Overview of Tooth Veneers
Often an alternative to crowns, veneers are very thin pieces of specially
-shaped porcelain or plastic that are glued over the front of your teeth
with little or no anesthesia needed. They are the cure for teeth that
are severely discolored, chipped, have small holes or pits, misshapen
or crooked, or for the correction of unwanted or uneven spaces. Unlike
crowns, veneers won't require the dentist to remove much of the tooth
itself in most cases. It is important to ask your cosmetic dentist how
much tooth will be removed. In some cases more tooth will need to be removed,
which may increase the risk of trauma to the tooth. Veneers are created
from an impression taken in your cosmetic dentist's office. Your custom
veneer is then glued directly onto your tooth. Typically costing less
than crowns, veneers won't stain, making veneers a very popular solution
for many people seeking that perfect smile. Strong and very durable, veneers
last from ten to fifteen years, and come in colors that will brighten
dark teeth without the worry of them changing color.
How are Tooth Veneers Attached to your Tooth?
In your first appointment, it is important to initially discuss with your
cosmetic dentist that you will want to "try in" your veneers
with temporary cement that is the same color cement as will be used for
the permanent attachment. During this "try-in" phase, be sure
to look at your veneers in natural light in addition to the office light.
Teeth are prepared for veneers by lightly buffing to allow for the small
added thickness of the veneer. Veneers are thin like contact lenses, and
will usually only need tooth reduction of 0.5mm to 1.0mm. If a drastic
change is being made for the result you want, reduction may be 1.0mm to
2.0mm. A mold is taken of the teeth, from which the veneers are modeled
after. Temporary veneers will be placed and worn until your permanent
veneers are ready. While wearing the temporary veneers, advise your cosmetic
dentist of any adjustments or changes you would like made, such as in
shape or size. These changes will be translated into your permanent veneers,
so good communication between you and your dentist is important in achieving
your new smile. Your dentist places the veneers with water or glycerin
on the teeth to verify their perfect fit and the shade or color. The color
cannot be changed after the veneers are adhered to your teeth. The tooth
is then cleansed with chemicals to achieve a durable bond. Once the glue
is between the veneer and your tooth, a light beam is used to harden the
How much do tooth veneers cost?
Traditional Porcelain Veneers typically cost between $900 - $2,500 per
tooth and require two or more visits one to two weeks apart. Veneers made
of porcelain provide a greater longevity than plastic, typically ten years
to fifteen years or more. Composite Veneers cost significantly less, around
$250 per tooth or more, but only last from five to seven years typically.
Lumineer Porcelain Veneers typically cost between $700 - $1,000 per tooth
and also require just two visits. Lumineers are expected to last as long
as traditional porcelain veneers. Generally speaking, the price of tooth
veneers and whitening increases with the number of in-office treatments
required by the patient. Dental insurance does not typically cover the
cost of the tooth veneers procedure. Cost will vary depending on your
region, the skill level of your Cosmetic Dentist and the quality of the
lab they use. Traditional Porcelain Veneers typically cost between $900
- $2,500 per tooth and require two or more visits one to two weeks apart.
Veneers made of porcelain provide a greater longevity than plastic, typically
ten years to fifteen years or more. Composite Veneers cost significantly
less, around $250 per tooth or more, but only last from five to seven
years typically. Lumineer Porcelain Veneers typically cost between $700
- $1,000 per tooth and also require just two visits. Lumineers are expected
to last as long as traditional porcelain veneers. Generally speaking,
the price of tooth veneers and whitening increases with the number of
in-office treatments required by the patient. Dental insurance does not
typically cover the cost of the tooth veneers procedure. Cost will vary
depending on your region, the skill level of your Cosmetic Dentist and
the lab they use.
Porcelain veneers are common in creating new smiles and smile makeovers.
With porcelain veneers, you can have the smile of your dreams in a very
short period of time. Typically veneers are difficult to stain, making
veneers a very popular solution for many people seeking that perfect smile.
Strong and very durable, veneers last from ten to fifteen years, and come
in colors that will brighten dark teeth without the worry of them changing
color. Veneers are typically done in only two one and a half hour long
appointments, and can actually strengthen your tooth.
