Dental veneers are often the ideal solution to compensate for cosmetically worn enamel to correct a slight misalignment, to fill an excessive space or hide imperfections or cracks in your teeth. They can also be very useful when it comes to correcting the natural color of teeth including stains due to medication taken, and when bleach solutions are ineffective. Veneers are thin ceramic appliqués that are applied with a special adhesive on the front tooth surface. In contrast to a crown, the tooth is not covered on all sides.
To determine if dental veneers are appropriate for your needs, it is necessary first to determine the condition of your teeth and your oral health in general. During your consultation for the installation of veneers, you will actively participate with the dentist in a smile design process. By sharing your preferences on the shape, length, width and color of the teeth and the effect you want them to have. You will therefore help ensure that your veneers meet your expectations. It is important to talk to your dentist so that she understands your objectives.
Gentle correction to the front teeth have long been a history in dentistry. Veneers were introduced in the 1930’s in Hollywood for the first time, to create the attractive movie star smile. The dentist Dr. Charles Pincus developed the ultra-thin porcelain veneers. His most famous client was Marilyn Monroe. Problems with the bonding technique and fracture risk meant Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and colleagues were forced to always carry a replacement set of their veneers. Only since the 1980’s, with the invention of new bonding techniques have these issues largely been alleviated.
Modern veneers are durable and have been assembled to last for many years before being replaced, but like your natural teeth, it is important to maintain an impeccable oral hygiene to ensure their longevity. With precise adjustment and good dental care and oral hygiene, the durability of veneers is comparable to that of crowns. Veneers do not fade, are very resilient and do not attack the gums. The light permeability of the ceramic material provides good visual results. To reduce the risk of damage to your veneers, do not bite or chew on hard objects such as ice cubes, also avoid using your teeth to open packets or tear. Brush your teeth as you normally would, and be sure to use a non-abrasive toothpaste.
The treatment begins with a professional teeth cleaning and the replacement of old fillings. A detailed color analysis of the adjacent teeth is then produced so the veneers blend seamlessly with the remaining teeth. Most commonly veneers involve two sessions. First, the dentist takes an impression of the prepared teeth, which is sent to a dental technician in a lab. During the subsequent session a thin layer of the tooth is removed. and the wafer-thin, metal-free ceramic veneers are attached with a special adhesive. The advantage compared to crowns is that very little healthy tooth structure is lost.
Veneers are suitable for many conditions:
- Elimination of missing teeth or widely spaced teeth (Diastema)
- Repairing broken teeth
- Tooth discoloration, which can not be removed by bleaching
- Teeth with large fillings visible from the outside
- Correcting crooked teeth
- Erosion (crater-like defects in the enamel)
- Correcting shape of teeth (too narrow or short)
Veneers are not generally used if the tooth is dead or severely damaged. Here crowns, bridges or dental implants are the better choice. In dead teeth there is a risk that you may break the brittle tooth structure. Even in teeth that have been treated several times with large fillings or inlays, it can cause problems. The dental defects are often so large that only a crown of the tooth can be enough to stabilize the outside.
The big advantages of veneers are in the ceramic material, which can be colored both inside and on the surface and has a natural transparency. Thus an individual color adjustment is possible and the veneers match in all lighting conditions perfectly to each adjacent tooth. Surface and color do not change even after many years. Coatings are rarely deposited on the extremely hard surface of the veneer. Thus one always finds healthy gums at the edge of the veneer. Ceramic allows the use of this therapy for those with metal allergies.
Certainly unsightly teeth can be covered with crowns. However there are a number of advantages for veneers over crowns. The necessary removal of natural tooth structure is kept to a minimum. Crowns often irritate the gums and cause a decline in the long run. Veneers do not attack the gums. The risk that the gums will recede or bacteria will invade and cause infections is much lower than in crowns. The treatment process is also much simpler; the installation of the veneers is faster, and the time for the patient to get used to the veneers is much lower. Veneers also do not appreciably change the size of the tooth, the total volume of the restored tooth is identical to the original.
Veneers should be checked regularly in the dentist’s office – about every six months. Above all, the gap-free seating of the veneer is checked, as in gaps bacteria can enter and cause tooth decay or infection. Gaps or joints can also loosen the cement in the long run. If this is the case, the edges are sealed as a precaution. Caring for veneers is very important. Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. The toothpaste should have a neutral pH, since acidic pH values can attacking the adhesive. Do not use mouth rinses to remove plaque. These include chlorhexidine and also act as an abrasive. Do not take any medications that spends a long time in the mouth, as you may risk discoloration. If unsure, ask your doctor or dentist. Strongly acidic or discoloring foods (such as red wine or citrus fruits) should be avoided whenever possible. This also includes the popular sweets before bedtime.
The cost of veneers are relatively high because the application of the veneers is one of the most demanded dental procedures. Also, a dental technician is required in the manufacture of veneers as color, shape and individual characteristics of the veneers must be optimized. The price of a veneer in many cases approaches that of a porcelain crown. Costs for porcelain veneers begin around $1,000 per tooth. But this is different from dentist to dentist: depending on complexity, the cost may range up to $2,500 per tooth. Porcelain veneers cost considerably more that their composite counterparts due to their increased durability. Composite veneers are much cheaper, starting at under $300 per tooth, but offer a much shorter lifespan. Since this procedure is not a medically necessary treatment, veneers are not covered by most health insurance companies.