Porcelain veneers are thin shells of medical-grade porcelain that are attached or bonded to the front surfaces of teeth. The material very closely resembles the appearance of enamel and each veneer is crafted and personalized giving the patient an instant transformation. Although veneers are thought to be mostly a cosmetic enhancement, many dentist use veneers for orthodontic adjustments such as to close spaces or gaps between teeth, give a rotated tooth the appearance of a properly aligned tooth, and to change the color of teeth that may have been damaged by fluorosis or tetracycline staining.
Thanks to life-like appearance, porcelain veneers rank amongst the most popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry.
Patients who are considering porcelain veneers are typically looking to address multiple structural or cosmetic issues with their teeth, such as:
- Gaps between teeth
- Minor misalignment
- Chipped edges
- Displeasure with the size of teeth
In order to have porcelain veneers placed, patients should:
- Have healthy teeth, preferably with enough enamel, as the dentist usually has to remove a thin layer before placing veneers
- Have good periodontal health
- Commit to having excellent oral hygiene home-care
- Have realistic expectations and cosmetic goals and be able to articulate them to the dentist
Signs that veneers may not be the right choice:
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Tooth decay
- Root canal infection
- Heavy bruxor (grinding of teeth)
Even with one or more of the conditions above present, a patient can be cleared for cosmetic work once the issues have been addressed. If you are considering veneers, keep in mind that it is considered a permanent procedure and in most cases a layer of enamel is usually removed to make room for the veneers.
Choosing the right Dentist:
There are clear distinctions between general dentist and specialist. Just like a general MD can check your cholesterol or perform basic heart test, when the problem calls for detailed attention, they will refer you to a Cardiologist. Why? Well because they are the experts, that’s all they do and they are good at it. Same with cars, a regular mechanic can take care of most basic situations, but if you have a luxury car, you would probably want the dealer or an expert in that specific type of car to take care of it. Veneers are like a luxury car that requires a cosmetic specialist. Specialist in dentistry have special training in their field of dentistry. If I need a root canal, I prefer to see the Endodontist, for a wisdom tooth extraction I would go see an Oral surgeon, and for veneers I definitely want to see a Cosmetic Dentist. A general dentist has some knowledge and limited experience in all the fields but does not have the additional training that a specialist would have.
Like I mentioned previously, veneers are a big decision and investment, both in time and financially, so I encourage you to have two or three consultations and quotes before settling on a cosmetic dentist. In the cosmetic consultation you should be able to get a good feel for the whole dental team and decide if they are a good match for you. You can usually tell the bedside manner of the doctor during the examination, the cleanliness of the operatories, the professionalism of the team, and your overall comfort with the office. Make a list of what’s important to you to help you finalize your decision. .
- Experience (how long has the dentist been in practice and how many cosmetic cases has he/she done).
- Cost- compare at least 2-3 quotes to make sure you’re not over paying
- Dental team- your overall feeling of the office. The doctor’s bedside manner, the friendliness of the team, financial arrangement understanding, location of the office (will it be a burden to get there?)
- Reputation- look at reviews and testimonials, before and after work. Check their credentials (anyone can claim to be a cosmetic dentist).
How much should my Veneers cost:
The cost of veneers varies and there is a wide range in cost. Unlike dealing with insurance for a covered service, veneers are considered cosmetic work and most dental insurances will not pay for them, dentist can charge any fee they like. Remember you are paying for labor, very similarly like you would pay for a painting or a custom made piece of furniture. Some of the factors determining cost will depend on these key factors:
- The number of teeth that the patient will be placing veneers on
- The dental lab the Dentist works with
- Geographic location of the dentist
- Overhead of the practice
You will find that some dentists will lower the cost if a patient is doing multiple veneers at once. The main reason for this is that the cost of the lab, materials, overhead, and labor are all lessened when more units (teeth) are worked on simultaneously.
Cost is an important factor, but it should not be the only thing to consider in when searching for a cosmetic dentist to do your veneers. I hope this information was helpful to you.