When it comes to your teeth, you always want to put your best smile forward. Unfortunately, sometimes your smile may not be as perfect as you want it to be. Gaps, stains, and chips can make you feel self-conscious, causing you to hide your smile from the world. However, with dental veneers, you can achieve the perfect smile that you deserve.
Dental veneers are cosmetic shells that are bonded to the exterior surfaces of your teeth. There are two different types, both of which have their own bonding process speed, durability, look, and cost. Dental veneers are ideal for those with cosmetic dental problems but have strong teeth with plenty of enamel. Unlike dental implants, they don’t require teeth to be lost or removed.
Dental Veneers: The Basics
It helps to understand the basics of veneers so you can know if they’re the best choice for you. Knowing what they are and their different types can help you better understand their durability, overall look, and cost.
What Are Veneers?
Also known as dental porcelain laminates or porcelain veneers, veneers are cosmetic shells that improve the appearance of your teeth. They’re custom-made and very thin, allowing them to lay on top of your teeth for a perfect fit. Veneers are bonded to your teeth so they remain securely in place. This allows them to improve the shape, length, size, and color of your teeth for years to come.
Types of Dental Veneers
Veneers are available in porcelain and resin composite types. Both are bonded to the outer surfaces of your teeth, matching or even improving the color and look of your natural teeth. However, there are some key differences between the two.
To understand the main differences between composite and porcelain veneers, let’s look at how they compare based on:
- Time required
- How they look
Understanding these differences helps you know what to expect and our reasons for suggesting a certain type of veneer.
Resin composite veneers require less time than porcelain varieties. These veneers can be made chairside in as little as one visit. During that time, Dr. Mullins or Dr. Owen can match the shade of the resin to your teeth, cure the veneer, and polish it. This allows you to leave our office with a corrected tooth.
Porcelain veneers require three or more visits to our office, as well as your initial consultation. Your first visit will be your initial consultation. During the third visit, we will take impressions for your final veneers. These impressions are then sent to a lab where your veneers will be made.
Keep in mind that some cases may require more preparation than others, such as having damaged teeth due to an orthodontic issue. In this instance, you may require Invisalign or other orthodontic treatment before getting veneers. If you grind your teeth (bruxism) at night then you’ll need to wear a guard to protect your veneers from being damaged.
Click here to learn more about how Invisalign can give you the smile you deserve!
According to a 2018 study, about 89% of resin composite veneers were found to last more than 5 years. The same study found that around 93.5% of porcelain veneers last after 10 years. Careful preparation is key to a long-lasting veneer, which is why we don’t rush the process. This combined with proper oral care helps ensure the longest life possible for your new veneers.
How They Look
Resin composite veneers will help restore the look and beauty of your smile. Unfortunately, they don’t reflect light as well as porcelain varieties, making them less ideal for some patients. Opting for porcelain veneers ensures that you get the most reflective and translucent veneers possible. This gives them a more tooth-like appearance than resin composites.
Resin veneers have a lower up-front cost than porcelain veneers. However, they’re also more likely to chip, need to be repolished, and require repairs in the future, which can be costly. While costing more in the beginning, porcelain veneers can actually help save you money thanks to their durability, making them the cheaper option over time.
To learn more about the basics of veneers, click here!
Veneers in Knoxville, TN
At My Family Dentistry in Knoxville, TN, we take a different approach to dental veneers. We use only the highest quality materials and labs, ensuring that every penny you spend is worth it. The end result is a high-quality veneer that you can’t wait to show off. Because of porcelain veneers’ high quality, durability, and likeness to natural teeth, they are what we most often recommend to our patients. The following steps are the typical process of receiving porcelain veneers.
Prepping for Your Veneer
After your initial consultation in which the doctor recommended veneers and took a wax impression for your temporary veneers, you’ll come in to have your teeth prepped and impressions made for your permanent veneer. This usually occurs over the span of a couple of visits with preliminary impressions being taken during the first visit.
Your teeth will be prepped for the veneer on your second visit. This includes:
- Numbing the area
- Taking scans for the permanent veneer and sending them to the lab
- Seating the temporary veneer
Caring for Your Temporary Veneer
We’ll also discuss how to care for your temporary veneer while you wait for your permanent one to be seated. You will need to avoid using dental products such as Waterpiks and floss carefully to avoid dislodging the veneer. It’s also important to avoid hard foods such as almonds or sticky foods like gum or caramel to protect the veneer.
In most cases, you’ll wear the temporary veneer for at least 30 days, giving you plenty of time to get used to any modifications that have taken place. You can also make note of any problems that you may have so we can make adjustments before we apply your permanent veneer during a later appointment.
Getting Your Permanent Veneer
Once your veneer has been bonded, we’ll go over how what to expect and how to care for it. You may experience soreness due to gum manipulation as well as sensitivity to cold and water for a few weeks. Fortunately, these symptoms are normal and should get progressively better. However, you should contact us immediately if they don’t or get worse.
Caring for your veneers as they heal is important. Massage your gums gently with your toothbrush while they heal. Make sure to floss since that helps keep your gums healthy, and healthy gums heal faster. You can also do saltwater rinses to encourage healing of the gums and help with any soreness you may experience.
Over the long term, caring for your veneers is as simple as caring for your natural teeth. Make sure to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice per day. Floss at least once per day after eating, and make sure to come to our office for your regular cleanings and checkups.
Followups may be necessary since veneers are dealing with the aesthetics of the front teeth. We want to make sure that everything is perfect, including the shape and length. This is why a veneer procedure isn’t considered complete until after a few follow-up appointments.
Are Dental Veneers Right for Me?
Veneers are the perfect solution for a variety of dental problems. The first step toward fixing them is establishing whether you’re a good candidate for veneers or not. Good candidates for veneers will have strong teeth with plenty of enamel. This means you may not qualify if you have tooth decay, large fractures, large fillings, or gum disease.
Other signs that you’re ready for veneers include:
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Stained or discolored teeth
- Teeth that are gapped, crooked, or misshapen
- Teeth that have been worn down with age
Click here to learn more about signs that you’re ready for veneers!
Teeth that have been damaged due to an accident can be addressed easily with veneers. On the other hand, issues caused by bite problems (malocclusions) will require orthodontic treatment beforehand to ensure the life of the veneer.
Are you ready to get the smile you’ve always dreamed of with veneers? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!
Veneers are synthetic shells that are bonded to the surfaces of your teeth to improve their appearance. They come in porcelain and resin composite varieties, both of which have their benefits and disadvantages, depending on your goals. They’re ideal if you have strong teeth but struggle with cracks, gaps, or other cosmetic problems. While dental implants can also improve your smile, veneers don’t require you to be missing teeth or for them to have lost functionality.