There are many reasons why people become interested in dental veneers. They may have cosmetic issues with their teeth, like chips, cracks, stains, or discoloration. It’s important to note that veneers are not the only option for addressing these difficulties, but in many cases, they provide a good solution.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
These are custom-made shells that we attach to your teeth using special cement for this purpose. Before applying the veneers, we will need to remove some of your natural tooth enamel, so depending on the type of veneer and how much we need to alter the enamel, this process may or may not be reversible. In most cases, it is considered permanent. Once applied, the veneers can be expected to last ten years or more if cared for properly.
Who Would Benefit Most from Porcelain Veneers?
As noted above, there are many different cosmetic treatments we can use to help you improve your smile. At your initial appointment, we will discuss your goals and what you want to change about your teeth, then we’ll examine them to determine your options. Next, we’ll recommend the solutions that we think will best fit your situation. This could include veneers, whitening, or even restorative treatments like crowns.
While not ideal for every patient, veneers are often helpful in the following situations:
- When you have chipped or broken teeth that you want to change the appearance of and these same teeth don’t require a crown. Crowns are restorative coverings that not only improve the appearance of a broken tooth but also protect it from future damage. Unlike veneers, crowns cover the entire tooth, not just the front of it, and are very durable. If we believe the tooth has deteriorated enough to need a crown, we will usually recommend a crown instead of a veneer for that tooth. If the tooth doesn’t need a crown, we will proceed with the veneer.
- If you have diastema – gaps or spaces in between teeth. Most commonly, patients come to see us because of a gap between their front teeth that is very visible. We can correct this look by creating veneers for the two teeth in sizes that will ensure the veneers touch after they’re installed.
- If you have deep stains on the teeth that resist tooth whitening treatments. Usually, we will try whitening treatments first, and these work for the majority of patients. However, if the stains persist or don’t fade enough, veneers may be a good solution.
- When you have teeth that are too small or unusually shaped. Tooth contouring can fix minor problems with tooth shape, but it won’t make a tooth bigger or address more extensive issues. In these cases, we may use veneers to change the shape and size of the tooth.
How Does the Process of Getting Dental Veneers Work?
We’ll carefully inspect your teeth and gums to ensure you’re a good candidate for veneers.
In some cases, patients may have other dental health issues that veneers could interfere with or vice versa. Sometimes we may recommend treating other issues before having veneers put on, or we may suggest another cosmetic treatment that’s better for you.
If you are able to continue with the process, we’ll shape your teeth by gently removing minimal amounts of enamel. Next, we’ll create impressions of your teeth and send them to a lab, where the veneers will be made for your unique teeth and needs. Then you’ll go home and we’ll schedule an appointment for you to come back once the veneers are ready – this usually takes a few weeks. If you really need to change your smile faster than that, we can install temporary veneers while the permanent ones are being made, but you’ll need to bite and chew carefully while the temporary ones are on.
At the second visit, we’ll apply the veneers and bond them to your teeth using special cement. Then we’ll check your bite to rule out any problems. Sometimes your bite may seem fine in the office, but after you go home and try eating with your new veneers, you may notice that you’re having some difficulties. Or you may find that the veneers don’t appear quite right after a few days of looking at them in the mirror. If this happens, please let us know. You can come back in and we’ll adjust the bite or other aspects as needed.
Veneer placement isn’t painful and you won’t need to take the day off – you can go right back to your typical activities the same day.
Taking Care of Your Porcelain Veneers
Veneers are made of high-quality porcelain, but even so, they will be in your mouth and exposed to food and drinks every day. As a result, they will last much longer if you take steps to care for them. You should continue to brush and floss regularly, and we recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush, which will reduce friction on the veneers. A non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste is also a good idea, and you should keep up with regular dental exams.
Whitening treatments don’t work as well on veneers, plus they can sometimes scratch the porcelain, so we don’t recommend doing them after having veneers installed. Instead, we will talk about your desire for whitening services at your initial appointment. If you want the whitening treatments, we will usually do these first before applying veneers, which are then matched to the new shade of your teeth.
The porcelain is stain-resistant, but in some cases, consuming a large amount of dark-colored foods and beverages can still cause discoloration. You should try to reduce your use of sodas, coffee, wine, berries, etc. Cutting up very hard foods like apples, carrots, and meats and chewing them on your back teeth will help reduce wear on the veneers of your front teeth.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Porcelain Veneers?
Veneers can dramatically improve the appearance of a wide variety of cosmetic issues and are designed just for you, so they will blend in seamlessly with your other teeth. They also experience less staining than natural teeth. Additionally, there is no special maintenance for veneers once they’ve been placed, and they last for years before requiring replacement. Often patients tell us that they finally feel free to smile again once they have veneers placed to correct dental imperfections.
Will Dental Insurance Pay For Porcelain Veneers?
Unfortunately, most dental policies do not cover “cosmetic” treatments such as porcelain veneers. However, many people find that veneers are an excellent value since they can last for up to 15 years with good oral care. If you have questions or concerns about the cost, please contact our administrative staff for an estimate of your treatment expenses.
Learn More About Porcelain Veneers in Gwinnett County
Many patients aren’t sure if they need veneers or another cosmetic treatment. At Great Care Family Dentistry, we’re happy to schedule an appointment and evaluate your teeth for cosmetic improvements. When this is done, we’ll make recommendations to help you achieve the smile you want, which may include porcelain veneers and/or other services. Please call today so we can get started on your new smile.