Whether you’re getting minor or significant dental work, improving your smile with cosmetic dentistry can help boost your confidence and self-esteem. You’ll no longer have to hide your mouth and feel ashamed of your teeth.
However, there are so many dental procedures that you may be confused about which one is right for you. For instance, dental veneers could be a solution for your damaged teeth, but is it your best option?
If you want to know more about this cosmetic treatment and how it can enhance the appearance of your teeth, keep reading this guide to veneers. Here, we’ll discuss what they are, how they work, and the pros and cons, so you can determine if it’s worth your time and money.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are custom-fitted shells designed to conceal or correct damaged teeth. They can be helpful for those who haven’t had success with other dental treatments like teeth whitening and braces. And veneers work as a long-term solution to the following dental concerns:
- Discoloured and stained teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Tooth decay
- Crooked teeth or gaps
Their tooth-coloured material is typically placed over the front of your teeth and shaped and bonded to them for a natural look. If performed by a skilled professional, no one will be able to tell the difference between your natural teeth and the veneers.
Check out this video below from Dr Mark Hughes (TopDoctors.co.uk) where he offers a practical look below at what veneers are, explaining how they are fitted and what their purpose is.
Types of Dental Veneers
If you’re interested in getting veneers, you should know there are two types to choose from. Let’s discuss each type in more detail to give you a better idea of what they are.
These consist of strong, thin sheets of porcelain that are fitted and sealed to the tops and sides of your teeth. If placed by a professional, the porcelain veneers should be completely safe and last about 10 years before they need to be replaced.
Although porcelain Other benefits of using porcelain veneers are their colour matches natural teeth exactly, and they have a stain-resistant quality. Also, your gum tissue can easily tolerate these veneers, making the process less painful than other dental procedures.
The other veneers commonly used are made of a resin-based composite. While they’re similar to porcelain veneers regarding the general composition and procedure, there are quite a few contrasts between them. The major differences between composite veneers vs. porcelain include:
- Composite veneers are less expensive
- They have shorter replacement times than porcelain veneers (five years, maybe more)
- They’re easier to replace if damaged
- Requires less enamel removal in some cases
So whether you opt for porcelain or composite veneers, you’ll gain confidence in your smile once the process is complete.
Procedure for Veneers
Getting dental veneers usually takes about three visits. The first one entails a consultation between you and the dentist performing the procedure. During your first appointment, you can discuss your reasons for getting dental veneers, your preferred type, and your expectations of the outcome.
The dentist will then examine your teeth and determine if veneers (and the type) are the best treatment for you. In addition to the exam, they may take X-rays or make dental impressions. Last, you will be informed of the entire process and have your questions, if any, addressed.
For the second visit, the dentist will have to do some prep work for the procedure to be successful. That may involve removing some tooth enamel, the thin protective outer layer, to make space for the veneers. This part of the procedure may include administering a local anaesthetic before working on the tooth.
After your teeth are properly prepped, the dentist usually makes another set of impressions, which are sent to a lab for the construction of the veneers. This process generally takes a few weeks. Once the final set has been delivered, you will have your last appointment for placement.
During your final session, the dentist fits and bonds the veneers to your teeth. That means they will be difficult to remove. The dentist will also tailor the veneers to your mouth, so they look as natural and feel as comfortable as can be.
A few weeks after your treatment, you may have a follow-up visit with your dentist to check how your teeth are doing. Depending on the veneers you get and if they’re applied correctly from the start, their lifespan could range from seven to 15 years. Once their time is up, you will have to replace them to maintain your teeth’s appearance.
How to Care for Your Veneers
Dental veneers do not need special treatment. You can care for them like natural teeth and consistently follow a dental hygiene routine to ensure they stay healthy for as long as they’re supposed to last.
However, there are things you can do to keep them longer than their replacement date. Here are some tips you can follow to maintain your veneers:
- Avoid discolouration by limiting the use of tobacco and dark-coloured food and drinks
- Floss on a daily basis to keep gums healthy
- Don’t use teeth for non-food items (biting pen caps, fingernails, etc.)
- Prevent erosion from chronic teeth grinding by wearing a dental guard
- Use proper oral hygiene tools such as a soft-bristled toothbrush
These suggestions can keep your veneers from wearing out too quickly. And they also help you retain a healthy smile.
Pros and Cons of Getting Veneers
There are some benefits to getting veneers, but you should also learn about the downsides so you can make an informed decision. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of dental veneers:
What Are the Pros?
The biggest advantage of getting this dental treatment is it may be your best option for improving your teeth’s appearance. As previously mentioned, the purpose of veneers is to cover up minor cosmetic dental problems, such as chipped or discoloured teeth, gaps between teeth, cracks, and minor misalignments. They also work well to replace worn-down enamel, caused by excessive brushing and exposure to acidic foods and drinks.
And if they’re set by a professional, they’ll look so great that no one will be able to detect the damaged teeth underneath. Also, by permanently covering up the wear and tear, you’re more likely to feel confident about your smile.
That boost in confidence can go a long way just like your investment in veneers. Other dental treatments like teeth whitening are temporary fixes, while dental veneers could last almost a decade or more. Additionally, they don’t require special tools to maintain them.
What Are the Cons?
One of the biggest downsides to veneers is their priciness. While the cost can vary depending on your location and dentist, the treatment can still be quite expensive. Besides where you choose to get the procedure done, other factors of the high price tag are the type of veneers you get and the number of teeth you want to be restored. And since veneers fall under cosmetic dentistry, you may not be able to rely on your insurance coverage, leaving you to pay around £1,000 for a single veneer.
Another disadvantage to having veneers is they may increase tooth sensitivity. Some people report experiencing things being extremely cold or too hot for their teeth days after adding veneers. The discomfort can sometimes be unbearable, but it eventually subsides and go away.
And finally, once you get veneers, they permanently become part of your mouth. In order for your dentist to add the shells to your teeth, they may need to shave down your enamel, making it difficult to grow back. So before you opt for this irreversible treatment, consider the pros and cons to see which one outweighs the other.
Is It Worth It?
That all depends on what’s important to you. Having straighter, whiter teeth may not be everyone’s top priority, but it can help you feel less self-conscious and more empowered. With a beautiful smile, you may gain the confidence you need to go for the job you want, talk to the person you secretly like, or be the one in the photos rather than the one always taking them.
At Bath Spa Dentistry, we can take the most impaired teeth and turn them into a winning smile. Using the latest technology and techniques in cosmetic dentistry, we provide easy solutions to change your teeth’s appearance for the better. If you want to learn more about whether dental veneers are right for you, contact us today for an initial visit.