Veneers are something that cosmetic dentists use to cover various cosmetic imperfections in patients’ teeth. Veneers are also used to hide permanent teeth stains, close narrow gaps between teeth, or even cover and protect injured teeth. Veneers may also fix the appearance of crooked teeth.

Do you struggle with any of the above problems and wonder, “Are veneers worth it?”

Following we’ll go over 5 things to know before getting veneers.

A Cosmetic Dentist Explains How Veneers Work

Veneers could be described as shells that perfectly take the natural shape of a tooth. Colored to match the rest of the patient’s natural teeth and are very thin to the touch. 

A cosmetic dentist applies veneers to cover the front surface of a tooth, instantly fixing it’s appearance. Below we’ll go over more of the steps involved when someone chooses to get veneers.

The cosmetic dentist will begin by examining the patient and ensure they’re a good candidate for receiving veneers. Then they’ll get the patient’s teeth ready for veneers. This process includes getting rid of a small layer of the natural tooth’s enamel on the front surface. 

This is done to make room for the veneer to be put in place and ensures it will blend easily with the rest of the patient’s natural teeth.

The next step is to take an impression of the patient’s teeth and send those impressions to a dental lab. Their job is to create the veneers needed, perfectly matched to the impression taken of the patient’s teeth. This process can take up to two weeks.

Once the veneers are received at the cosmetic dentists office, the patient’s next appointment can be set to put them into place. This process involves fitting the veneer and applying dental cement to perfectly bond the veneer to the natural tooth.

The dentist will usually administer a local anesthetic before preparing the patient’s tooth. Making sure before they place the veneer, as it is a bigger procedure.

After this is all done, the patient goes home the same day with a bright and perfect smile!

Now, let’s go over 5 things to know before getting veneers.

1. How Much Veneers Cost

The price of getting veneers can change depending on different factors. Such as where you live, the type of veneer you get and the level of expertise your cosmetic dentist holds.

However, getting veneers can amount to at most, $2,500 per tooth.

If you’re wanting to get the best out of your money, getting traditional veneers is a good choice, versus non-prep veneers because they don’t last as long.

2. The Two Different Types of Veneers

There are two common types of veneers:

Porcelain

Veneers made from porcelain are like a thin shell of ceramic material. Normally they’ll fit right onto the front of the tooth and create a brand new, beautiful look. 

Porcelain veneers are a great option for teeth that are either discolored, or cracked.

Composite

Composite veneers are made from a resin material and after being shaped, are bonded to the tooth. These types of veneers are normally used for filling small gaps between teeth, or to cover teeth that are broken.

They’re a more temporary version of veneers and patients should know that getting veneers is not the same outcome of getting a tooth implant.

They can only cover the surface of the tooth, where an implant, or crown can actually replace the current tooth.

3. How Long Veneers Last

When it comes to getting veneers, porcelain ones are the more durable option as they are known to last up to 15 years. Where composite veneers usually only last around 7.

In order for your veneers to last, having a good oral hygiene routine is very important. You should be doing daily flossing and brushing of your teeth after every meal. 

Patients with veneers are also directed to stay away from any hard food because it could possibly break the veneers.

4. What the Veneer Procedure is Like

The complete process of a patient getting veneers can take up to three dental appointments.

During their first visit, the cosmetic dentist will usually perform a consultation to decide which veneers are right for the patient. They should also properly examine their teeth and ensure that they’re a good fit for receiving veneers.

At the second appointment, the dentist will then trim the teeth that are receiving veneers by about half a millimeter in measurement. This is so they can properly take an impression of the natural teeth where the veneer will be sitting. The mold is what’s sent to the lab to make the veneers.

Then finally, after a few weeks you can visit your cosmetic dentist for the last step. This is when the veneers will be put in place.

Patients should be able to leave the same day with no discomfort and a brand new, perfect smile! Though it’s important to note that there can be jaw/gum soreness afterwards.

5. Options Besides Getting Veneers

If you’re only looking for your teeth to be whiter, or more straight, then veneers might not be the best option for your situation.

Less invasive and expensive procedures such as teeth whitening, or getting braces/retainers may benefit you more.

5 More Tips to Know Before Getting Veneers

Before getting veneers, following are 5 more tips the patient may want to know before getting veneers:

1. The dentist will be removing a thin layer of your teeth’s enamel

When restoring a tooth with a veneer, the dentist will want to ensure that your smile is even afterwards. Which means that they all need to have the same size, or dimensions. 

Because veneers come with a new surface, the cosmetic dentist will have to take away a small layer of your natural tooth’s enamel to ensure it’s even with the other teeth after placement.

The layer will be very thin, often compared to the thickness of a hair. Though some veneers can be larger and require more enamel to be removed.

2. The process usually takes more than one appointment

A cosmetic dentist uses a dental lab to create their patients’ veneers and this process takes time. After sending your impression to the lab to have your personalized veneers made, you’ll have to wait a couple weeks.

Though don’t worry, you won’t have to walk around with your tooth’s enamel gone, the dentist should install temporary veneers in the meantime.

Then once the actual veneers are received from the lab, an appointment can be made and the permanent veneer can be placed.

3. The veneer process is quick and painless

Your dentist should provide you with a local anesthetic before performing any of these procedures. If there is tooth decay involved, the patient should be numbed before the dentist removes any of that decayed tissue.

Patients should not feel anything when the dentist is removing the enamel layer from the tooth. 

The dentist can also administer anesthetic before fitting, or adjusting the veneer if needed.

4. Veneers will last a long time if taken care of properly

Patients with composite veneers can have them for over ten years with the proper care. Porcelain veneers can last even longer if also taken care of. If they’re pressed porcelain, they can last decades.

Having good oral hygiene is always something patients should practice, but with veneers it’s even more important. Having these habits in place can change a veneer that needs to be replaced in 5 years, to one that can last for over 10 years.

5. The types of veneers have different advantages

In our professional opinion, having porcelain veneers looks aesthetically better than composite veneers.

Not only that, but they’re stronger and are more durable over time. They’re also more resistant to staining.

Though this does mean they’re more expensive and do require several procedures. 

When comparing the two, composites are less expensive to maintain and/or replace. As well as being easier to put in place.

Getting Veneers at Dental Masters

So, if you’re someone who’s been wondering, “are veneers worth it?” We at Dental Masters hope we’ve answered your question. Along with giving you 5 things you need to know before getting veneers. 

Dental veneers can be a great boost of confidence for people who have uneven, chipped, space, or discolored teeth.

Dental Masters of Alexandria’s passion for enhancing smiles brings you the best in modern dentistry. At Dental Masters, we are leaders in cosmetic dentistry in Alexandria VA.