Veneers & Laminates
Dental veneers, also known as laminates, are tooth-colored shells used to cosmetically enhance the appearance of one or more teeth. They’re a popular dental procedure for people with chipped teeth, gaps between teeth, broken teeth, crooked teeth, tooth discoloration, or misshapen teeth.
Because veneers are customized to your natural teeth for a more desirable color and shape, they are the ideal solution for those who want an improved, completely natural-looking smile. They are bonded to the surface of the teeth to reshape broken, misshapen, or irregular teeth, as well as provide a solution for discolored teeth that do not respond to traditional teeth whitening treatments.
Because every patient is different, every veneer is different and is customized to your natural teeth. Many people choose to get porcelain dental veneers for cosmetic reasons, but they can also be used for restorative purposes. Veneers can be less invasive than dental crowns—as crowns cover the entire tooth—but veneers only adhere to the tooth surface.
Patients with veneers, whether they are porcelain veneers or composite veneers, typically achieve a natural tooth appearance that is well-tolerated by the gums and is also resistant to future stains.
How to Know If You Are a Candidate for Dental Veneers
While veneers are a great choice for many people, they’re not the right solution for everyone. The most important qualifications are that you have good bone structure and healthy gums; if these two things are true, you are likely a good candidate for dental treatments like veneers.
Dental veneers may be right for you if you are looking for an alternative to crowns and caps. Veneers can help you if you have gaps between your teeth or teeth that are broken, chipped, irregularly shaped, or misaligned. To find out more about whether dental veneers are right for you, contact us to schedule a consultation.
If you struggle with any of the following issues, you may want to ask your dentist about veneers:
- Chipped teeth;
- Stained teeth;
- A less-than-ideal smile;
- Gaps between teeth;
- Crowded teeth;
- Bite difficulties.
Because everyone’s smile is different, it’s important to work with a dentist who has an expert level of knowledge and experience with cosmetic procedures, and who has a proven history of high patient satisfaction when helping to solve cosmetic concerns.
Getting Porcelain Veneers or Composite Veneers
If we determine that you are a good candidate for veneers, you’ll only need a few dental visits before your veneers are in place. The first thing we will do is make sure your basic oral health is in check by evaluating your teeth brushing habits, making sure you’re a regular when it comes to teeth cleanings, and making sure any cavities or other issues are taken care of.
Once it’s time to start veneer placement, we will administer a local anesthetic before performing a minor tooth reduction. A very thin layer of tooth enamel will be removed from the tooth or teeth being covered. The dentist will then take an impression to create a mold so that your permanent veneers can be made.
After the mold is taken, you’ll receive temporary veneers, which will give you a very realistic experience as far as how the veneers will look and feel. If anything feels off, this will be the time to bring it up with us.
The Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers
Just like most cosmetic procedures, there are benefits and potential drawbacks to getting veneers depending on your particular situation.
First, there are pros and cons to the different types of veneers you can get. Veneers may be made of porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers tend to look more polished and be more durable than their counterpart, composite resin veneers. However, composite resin veneers are more cost-effective than porcelain veneers. If you’re feeling put off by the porcelain veneers cost, then the composite material option might be the best choice for you.
Here are a few of the benefits you may experience if you choose to get veneers:
- A better-looking smile all around. Traditional veneers can look so natural, yet so straight and beautiful, that it will be impossible for anyone to tell that there’s anything masking your natural tooth.
- More stain-resistant power. Especially if you choose the porcelain option, veneers resists discoloration and hide discolored natural teeth at the same time.
- Instant gratification. While some procedures take weeks to see results, veneers give you a more appealing smile right away and will last for years to come.
- A multi-problem solution. Veneers solve so many problems, from tooth color to tooth structure. It’s amazing that simple, custom-made shells can address so many issues!
- Easier on the checkbook. When you look at veneers versus other types of dental restorations, veneers are definitely on the affordable side. Plus, it’s incredible how long veneers can last—15 years or more!
- Less prep time. Typically, you’ll only have to schedule two visits with Comprehensive Dentistry so that we can remove a fractional amount of tooth enamel before cementing the veneers to the front surface of your teeth. There would be significantly more time invested for dental crowns.
- Added support. A pressed porcelain veneer, in particular, can provide additional support for damaged teeth.
- Stress-free maintenance. You won’t need to worry about special care for your veneers; just stick to your regular dental visits and make sure you are brushing and flossing!
As far as the downsides to veneers, a few things to keep in mind, include:
- Permanency. Once you have veneers, you can’t reverse the procedure.
- Won’t fix badly damaged teeth. While most veneers can provide support for slightly damaged teeth, they’re not enough for teeth that are truly degenerating.
- Won’t last as long as other procedures. While veneers can definitely last for 15 years or more, they won’t last as long as something like bridges or crowns.
- More expensive than teeth whitening. If your main concern is the color of your teeth, you can certainly find a veneer shade that matches the color you want—but it will be costlier than whitening.
Veneers Might Not Be Right for You If…
While veneers are typically a wonderful option for many people, there are certain circumstances in which they may not be the best solution for you—at least, not until you have other dental treatments performed first.
If you have ground your teeth to the point that they are extremely worn down, then veneers might not be optimal. This is because veneers don’t adhere well to the tooth enamel of a worn-down tooth.
Additionally, if you have very large gaps in your teeth, we may recommend that you visit an orthodontist first before venturing any further into the world of cosmetic dental procedures. Once the orthodontist has shifted the teeth to fill in the large gap, then we can place the veneer and give you a better overall result.
Overly crowded teeth or a small jaw can also make it difficult to achieve proper results with veneers. This would be another example of a time your dentist may suggest that you visit the orthodontist’s office before pursuing cosmetic dentistry.
Dental Veneer Post-Treatment Care Instructions
There is no special care required for dental veneers, and normal brushing and flossing can be resumed immediately. Because veneers are usually placed over the course of two appointments, it is normal to experience some tooth sensitivity between the first and second visit when the teeth have been reduced in preparation for bonding.
Contact Comprehensive Dentistry to start your journey to a better smile.