There is no additional maintenance, other than a follow-up visit to your
cosmetic dentist and proper brushing and flossing on a daily basis.
- Finally, a whiter smile gives people to whom you are speaking a place to
focus on and gives you a friendlier appearance.
It takes roughly a week or two of a period of adjustment to get used to
your teeth that have been changed in color, size, spacing and shape. While
very little tooth is removed in most cases, there are situations where
more tooth must be removed which increases the risk of trauma to the tooth.
The amount of tooth to be removed for the veneers should be discussed
with your cosmetic dentist beforehand.
It is common to have minor sensitivity after your teeth have been prepared
for your veneers while wearing the temporary veneers. Some people can
experience a difference in speech, usually pronouncing "s" and
"f" sounds. This is corrected through minor adjustments your
cosmetic dentist can make to your veneers. Veneers are very reasonable
facsimiles of natural teeth, but not perfect replacements for natural
teeth. It's common to see slight variations in the color of veneers
upon very close inspection, as with natural teeth. It can take up to a
month or two before your new smile feels a part of you.
If you suffer from bruxism, clenching or grinding of your teeth, veneers
can be damaged, chipped or cracked from this. If you suffer from bruxism,
speak with your cosmetic dentist about wearing a mouth guard at night
to protect your new smile.
Pros and cons of Lumineers
Made of Cerinate porcelain, Lumineers are a new type of porcelain veneers.
They are contact lens-thin, roughly .2 mm thick. Little to no tooth reduction
in most cases is necessary with this type of veneer and anesthetics or
numbing shots are not needed. It is claimed that Lumineers resist micro-leakage
and micro-cracking more so than traditional porcelain veneers. Unlike
other porcelain veneers, you won't need to wear temporary veneers
until the Lumineers are created. Lumineers are expected to last just as
long as traditional porcelain veneers. Lumineers are reversible if no
tooth reduction was necessary when they were first done. Cost is less
than traditional porcelain veneers.
As there is little to no tooth reduction needed for Lumineer porcelain
veneers, there is a limit to how much smile correction can be accomplished.
This can also lead to bulky appearing and feeling veneers in some cases.
Cosmetic Dentists offering Lumineers are specially trained specifically
for this type of veneer which means for the time being there are fewer
Cosmetic Dentists offering Lumineers.
Who is a candidate for veneers:
Veneers, porcelain or plastic, are placed over the front teeth to change
color shape of the teeth. Veneers are ideal for teeth that are too small,
too big, or have uneven surfaces. It is very common for people to have
imperfect teeth, either oddly shaped teeth, chipped teeth, crooked teeth,
teeth with small holes in them, or an inappropriate sized tooth or teeth
that have an odd appearance. Veneers solve such irregularities and create
a durable and pleasing smile.
How to select a color for your veneers:
When considering veneers a common question is how white the veneers should
be. Usually, the answer is to whiten your natural teeth to either the
level of whiteness you want or to the brightest they can be. Your cosmetic
dentist will then have the veneers made to that color. Teeth are of course
not monochromatic, so typically more than one color is used to create
a very natural look. This color variation is critical in avoiding fake
or artificial looking teeth. It is the internal contrast of colors that
help create vitality. The internal play of light on the porcelain in the
restoration helps to create this vitality. Surface texture is also very
important, and helps to break up light reflections and make the crown
or veneer look more natural.
There is no one standard system in the dental field to measure and determine
tooth color. The most often heard about, however, is the Vita shade guide.
This guide divides tooth color into four basic shade ranges:
- A (reddish brown)
- B (reddish yellow)
- C (gray)
- D (reddish gray).
In the A range there are five levels of darkness. Ranges B, C and D, each
have four levels.
Not all of your teeth are the same natural color. Usually your eye teeth
tend to be darker than the others, your front teeth are typically the
whitest, and molars tend to be a shade between the two. The goal for everyone
is to achieve their individual optimum whiteness while still looking natural.
Most dentists will show you a shade chart (like the above mentioned Vita
Shade Guide) for you to pick from. Keep in mind, with a good cosmetic
dentist this is merely a starting point. Other considerations when determining
the color of veneers for each patient are your complexion, hair color,
the color of your natural teeth and even your eye color.