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A veneer is a covering that’s placed over one or more teeth to improve overall appearance. Veneers are specially designed to look like natural teeth and correct a variety of dental issues, like:
At Smile Design Dentistry, we offer two types of veneer-based cosmetic enhancements: porcelain veneers and composite veneers. Depending on your personal needs, our consultation, and our dentist’s recommendations, either of these cosmetic enhancements could be the right fit for you. In as few as two treatment appointments, you’ll walk away with a beautiful, stunning smile.
Porcelain veneers can be used to cover deep stains and rejuvenate the appearance of your smile with the look of pristine, healthy, sparkling tooth enamel. Because the shape of each veneer is customized, they can be used to close slight gaps in teeth and to make teeth more symmetrical in shape and similar in size. Because porcelain veneers protect and strengthen teeth, they will eliminate the tooth sensitivity you may have been experiencing due to erosion or natural low-mineralization of your enamel.
Typically, a set of veneers is used to cover and match the appearance of your upper central teeth that show as you smile. The number of teeth that require treatment is based on your smile, the condition of your teeth, and the objectives of your treatment. Porcelain veneers are sometimes applied to the front of the lower arch of teeth, but this is not always needed to obtain a naturally beautiful smile.
Each veneer is a custom-made shell of tooth-colored porcelain cemented to the front of a tooth. It has the translucency and sparkle of healthy natural enamel. Our Smile Design Dentistry dentists have expertise in color-matching veneers for the shade of white you desire. Teeth that are near the veneer can be safely bleached to a lighter shade or be treated with a thin application of composite to achieve a matched, perfectly color-blended smile.
Composite dental bonding is a very simple treatment for changing the shape and color of teeth. The composite resin material that is used in dental fillings can be applied to a tooth’s surface and then sculpted, smoothed, and hardened with a special light that “bonds” the resin to the tooth. Composite bonding can be used to change the shape or color of a tooth and mask deep stains.
As in the case of porcelain veneers, your Smile Design dentist will take extreme care in selecting the right shade of composite to blend beautifully with your smile. Cosmetic bonding is a simple, relatively fast, and inexpensive procedure. But, it is not as durable as porcelain veneers.
Veneers depend on the materials used and the number of teeth being treated. Porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers, but are longer-lasting and more durable.
In short, not usually. Veneers are typically considered a cosmetic dental procedure, which means that insurance companies view them as more optional and less dire than, say, implants.
However, if your dentist finds that veneers are needed to correct deterioration, chipping, or decaying teeth, some insurance companies may pay back a small portion of the treatment cost. This is typically done on a case-by-case basis and will vary from state-to-state.
The lifespan of dental veneers depends on two things: the type of material used and how well you care for them. In general, porcelain veneers are designed to last longer: anywhere from 10-12 years. Composite veneers typically need to be replaced much sooner: after 4-8 years.
If the veneers’ lifespan—10-12 years for porcelain and 4-8 years for composite—runs out, our dental experts at Smile Design will polish and replace them. There are, however, cases where veneers may need to be replaced sooner:
If the gums begin to recede, exposing the space between the veneer and tooth
If the veneer wears down, chips or breaks with daily use (such as eating) or by erosion, tooth decay, or tooth loss.
The composite resin material we use is designed to be cost, cosmetically and physically effective, but this comes at a price: composite veneers are less durable than porcelain veneers, and also stain easier. These factors shorten their lifespan and lead to their replacement 4-8 years after placement.
Veneers are a great way to secure the smile you want, especially if you have chipped, misshapen, or discolored teeth. Depending on your needs, veneers can be a great fit, but there are sometimes drawbacks. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of porcelain and composite veneers.
In as few as two treatments, you can have strong, natural-looking veneers that have you beaming confidently. Porcelain veneers are long-lasting (10+ years), and typically don’t stain.
In order for porcelain veneers to be durable and long-lasting, they require careful fittings and multiple treatments for placement. Therefore, they are costlier than composite veneers.
Composite veneers can be placed on chipped or discolored teeth within the same day. Let’s say you have a special event like a speech or wedding. Once we fit and polish the composite veneer, you can get your ideal smile back in no time. Better yet, the composite veneer will leave your tooth looking natural with optimal strength for a good duration.
Like we talked about earlier, composite veneers aren’t as strong as porcelain ones. Over time, they are more likely to break or become discolored, and can sometimes look slightly different from the surrounding teeth.
The first step in learning what is possible for your smile is a no-obligation exam and consultation appointment with one of our Smile Design Dentistry cosmetic experts. During your initial consultation, the dentist will examine your mouth and discuss whether porcelain veneers are an ideal treatment for your oral health circumstances.
Alternative treatments to achieve your oral health and cosmetic goals will be discussed, including fees associated with these treatments. You will receive plenty of relevant information and be professionally and ethically guided toward a decision that is right for you.
This will be a comfortable visit where you learn about the treatment options that are best for your oral health and your budget. You won’t be pressured to accept any particular treatment. This appointment is about you and helping you on your journey to a more confident smile.
Contact Smile Design Dentistry today and request your free smile makeover consultation.