Everything You Need to Know about Cosmetic Veneers

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Americans are known across the globe for their obsession with straight white teeth. And the residents of Plymouth are no exception. Whether you have always been self-conscious about your smile or have recently chipped or cracked your teeth, veneers offer an attractive solution. Below is a look at the benefits of veneers and how they are placed and maintained.  

What are veneers and how much do they cost?

A veneer is a thin layer of material that is placed on a tooth to improve a person's smile or to help prevent the tooth from sustaining damage. Veneers are available in either porcelain or ceramic. The cost to have veneers applied will typically depend upon how many teeth you wish to treat. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere between $500 to 1,900 per tooth.

What are the benefits of veneers?

Veneers can transform teeth that are in poor condition or have suffered from trauma. Their relative affordability and ease of placement on the teeth make them a popular option among people seeking to quickly improve their smile. Here are some of the top benefits of veneers:

1) Whitening: Veneers can transform stained or discolored teeth by instantly whitening your smile. Patients can collaborate with their dentists to select the shade of white that is the most appropriate for their individual case.

2) Coverage: Some patients explore veneers because they want to bridge or cover the unsightly gaps between their teeth. Placement of veneers can achieve this goal quickly and safely for a more flawless smile.

3) Protection: Veneers can protect teeth that are chipped, broken, or cracked. When veneers are bonded to your teeth, they cover the front surface of your tooth, thereby helping to prevent future damage from occurring.  

How are veneers placed on teeth?

The veneer placement process essentially involves three phases: planning, preparation, and bonding. Depending upon the timing and your individual case, your dentist may complete these phases during separate appointments or may complete the majority of the process during one comprehensive appointment. Here is a look at what you can expect to happen during each phase of the process:

1) Consultation and treatment planning

The initial consultation plays a key role in your satisfaction with your new veneers. During this initial phase, it is important to discuss your expectations and the results that you would like to achieve with veneers. Your dentist will also examine your teeth to confirm that you are a good candidate for veneers. Finally, he or she may take X-rays of your teeth.

2) Preparation of your tooth

Preparing your teeth for veneers often requires removal of a layer of your tooth enamel to create impressions of your teeth. This may involve the administration of a local anesthetic to numb the surrounding area. Once the impressions are made, they are usually sent to a laboratory that specializes in the construction of veneers. In special cases, temporary veneers may be applied until the customized veneers are completed.

3) Permanent Bonding

Bonding is the final phase of the veneer placement process. Your cosmetic dentist may temporarily place and remove your veneer many times before permanently bonding it to your teeth. The reason for this temporary placement is to ensure that the veneer is the perfect shade and fit for your teeth. If your dentist notices any imperfections, he or she will remove the veneer and trim it to improve the fit. Once your dentist has perfected your veneers, your teeth will receive a comprehensive cleaning and etching to ensure that the veneer will bond well to your tooth's surface. Finally, a layer of cement is applied to your teeth and the veneers are placed. Excess cement is removed and a curing light is then applied to help facilitate the bonding process.

After these three phases are completed, your dentist will discuss aftercare procedures with you and schedule a follow-up visit to monitor how well your mouth is responding to your new veneers. It is important to follow these recommendations closely to ensure the long-term durability of your veneers.

What are the best ways to maintain veneers?

Aftercare is essential to maintaining the durability of your veneers. Failure to follow the recommended aftercare measures can lead to cracks and staining. By following these steps, you can help keep your veneers in great shape for many years to come:

1) Establish a good oral hygiene regimen

Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing can help keep your veneers and gums in excellent condition. Your cosmetic dentist can recommend the best toothpaste and rinse to use to maintain your veneers and keep your new smile bright.

2) Avoid hard or sticky candy

Avoiding hard or sticky candy is strongly recommended, especially in the days immediately following placement of your veneers. It is also suggested to avoid tough meat or other highly fibrous foods in the days following placement of your veneers.

3) Minimize your use of tobacco and wine

Tobacco, wine, and coffee can all stain your teeth and veneers, especially if you choose ceramic veneers. This can negate the whitening effect of your veneers and tarnish your smile. If you cannot resist these products, you may wish to consider porcelain veneers, as they are resistant to staining.

4) See a cosmetic dentist regularly

Visiting your cosmetic dentist regularly is the key to your long-term satisfaction with your veneers. It is suggested to visit your dentist twice annually, or with greater frequency if recommended by your dentist. Always contact your dentist right away if you notice any problems with your veneers.

What should you do if you are interested in veneers?

As outlined above, installing veneers can produce life-changing results. From increased confidence to improved dental strength, veneers can transform your everyday life. If you are interested in experiencing the many benefits that veneers have to offer, the best thing to do is to contact an accomplished cosmetic dentist with a proven track record of success in installing veneers. We invite you to contact us at Rasmussen Dental schedule a complimentary consultation. We look forward to showing you why we are Plymouth's most trusted veneer expert!