Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are designed to cover the front surface of your teeth. They can be used to treat severely stained teeth, chipped or broken teeth, misaligned or misshapen teeth, or gapped teeth. Their versatility makes them an extremely popular cosmetic dental treatment option.
During your consultation, you’ll discuss the issues you have with your smile and how you’d like to change it. Your dentist can talk to you about veneers as well as other treatment options. Together, you’ll decide if veneers are the right option for you.
Once you’ve decided to move forward with veneers, your dentist will create a treatment plan that aligns with your smile goals and preferences. This plan will outline which teeth will be treated, how many veneers you’ll need, and if any other cosmetic or restorative treatments will be required.
At your next appointment, your teeth will be prepared to accommodate your veneers. Your dentist will clean and numb your mouth, and then remove a very thin layer (0.5mm or less) of enamel from each tooth that is getting a veneer. This is done to ensure a good hold for the veneer, and to avoid adding thickness to the treated teeth.
After your teeth are trimmed, you’ll have dental impressions and pictures taken of your teeth. These will be sent to a dental lab where your permanent veneers will be created. You will be sent home with a set of temporary resin veneers, which will protect your newly-prepared teeth until your permanent veneers are ready.
Once your dentist has checked the fit of your veneers and everything looks good, they’ll be attached to your teeth permanently using powerful dental cement, and you’ll be sent home with a beautiful, brand new smile.
In some cases, tooth staining or discoloration may not be treatable with other cosmetic dentistry methods, like teeth whitening. Severe stains or internal tooth stains, such as tetracycline stains, may persist even after teeth whitening. Veneers can completely cover up the stained tooth and restore its natural, bright appearance.
If your teeth are worn from issues like teeth grinding (bruxism), veneers may be an appropriate treatment to restore their shape and appearance. However, it’s important to also address the root cause of worn teeth. If you suffer from grinding, for example, you may need to get a night guard to protect your teeth after you get veneers.
Normally, the upper front teeth sit in front of the lower front teeth. Crossbites are when a few of your upper teeth sit behind your lower teeth. This can cause your teeth to wear down or chip, and may also cause gum recession, which can lead to painful gum problems or even bone loss. Invisalign can fix some crossbites, but it’s best to have a consultation with your doctor to see which options are right for you.
Veneers may be used to treat minor chipping or breakage in the teeth, as long as the damage is limited to the outer layers of enamel and dentin. More serious tooth injuries may require the use of a dental crown and root canal therapy.
Veneers are also commonly used to treat and restore irregular or misshapen teeth, providing you with a straighter and more even smile.
Minor tooth misalignment and gapping can be resolved with veneers. Your teeth can be trimmed and then covered with veneers to correct these issues, and provide you with a more pleasing smile.
However, veneers can only be used to treat minor issues with misalignment and tooth gapping. For more serious teeth alignment issues, orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign or braces may be required before cosmetic treatment with veneers.
No. Traditional veneers are bonded into place permanently, and are not meant to be removed. The procedure is not reversible, since it requires a thin layer of enamel to be permanently drilled away from your teeth. After your treatment, you will need to take proper care of your veneers, and have them replaced if any of them break or become dislodged.
This mostly depends on how well you take care of your veneers, but most patients can keep a set of veneers for 15 to 20 years. Over time, your veneers may wear down, and you may need to have individual veneers repaired or replaced.
The best way to prolong the lifespan of your veneers is to brush and floss properly, and to see your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam. You should also avoid doing things that could break or dislodge your veneers, such as chewing non-food objects, chewing hard foods with your front teeth, or using your teeth as tools.
Veneers are typically made of ceramic porcelain materials that look and feel just like natural tooth enamel. Porcelain can be matched to the color of your teeth and is very similar to enamel in hardness and translucence, making it an ideal option.
Resin veneers are also available, but they are typically only used as temporary veneers because resin does not look as natural, and is not nearly as durable compared to porcelain ceramic veneers.
Veneers and Lumineers are basically the same, with one big difference. Lumineers are much thinner than traditional veneers, because they’re made out of a special, proprietary ceramic material. They are usually only about 0.2mm thick, compared to the 0.5mm thickness of traditional veneers. Because of this, Lumineers can often be placed without trimming your existing enamel. This is why they’re often called “no-prep” or “minimal-prep” veneers.
The cost of veneers will vary depending on how many teeth you're covering up, your oral health, the location of each tooth, and a variety of other factors. The best way to get an accurate cost estimate is to contact your dentist for a cosmetic consultation. Your dentist can examine your mouth, assess your oral health, and give you a quote for the cost of treatment with veneers.