear natural, clean, and straight
They do not generally cause problems (such as inflammation) to the gums
They cannot stain, so you are not prevented from enjoying food and drinks you may have avoided before
They are less invasive than other tooth straightening and whitening procedures
They can last upwards of twenty years if properly cared for
They can be applied in as little as two visits to the dentist

Disadvantages

They are permanent and cannot be removed once applied
They are fairly expensive
They are difficult (if not impossible) to repair if they crack or chip
If you are getting veneers on only a few teeth, then they may look drastically different than the rest of your teeth
They do not prevent tooth decay
They make cause your teeth to become more sensitive to hot and cold

Final Thoughts

Porcelain veneers are an efficient way to create a lasting, pearly-white smile, but it is a procedure that should be researched and discussed with a dental professional before you choose to commit. The procedure is not invasive, but it is also irreversible. So be careful and be certain that you are making the right decision for your mouth.

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