What Are Dental Veneers?
If you have discolored teeth, or they are worn away, chipped, or misshapen, you may wish to consider having dental veneers fitted. Also known as “porcelain veneers” and “porcelain laminates”, dental veneers are thin shells, custom-made to fit over the front of damaged teeth to improve your appearance. Traditionally made of porcelain, today they are also made from composite resins.
How Do You Get Dental Veneers?
If you would like dental veneers, you must go to your dentist. The process usually involves three dental appointments. First, your dentist will examine your teeth, discuss your needs, and recommend the veneer most suited to you. Once you have a treatment plan, your dentist will prepare your teeth and order the veneers from the dental laboratory. Finally, the dentist will fit and bond the veneers to your teeth.
Diagnosing and Planning Your Dental Treatment
At your first appointment, your dentist examines your teeth and discusses what effect you aim to achieve. During the visit, your dentist will also explain what the veneering procedure involves and agree on a course of treatment with you. Your dentist may make impressions of your teeth and take X-rays.
Preparing Your Teeth for Veneers
On the second visit, your dentist prepares your teeth for veneering. Preparation involves removing a small amount of enamel from the surface of the teeth so the veneer will fit perfectly in place. A local anesthetic keeps you comfortable during this procedure. Once prepared, the dentist makes a model of your teeth to send to the dental laboratory. In the laboratory, prosthodontic experts use the model to make your veneers. Making veneers may take up to a month.
Bonding Dental Veneers to Your Teeth
On your third visit, your dentist fits the veneers to your teeth. This takes time as each veneer is trimmed and tested for size, color, and comfort. Once happy with your veneers, the dentist cleans, polishes, and etches the surface of each tooth to receive one, before applying dental cement and fitting the veneer itself.
The dentist makes final adjustments as needed and then shines a special light onto the cement, which causes it to harden. A quick polish and check-up make sure your veneers fit to perfection. Your dentist may ask you to come back in a few weeks for a final examination.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers can restore the natural appearance of your teeth. Veneers are less invasive than alternatives such as crowns. Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, too, so help keep your smile sparkling white.
Once fitted, you cannot remove veneers. You must be careful not to damage your veneers after fitting, as they cannot be repaired if you chip or crack them. Your teeth may become more sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks after fitting veneers.
Aftercare of Dental Veneers
Veneers can last up to 15 years before they need replacing. In the meantime, they need no special aftercare, although you may wish to be cautious with certain foods which might damage or stain them. Good oral hygiene helps, including brushing with fluoride toothpaste, using dental floss to clean between teeth, and rinsing with a proprietary antiseptic mouthwash. Regular check-ups at the dentist help to keep all your teeth in good condition.
Are Dental Veneers Expensive?
Dental veneers can cost several thousand dollars (US). Most dental health insurance policies do not cover the cost of dental veneers. However, they are worth considering if the current state of your teeth makes you unhappy. If you are unsure what to do, an obligation-free appointment with your dentist is the first step to help you decide.
Finding the Right Dentist
The dental team at Maiden Lane Dental can help you decide whether dental veneers are right for you. Contact us to set up an appointment for a thorough consultation. Let us get started today and help to fix your discolored, chipped or misshapen teeth.
Maiden Lane Dental is located in the Financial District in lower Manhattan, NYC. Our long list of 100% satisfied patients come from the Financial District, Brooklyn, Queens as well as throughout the entire state of NY, NJ Connecticut and way beyond. Contact Maiden Lane Dental to get started.