10 Common Questions About Veneers

Veneers and Smiles

One of the things you fall in love with about a person is their smile. But you don’t have to have perfect teeth to have a smile that others can appreciate. In fact, if you study the smiles of people you love and like, you will likely find many imperfections. But what if teeth are too yellow, too chipped, or too worn down to be viewed as loveably imperfect? What if those factors keep people from seeing the real you?

Veneers can fix a variety of imperfections at once. In fact, if you want to dramatically transform your smile in a short amount of time, porcelain veneers are your answer. Porcelain veneers look natural and are indistinguishable from your natural teeth, which is why it’s such a popular cosmetic dental procedure.

But a lot of people have questions before they jump into the idea of veneers. Here’s the 10 most common veneers’ questions we’ve heard.

1. What are porcelain veneers?

You’re likely aware of porcelain veneers and that many people have them and they look great. But what exactly is a porcelain veneer? A veneer is a very thin piece of porcelain that is crafted by a cosmetic dentist into the shape of a tooth. Each veneer is different because each is customized for the individual and their smile goals. The thin piece of porcelain is applied over the natural tooth or teeth to cover any cosmetic imperfections like stained, chipped, crooked, or decayed teeth.

2. Why do people get porcelain veneers?

Many people decide to get porcelain veneers because they are a durable cosmetic treatment that can provide the smile they want in a short amount of time. If you’ve tried cosmetic treatments like tooth whitening but are still unhappy with your smile, veneers are a good option for you. Many people who whiten their teeth but have gaps, chips or misaligned teeth can correct these minor cosmetic problems with porcelain veneers. Or, if you’re unhappy with the size and shape of your teeth, veneers can give you the fuller smile you want.

3. Do I have to shave down my teeth?

No. Your dentist will only need to prepare your tooth by trimming half a millimeter or less of tooth enamel. This is done so the special bonding agent has a better surface to adhere to and your porcelain veneer is more stable. With the bonding agent applied to your tooth, Dr. Farless will place the veneer then use a special light to quickly cement the veneer to your tooth.

4. Can I pick the color?

Yes. During your initial dental consult for your veneers treatment, Dr. Farless will discuss tooth shade options and recommend a shade that best fits your smile. He will match the shade of your veneer or veneers to your natural teeth. Or there’s another option: many people decide to have a whitening treatment and whiter veneers to brighten the appearance of their entire smile.

5. How many veneers do I need?

This varies from person to person depending on the condition of your teeth and smile goals. You may only need a couple to fix minor cosmetic issues or you may decide to get them on most of your teeth. The most common choice is what’s called the social six, the teeth you see when you smile. For some people who have broad smiles, it’s actually eight top teeth, rather than six. Dr. Farless will talk to you about options and recommendations during your treatment consultation.

6. Does it hurt?

Dr. Farless will use a local anesthetic during the tooth preparation and veneer placement process so you will have a comfortable procedure. If you’re only having a few veneers placed there should be little discomfort post-treatment. However, if you’re getting more extensive cosmetic work done, you may have some mild soreness for a few days. If you have questions about sedation options during your porcelain veneers treatment, discuss this with Dr. Farless during your consultation.

7. How long does it take?

You can completely transform your smile in just a few weeks. After your initial consultation when impressions of your teeth are taken, Dr. Farless sends the materials to a lab to make your customized porcelain veneers. This process will take between two and four weeks. Once the veneers arrive at our office, your next appointment will be scheduled. During this appointment, Dr. Farless will apply your veneers and within a couple of hours, and you will be able to show off your new, brilliant smile!

8. Do they stain?

No, porcelain veneers do not stain because the material isn’t porous like tooth enamel which absorbs stains. If you feel like your natural teeth no longer match the shade of your veneers, then there are a couple of possible reasons for this. If your veneers are darker than your natural teeth, then it’s likely your veneers were created for you many years ago when veneers were made with a more porous material than modern veneers, in which case you should consider replacing them. Or perhaps your natural teeth are darker or more yellow than your veneers. This certainly happens with natural teeth. In order to keep your teeth bright, avoid teeth staining drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine. You should care for your veneers just as you would your natural teeth, by brushing twice daily with an electric toothbrush, flossing once daily and visiting us twice yearly for professional cleanings.

If you need your natural teeth whitened to more closely match your veneers, we would be happy to assist you with that as well.

9. Are they permanent?

Yes and no. Once you have porcelain veneers, you will need to maintain them because your enamel has been removed in order for the veneer to be replaced. Most veneers last between 10 and 15 years before needing replaced. You can maximize the life of your veneers by practicing good oral health habits, just like you would for your natural teeth. Have a good hygiene routine, address any tooth grinding issues, use mouthguards when playing sports, and don’t use your teeth as a tool (please, no opening things with your teeth!).

10. How much do they cost?

Each veneer can vary in price from $925 to $2,500. Most insurance providers don’t cover elective cosmetic procedures like porcelain veneers, however, some may cover up to 50 percent. Our business team will file insurance claims as a courtesy to you. We also offer to finance through CareCredit. If porcelain veneers will give you the smile transformation you want, consider the improvements to your confidence and life that can come from an investment in yourself. Our team will work with you to make your smile dreams a reality.


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