One of our services are veneers. These are ultra-thin porcelain that are cemented to the front side of the teeth. I usually will describe to my patients that they’re kind of like an acrylic nail, so the thickness of an acrylic nail, that are instead of them being cemented to the tops of the nail, they’re cemented to the front side of the teeth.
What are the benefits of veneers?
Veneers are used to tackle aesthetic problems. So, if somebody comes in and they have misaligned teeth, crooked teeth, stained teeth, if they’re really yellow, for example, or chipped or really worn teeth, these are indications for veneers. The major disadvantages to veneers that I can think of is just simply having veneers done by somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Veneers are an aesthetic procedure. If you have veneers done and they don’t look good, then that would be a major disadvantage. Another disadvantage, some people freak out about the fact that you have to reduce the front surface of the tooth. I’ll often tell my patients that, yes, you have to reduce the front side of the tooth, but once you have the veneers permanently cemented and you’re looking in the mirror every day and you’re smiling and you have this beautiful smile, then are you really thinking about the fact that your teeth have, the front side of the teeth have been reduced? The answer’s no.
How long do veneers last?
Most dentists will tell you between 10 to 15 years, but I like to that, that’s a little bit conservative for today because when somebody tells you they’ll last 10 to 15 years, that’s based on what we know today. But if veneers are performed today, and the technology is vastly better and more improved today than it was 10 to 15 years ago, then I like to believe that the veneers will last a lot longer than the 10- to 15-year mark.
How much do veneers cost?
Typically, you’ll find veneers anywhere between costing $1,100 to $3,000, and that’s per tooth. It’s totally dependent on the dental office that you’re in and where you are in the country. Are you in Alabama? Are you in Florida? Are you in California? New York City obviously is going to be a lot more expense. But that’s a good range, and I would say if I’d put a number on the average cost, it’s typically about $1,500. So if you’re having 10 veneers done, it’s $15,000.
How should you take care of your veneers?
Really, there’s no difference between taking care of your veneers and taking care of your natural teeth. You’re going to want to floss every day and you’re going to want to brush two to three times every single day. There’s no difference in terms of maintenance and upkeep.
If you’re considering having veneers done, what should you be looking for?
I’d like to think that there’s three major things to look for when searching a cosmetic dentist. Number one, you want to look for an experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled dentist. He can’t just have a lot of knowledge and know how to perform veneers. He also has to have the manual dexterity and the manual skills to perform the procedure itself. You’re also going to want to look for a dentist who uses an excellent lab. You want an excellent dentist or clinician or technician. You also want an excellent lab to make sure that your veneers are what you expect them to be. You can imagine you’re walking around, that your front teeth can be seen to the world. You don’t want to compromise on this. You want to do it one time and one time only.
You also want to find a dentist who just simply commits to doing the job and not finishing the job until you’re completely thrilled with the results. Let’s say you find a dentist who’s awesome at what he does. He commits to using an excellent lab, but he doesn’t really care enough to follow it through. Let’s just say for whatever reason you go to deliver … The dentist delivers the veneers, and he doesn’t ask you what it is that you, whether or not you’re happy. Imagine he’s used a great lab, he’s a great dentist, he puts the veneers in. Everybody has their own specific preferences. What if you don’t like those particular veneers and there’s some little tweaks that need to be made? He’s got to be willing to commit to potentially sending those veneers back to have them redone, whatever the case may be, until you’re super thrilled.
What does the procedure consist of exactly or what can you expect as far as timeline and how many days can you expect to be in the dental office?
On day one, typically you’ll go in for a consult with the dentist, and he or she will tell you what it is that they’re suggesting. Are you even a candidate for veneers? Should you have four veneers done? Should you have 10 of them done, top, bottom, only the top? There’s a lot of things to consider. If you decide you want to move forward with the treatment, then very often they’ll take impressions, initial impressions on day one, that same visit. That way the lab can make up and prepare for the second day.
The second day you’ll come in. The dentist will prepare the teeth, so he’ll remove a very small layer from the front side of the teeth to provide for enough space for the porcelain veneer. He’ll take final impressions that ultimately get sent to the lab and he’ll make the temporaries. The temporaries are the fun part because that’s where you get to see how your smile is ultimately going to end up. The temporaries will really be very, very close to how your final veneers look. The final veneers are always going to look much better because it’s porcelain and the temporaries are made of plastic, but you’ll have a very good gauge as to what your final smile will look like. And then, finally, day three, you’ll return and the dentist will remove those temporaries and cement permanently the porcelain veneers.