PROCEDURES AND EFFECTIVENESS
Dental veneers – also known as laminates – are used to cosmetically enhance the appearance of one or more teeth. Veneers are very thin, porcelain or resin shells that are customized for a desirable color and shape. They are bonded to the surface of the teeth to reshape broken, misshapen or irregular teeth, as well as provide a solution for discolored teeth that do not respond to traditional whitening treatments. Pueblo patients with veneers typically achieve a natural tooth appearance that is well-tolerated by the gums and also resistant to future stains.
DID YOU KNOW
That dental veneers are a conservative way of completely making over your smile? In fact, veneers are a go-to cosmetic procedure that has become popular with celebrities who want a brighter and more symmetrical smile. Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff and Ben Affleck are just some of Hollywood’s elite who have seen a cosmetic dentist for laminates. Fortunately, affordability and accessibility make it easy for anyone to get dental veneers – including Pueblo patients.
Veneers are done in lots of different construction and different kinds of where you put something on the surface that hides what's underneath, and that's essentially what we're doing with a dental veneer. They're typically done on front teeth, the ones that you commonly see when people smile, and they go on the front of the tooth to hide what is underneath the tooth structure that's underneath that, just to make the smile look better. Dental veneers are pretty much used to solve cosmetic and aesthetic problems, things that people don't like about their smile, whether it be turns and twists and things that aren't lined up very nicely. They can be an alternative to orthodontic treatment or braces for some people. They can also be used to hide bad or any discoloration, stains or white spots or things on the tooth structure that patients find to be less than optimal when looking at their smile.
A good veneer is definitely permanent. There are popular things that I've seen recently where you send in some sort of impression and they send you something back in the mail and it kind of clips on over the top, and that is definitely temporary, and I would caution you with that because that means you're not able to clean underneath there, and I've seen a lot of problems that can pop up with new cavities and gum disease starting underneath these clip-on veneers that people are getting from places online. A lot of dangers are associated with those.
At Integrity Dental we have a pretty neat process where you can get veneers the same day. You get them all done at once. There can be tooth prep, meaning drilling on the tooth. There are, at times, ways to do veneers without having to drill in the tooth at all. It really is patient-specific, both preference-wise, but also to do what we call a no prep veneer, you kind of have to meet several certain criteria as far as mouth health and positioning of teeth and things like that. It's impossible to tell you if you're a good candidate for that without actually looking at your mouth.
The answer is yes, absolutely, but there are varying degrees of matching. The typical dental veneer appointment at certain offices would be drilling the tooth down a little bit, minimal. That's the idea behind a veneer, and sometimes you don't have to do that.
A no prep veneer process involves taking an impression and sending it to the lab. During the two or three week period of waiting, the patient has temporaries. The veneers are then sent back, cemented in place, and are now permanent. The aim is to achieve a good color match. This involves using shade guides and taking pictures to communicate with the lab technician about the colors and characterizations that should be added to the tooth to make it match the patient.
At Integrity Dental, the veneer process and procedure are done in the same day, eliminating the need for temporaries. They have a machine in the office that creates the veneers, allowing for immediate color and shade matching. If there's a slight mismatch in shading or if the patient desires a small characterization added, they can adjust and modify the shade right then and there. The goal is to achieve a near-perfect, imperceptible color match so that the patient leaves with what looks like natural teeth.
The biggest difference between porcelain and composite veneers lies in the material. Porcelain is a glass or ceramic that is very color stable, meaning they don't stain. They can be made into any color and are very strong, in some cases stronger than our natural enamel, making them a robust restoration. On the other hand, composite veneers have a different nature. While they can be made to match shapes and appear more natural, and stain less, they are inherently going to stain more and not last as long or work as well as porcelain. They are also softer and many are done directly, meaning they are bonded onto the patient's tooth and shaped by the dentist in the mouth to align and match the patient's overall tooth shape, which can be challenging.
Matching colors and shapes is a challenging task that requires a significant amount of talent and learning. Not everyone can do it well. Even the most talented dentists might not achieve as good a result with a directly applied composite veneer as they could with an indirect one, which is made in the machine, or a porcelain veneer. The quality difference is significant.
My preference is for porcelain veneers due to their longevity, color matching, and natural appearance. The process varies based on the number of teeth involved. If you're getting a single tooth veneer, the procedure will take about one and a half to two and a half hours, depending on the complexity. However, if you're getting veneers for six or eight teeth, such as the front top teeth, the appointment will be longer. You might need to stay for a full morning or afternoon, three to four, or even five hours, depending on the complexity.
The care required for dental veneers is not much different from that for regular teeth. You can floss between them and clean them just like normal teeth. However, some people choose to go the no-prep veneer route, which involves placing a shell over the existing tooth structure. This makes the tooth slightly larger, and it may require a bit more specialized care and attention during cleaning, but the difference between cleaning veneers and regular teeth is minimal.
The lifespan of veneers varies greatly. I tell patients that even the best dental procedure can fail within a year if not properly cared for, while a poorly done procedure can last 10 to 20 years, or even 30, if the patient takes good care of it.
The way a patient takes care of their restorations plays a huge role in how long they last. The average dental veneer, if well maintained, can last between 15 and 20 years. However, there are instances where they have lasted 30 to 50 years in patients who take excellent care of them and are not hard on them in terms of the types of food they eat or how they chew. Dental veneers are meant to look nice and chewing hard things like beef jerky, carrots, and apples with the front teeth is not always a wise idea. It can lower the longevity of the veneers. Therefore, when you get dental veneers, it's recommended to get in the habit of cutting up your food or using side teeth more to bite stuff off as a way of helping to protect them and increase their longevity.
There are ways to help finance the cost of dental veneers. Having a veneer procedure done can be a significant quality of life improvement when you're happy with your smile. It can affect your demeanor, the way you interact with people, and your confidence levels. It is always rewarding to take a patient that comes in with a less than optimal smile and send them home that same day with a beautiful smile. However, there is some expense or investment involved with doing a veneer procedure. The cost can range depending on the health of the substructure or the tooth that the veneer is being put on. If you have perfectly healthy teeth that just need cosmetic improvement, you're probably looking at close to a thousand dollars per tooth minimum. But if substructure work is needed, the cost can increase significantly, possibly to fourteen to fifteen hundred dollars per tooth. When talking about doing a full smile makeover, which can involve six to ten teeth, the total cost can be around ten thousand dollars or more. Therefore, financing can be a very helpful option for patients in such situations.
At Integrity Dental, we have several options available for our patients. This includes in-office financing, Care Credit, and Alphaeon, among others. Moreover, we also collaborate with certain banks to help our patients figure out the best financing options for their needs.
It is recommended to schedule an appointment for veneers as soon as possible, especially if your confidence or daily life is being affected by the appearance of your teeth. Having a good smile can make a significant difference in various aspects of your life, such as job interviews, performance levels, job opportunities, and personal relationships. It's worth noting that a person's smile is often one of the first things people notice when meeting someone new. In fact, about 30% of people base their first impressions, at least partially, on the quality of your smile. Therefore, having a good smile can significantly impact your life, and we can't emphasize enough how much of a difference it can make.
We are always eager to help change people's lives and help them smile confidently at Integrity Dental. You can find us online at LetUsHelpYouSmile.com. If you're interested in dental veneers, we'd be happy to give you an idea of the cost and how we can assist you in this area. This is something we are passionate about and do frequently. To schedule a free consultation or to get a good accurate estimate on the cost of achieving a beautiful smile using dental veneers, you can call us at 719-545-2468.