Your smile is an important part of how you see yourself. In many circumstances, problem or missing teeth can affect your confidence level. This can start at a young age or become a problem as you grow older or experience trauma to your teeth. Gum disease or accidents that involve the teeth can leave you with uneven or chipped teeth that cause you to hide your smile. Additionally, coffee, tea, and other foods can stain your teeth and leave you feeling the need to make a change. Dental veneers are one way to get that beautiful smile you are wanting.
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made fixtures that are adhered to the surface of an existing tooth. They are permanent, so it is wise to understand how they work before making a decision. Veneers are very stain resistant and will cover up many issues with your teeth. Some things to consider:
There are two different types of material that veneers are made of: porcelain and resin-based composite. Each of these has certain advantages and disadvantages, but both are capable of transforming your smile.
Of the two choices, porcelains are definitely the more expensive alternative. The good news is they last much longer, sometimes 3-4 times longer. Porcelain veneers will not stain, break or chip easily. These veneers are very natural looking and have a more toothlike appearance. Besides the cost, the drawback is that it does require more tooth enamel removal, and it will most likely require 3-4 visits to your dentist to complete the process.
For a less expensive choice, resin-based composite veneers are a quick turnaround in usually one visit to the dentist. You will pay less for resin-based composite veneers, but they will only last around 5 years. Over time, the savings you get by buying these type of veneers may be canceled out as you have to replace them so often. Resin is just as easily stained as natural teeth and is more likely to crack, chip, or break off entirely, although a simple fix compared to porcelain veneers.
When it comes to dental veneers, your dentist can help you figure out the best course of action. Veneers, unlike a crown, are typically used only for cosmetic purposes. Crowns are used to protect a degrading tooth while veneers are for hiding problem teeth. Because the purpose is cosmetic, there are partial and full veneers.
Patients with gaps or severely stained teeth will request full veneers. Often this is a patient who has tried other methods to fix their smile to no avail. Veneers are an excellent solution to get that perfect smile.
For a patient with just one tooth or a portion of a tooth that is damaged or unattractive, partial veneers are the answer.
It is always helpful to know what to expect when trying something new. The procedure for veneers varies according to your choice of treatment. Porcelain veneers take the longest at 2-4 weeks while resin-based composite veneers are usually done in 1-2 visits.