What are Veneers?
Veneers are very thin, tooth-colored shells that are custom-fit and bonded to the front of the teeth to give you a bright, white, even and attractive smile. Commonly made of composite (plastic) or porcelain, veneers make it possible to correct a variety of color and shape problems. Veneers can:
- Reduce or eliminate spaces between the teeth (diastemas)
- Repair broken or chipped teeth
- Whiten dark teeth, yellow teeth, permanently stained teeth or otherwise discolored teeth
- Correct misshapen or crooked teeth
- Close small holes or pits in teeth
- Improve the appearance of teeth that are too small, too big, or uneven
Types of veneers
There are two kinds of veneers:
- Composite or direct veneers, where a special plastic is molded and bonded directly to the tooth in one appointment; and
- Porcelain or indirect veneers, where thin shells are custom-made in a lab and applied to the teeth. These require two appointments: one for taking an impression, and a second for preparing the natural teeth and placing the veneers once they have been created. Lumineers are a new kind of porcelain veneers that are so thin they don’t require any tooth-buffing before placement (see below).
porcelain veneer Procedure
At your first appointment, Dr. Garza takes an impression of your teeth so he or she can create veneers that are appropriate for your individual smile.
During your second appointment, the natural teeth that will be receiving veneers are “buffed” or “shaved” a very small amount to compensate for the added thickness of the veneers, so afterwards your teeth are the same size as they were before. Your dentist holds the veneers to your teeth to confirm that they’re the correct shape, size, and color, and then he or she bonds the veneers in place with the help of an etching solution and a special light. Oftentimes, it is possible to “try on” your veneers first with a temporary cement to see how they will look. Ask Dr. Garza about this option.
Porcelain Veneers Benefits
Porcelain veneers are custom-made to look exactly like the patient’s natural teeth. When it comes to replicating the look of healthy tooth enamel, they are among the best of the restorative options. Porcelain veneers are resistant to staining from coffee or tea or smoking cigarettes. Since veneers are so thin, when light shines through them, they look natural and blend in with the patient’s other teeth.
porcelain veneers Risks
As with any medical treatment, there are some risks associated with the placement of porcelain or resin veneers, but they are quite rare. Because the procedure involves the removal of a small amount of tooth enamel to make room for the veneer, the biggest risk is that the patient could experience sensitivity to hot and cold. This usually passes, but if it continues past 3-6 months, the dental cement may be leaking or a nerve may have been exposed.
Since veneers have a lifespan, they will eventually need to be replaced. In some cases, the patient may not have sufficient enamel left to allow for a second set of veneers to be placed. Again, this is rare.
veneers vs crowns
Porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers both vastly improve the looks of the teeth to which they are applied. But they are different. Veneers are purely cosmetic. Applied to the fronts of the teeth, they change the look of the teeth, but do not affect function or strength. Some tooth enamel is removed when veneers are placed, but it is minor compared to a crown. With a crown, healthy tooth material is removed from all sides and the top of the tooth to create room for the crown to fit over the entire tooth down to the gum line.
The biggest difference is function. A crown is placed on a tooth in many cases when the health of the tooth is compromised. This can be a case of extensive decay, a large crack, or a cavity that is failing and needs to be enlarged. In these instances, the crown is saving the tooth from needing extraction. The cosmetic function is secondary. Crowns also serve as the anchors for bridges, placed atop the two healthy teeth on both sides of the missing teeth being spanned by the bridge.
Once you’ve had porcelain veneers placed by Dr. Garza, your smile is immediately ready to show the world. You’ll be amazed at the brilliant white tone, the evenly spaced and matched teeth, and how perfect your smile looks.
Veneers Side Effects
Tooth sensitivity could be viewed as a side effect of this procedure. The patient may have some sensitivity to hot and cold during the first one to three weeks after having the veneers placed. This is relatively easy to deal with by simply avoiding very hot and cold foods until the teeth adjust.
Porcelain veneers Durability
Porcelain Veneers are made from the highest quality porcelain. The doctor fits the veneers with precision and bonds them with the most advanced adhesive materials available. Since porcelain veneers are strong and durable, with proper care, they will often last for 10 to 15 years.
Porcelain Veneers cost
The cost of veneers with Dr. Garza varies depending on your choice of composite resin or porcelain. The cost is generally based on the number of teeth you are having veneers applied to.
Although veneers are not inexpensive, they can preclude the need for a variety of other treatments, so they can save money in those areas. For instance, porcelain veneers never need whitening, as they are extremely stain resistant. They can close gaps that would otherwise require orthodontic movement of the teeth. They can cover a chipped or badly stained tooth (say from a reaction to tetracycline), where those teeth would otherwise need a full porcelain crown, which would cost far more than a veneer. Dr. Garza likes his patients to view their porcelain crowns as an investment in a beautiful smile.