Dental veneers are thin coverings that attach to the front of teeth to improve their appearance. Patients who have healthy teeth and gums, as well as cosmetic issues like discoloration, chips, and cracks are the best candidates for this treatment.
Dr. Kartik Antani and Dr. Jong Wook Park of Napa Family Dental in Albuquerque, NM, can help determine if they are by answering some of the most common questions about veneers.
The main benefit of dental veneers is the improvement they make in the appearance of teeth. They give a patient a brighter, more even smile and with it a higher degree of confidence. Veneers are often used to correct the following conditions:
- Chipped, cracked or otherwise damaged teeth
- Discoloration or uneven tooth coloring
- Gaps in teeth
- Teeth that are smaller-than-average in size
The cost of traditional veneers is $925 to $2,500 per tooth. The cost varies depending on factors such as type of veneer chosen and the expertise of the dentist.
It’s important to remember that veneers are considered a cosmetic treatment and as such, are not typically covered by insurance. They are, however, long-lasting. Traditional veneers can last between 10 and 15 years.
Veneers can be made of porcelain or other composite materials like resin, and they permanently bond to your teeth so they are not removable.
To get sized properly for veneers, a dentist will typically remove some enamel from the tooth and make a mold of the tooth the veneer is to be affixed to. The mold is then sent to the lab that is to create the veneers. The process usually takes 1-2 weeks.
Once created, the dentist will finalize the color, shape, and fit of the veneers and customize them for the patient. Before applying them, the dentist will thoroughly clean the surface of the tooth. This is done to ensure bacteria is not trapped between the veneer and the tooth which can cause the tooth to decay over time.
The dentist will then grind the tooth to create a rough surface, making it easier for the veneer to adhere to the tooth. The veneer is then bound to the tooth using dental cement. The cement is quickly hardened with the help of ultraviolet light, and by the time you leave the office, your new smile is ready to be shown off.
Unlike other dental cosmetic procedures like implants, recovering from veneers doesn’t take a long time. Once veneers are cemented the patient can eat and drink as he normally would.
In some cases, just after the veneers are attached, a patient may notice their veneers feel a little rough. These rough spots usually stem from extra cement that has stuck to the veneer during the installation process. These rough spots should cause little concern however, as they usually wear down after several days of normal eating and tooth brushing.
Dentists do usually suggest some precautions be taken to ensure your veneers last over the long haul. Among other things they recommend patients avoid:
- Chewing or biting on hard objects
- Biting fingernails
- Opening packages with teeth
- Chewing very hard foods
If a patient grinds or gnashes his teeth during sleep dentists may also recommend the use of a mouthguard to protect the veneers.
Dr. Antani, Dr. Park, and our team are ready to answer all of your questions and to help determine whether veneers are a good cosmetic dentistry solution for you. Call (505) 323-7700 or schedule an appointment online today.