Cosmetic dentistry can be complex, especially when you're weighing your options carefully.
Most of us have a lot of questions about the different procedures, how they function, and which is best.
So, how do veneers work?
Read on and we'll answer any questions you might have if you're seriously weighing veneers as an option to improve your smile.
How Do Veneers Work?
Veneers are primarily a cosmetic dentistry procedure. They consist of a thin layer of porcelain or resin-based ceramic that's laid over the tooth.
These hard materials allow your tooth to function normally despite chipping or other structural problems. They're also used to cover up overly stained teeth which may not have any other issues.
Getting veneers is a lower cost option than something like a tooth implant but it requires you to have enough tooth to work with.
All of this adds up to an excellent way to restore a smile but they're not available in every case of discolored or damaged teeth.
While many people worry about the jarring effect of veneers, the truth is that a good dentist will make sure that you've got matching teeth.
This custom tooth matching is an extensive, difficult process but when done it will lead to the best effect for the patient.
Porcelain veneers are a great way to both restore your smile and maintain the structural integrity of teeth with minor damage. They're not a procedure that will replace more damaged teeth that need crowns or implants, however.
As a general rule veneers are ruled a cosmetic procedure so most dental insurance companies won't cover them for you.
What Goes Into Getting Veneers?
Like any dental procedure, the first part of getting your veneers involves a dentist examining your mouth to decide whether it's a good option in your specific case.
The factors which go into deciding if they're the right option are numerous but one of the best indicators that veneers aren't what you're looking for is poor gum health.
In general, they're best suited for those with healthy teeth in the first place.
After the initial consultation, you may also need X-rays and will likely need to make a tooth impression for the dentist to work off of.
You'll also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of porcelain versus resin-composite veneers. The latter option is less expensive but they don't last as long and may not be as stain resistant.
From there it's time to get ready for a brand new smile.
How Are Veneers Applied?
Applying veneers still requires precision by the dentist. You're not just going to have a new face glued to your tooth and then get sent back into the world.
Instead, the tooth will have to be cleaned before the veneer is applied by the dentist. This helps creates the strong bond needed so that the veneer sits flat on your. tooth
The result will be sent to a specialist laboratory to create the veneer. The process usually takes a couple of weeks before you'll sit down again and have the veneer applied.
The veneer will then be placed over the tooth, the fit and shading checked, and it can be adjusted until it's a perfect fit. Once the veneer is properly fitted you'll have your tooth etched to create a better bond with the cement.
The cement is actually light-cured. A special light is shone on the tooth to make the resin harden.
Afterward, any excess cement will be trimmed away and you'll have another appointment set to check on how your bite is handling the veneer.
Are Porcelain Dental Veneers Permanent?
The process of applying veneers permanently alters the tooth, which worries some people. Eventually, after all, the porcelain surely has to wear out.
In practice how long veneers last will depend largely on how you take care of your mouth. They can be expected to last anywhere from 10 to 15 years.
In the event that your veneers wear down considerably, you can have them replaced in the future. The tooth modifications used with porcelain veneers are permanent, but the good new is it also means that insurance often covers the replacement of worn veneers.
What Are the Alternatives to Traditional Veneers?
There are a few other options for those who are looking to brighten their smile.
Particularly common these days are Bioclear Uveneers done by Dr. Eshom. They require minimal prep work and come in a couple of different varieties.
They're much cheaper, however, and can be suitable in some cases. They don't last nearly as long as traditional veneers, however.
On the other hand, Bioclear Uveneers are a long-lasting way to restore your smile. They generally cost ~33-50% less than traditional veneers and don't require the extensive prep-work and tooth shaping of porcelain.
They're a great thing to ask your dentist about during your consultation, where the two of you can come to an informed decision about what is the best for your teeth.
Ready to Find Out If Veneers Are a Good Fit?
Now that you have the answer to the question "how do veneers work" you're probably wondering how to find out if they're the best option for your mouth.
After all, we all have our own individual smiles.
If you're in the San Diego area and getting ready, why not contact us to find out what is best for you and set up a free consultation today?