Do you like your smile? Here in our Naperville practice, we’ve found that a surprising number of patients don’t, and the reason is generally because they’re dissatisfied with how their teeth look.
Sometimes there’s a real dental health issue with their teeth, an overbite or underbite, for example, and a treatment like braces can help. But what if there’s nothing wrong per se, but you just want your smile to look different? That’s when you and your dentist should consider veneers and cosmetic dentistry.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are thin slivers of material the dentist bonds to your teeth. They’re different from dental crowns, which are tooth caps cemented onto teeth to strengthen them, correct malformation, or treat cavities too large for fillings.
Veneers are intended solely to improve the appearance of your teeth and are specially crafted to fit your particular smile. They can be made of various substances. There are, for example, composite veneers made of resin. But many patients opt for porcelain veneers because these give a very natural appearance and are more resistant to staining.
Getting veneers is a painless procedure that doesn’t require any drilling and may take as little as two visits.
Who Should Consider Veneers?
As noted above, veneers serve a purely cosmetic function. If you have a problem like cavities, your dentist will likely address that first via other methods. But veneer teeth can help with issues like the following:
- Improving the color. Veneers can make your teeth a nice, bright white.
- Lengthening teeth. If your teeth look short and stubby when you smile, veneers can remedy this.
- Correcting spacing.If you have unsightly gaps between teeth, veneers can cover them.
- Hiding chips.If a tooth is chipped, a veneer can hide that too.
Note, however, that veneers aren’t for everyone. They’re often contraindicated if you have gum disease of weakened enamel in your dental history.
Because porcelain is a relatively delicate substance, porcelain veneers may also be a bad idea if you’re prone to grinding your teeth or chewing on ice or other hard objects. These behaviors are bad for your teeth in general, but fortunately, such habits can be corrected.
How Durable Are Veneers?
Like most manmade objects and materials, vaneers may not last forever, but with proper care, they should be good for 10-20 years. Mostly you care for them with the same daily dental health regimen (brushing and flossing) you’d use for teeth that don’t have them. Additionally, it’s a good idea to steer clear of hard and sticky foods.
What Do Veneers Cost?
You and your dentist can discuss what veneers would cost youduring the course of an office visit. Typically they run from $1000 to $1500 for each individual veneer. Sometimes there’s a discount if you’re getting four or more at once as many patients do.
Unfortunately, your insurance probably won’t pay for them since getting them is a cosmetic procedure as opposed to something medically necessary.
Veneers: The Catch
When veneers go on your teeth, they generally go on permanently. There are alternatives called no-prep veneers that will come off, but these aren’t a suitable or desirable choice for everyone. Your dentist can help you decide if they’re a good option for you.
Since most veneers don’t come off, if you don’t like the way your new smile ends up looking, you’re pretty much stuck with it anyway. The good news here, however, is that the situation is very unlikely to arise. The dentist will show you what the veneers look like and what your new smile will look like before they go in. You simply have to be forthright about your preferences and expectations to prevent miscommunication.
If you live in the Naperville area and are interested in getting veneers, we invite you to visit our office for a consultation. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.