Common Questions Associated with Veneers

porcelain-veneersA smile is everyone’s most important feature. That’s why no one likes having their teeth discolored, misaligned, or gapped. There are several solutions to these dental issues, one of them being veneers. Veneers can drastically improve the quality of one’s smile, filling in gaps, whitening, and reshaping teeth. Often times before deciding if veneers are right for them, patients have questions about them, how they work, about the procedure, and more. We have answered some of the more common questions about veneers here.

What are veneers?

Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic placed over the front of one’s teeth with the purpose to change the color or shape. Veneers help patients that have teeth with uneven surfaces that might also be chipped, discolored, irregularly shaped, crooked, or gapped.

Sometimes veneers can be alternatives to crowns, which have a similar affect and procedure but usually for a single tooth. Veneers are meant for a set of front teeth and are long-lasting. They have been remarked as a great method of masking tooth discoloration as well as correcting any irregular appearances to the front teeth.

How do veneers work?

Ultimately, veneers work as an enamel replacement for a set of teeth. The procedure requires a few visits in order to get your smile just right. During the first appointment, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth and then send these off to a dental lab to make veneers in the correct shape and shade of your teeth, a process that can take up to 2-3 weeks. Before the dentist can place the veneers on your teeth, typically a small portion of each tooth’s surface is removed—about half a millimeter. During your next appointment, the veneers will be cemented to your teeth.

Once you have your veneers bonded to your teeth, it may take a couple weeks to get used to the “new” set of teeth, which sometimes may feel larger in size or shape depending if you’re teeth had been misshaped before. The procedure greatly enhances a person’s smile to look like a set of natural teeth.

Here are some helpful resources on how exactly veneers work and how to maintain them:

How much do veneers cost?

The cost of veneers will depend on the type of material you choose. Porcelain veneers will typically cost more than composite veneers, but the difference in cost correlates with the longevity of the veneers. A typical set of plastic or resin veneers can range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a thousand per tooth, and last anywhere from five to seven years before you require another procedure.

How much are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers cost a bit more than resin veneers. They can range in price from a thousand to a couple thousand per tooth, however the benefits are noticeable. Porcelain veneers last longer than resin, sometimes as long as 15 years. Porcelain veneers also look very natural, are typically stain and scratch resistant, don’t change in color over time, and provide the same strength as an ordinary set of teeth.

Do porcelain veneers stain?

Sometimes patients have the fear that because porcelain veneers are so comparable to a natural set of teeth, that they may be susceptible to stains from things like tea, coffee, and wine. The simple answer is that porcelain veneers should never stain. They have stain-resistant properties, however if you know that your natural set of teeth have a tendency to stain, you should avoid or minimize behaviors that could lead to possible staining overtime. If you have translucent veneers, any stains on the back of your teeth could reflect through the veneers.

How do you whiten veneers?

Typically you shouldn’t have to ever whiten your veneers, but if you find that the color just isn’t right or does not meet your standards, there are some teeth whitening techniques specific to veneers. First, you should know what kind of veneers you have on your teeth. Are they porcelain? Resin? If you have translucent veneers that reflect the natural teeth, you can bleach the backside of your teeth so the veneers eventually reflect the result. It is not recommended to directly bleach veneers.

Alternatively, you can choose a whitening toothpaste to brush with. A normal whitening toothpaste will not damage your veneers. If you wish to have your teeth whitened professionally and you have veneers, you can also consult with your dentist about possible options.

What are the differences between Lumineers and veneers?

Patients often wonder about the difference between veneers and Lumineers. Lumineers veneers are a type of veneer brand, but are slightly different than porcelain veneers. They are much thinner—about as thick as a contact lens. Lumineers do not require your teeth to be trimmed, and if a patient desires, Lumineers can be removed whereas porcelain veneers are permanent.

The type of veneer a patient chooses is all based upon preference and what will enhance his or her smile the best.

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    Dr. Daniel Derksen grew up in the town of Bath, Michigan where he still lives with his family.

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