What’s the first thing people notice about you when they first meet you? The truth is, it’s your smile. A beautiful smile tells people that you’re friendly, trusting, and professional. In fact, a recent study found more than two-thirds of Americans believe that a beautiful smile gives you that extra boost of confidence and an edge over others in landing a job. Clearly, a superb smile is indeed an asset. If you’re struggling with less than ideal teeth and smile, veneers might be the answer you are looking for.
What Are Veneers?
A veneer is essentially a custom-made thin shell of porcelain that is placed on the front of the tooth. Rather than encompassing the entire tooth, a cosmetic veneer covers the visible part of a tooth, preserving a large amount of the natural tooth structure.
Traditional porcelain veneers, alternatively termed “dental veneers” or “dental porcelain laminates,” are wafer-thin shells of porcelain permanently bonded to teeth that are discolored, worn, chipped, or misaligned. They can straighten, lengthen, and whiten teeth to provide a beautiful smile and even create a more comfortable bite position.
Porcelain veneers are non-porous (they will not stain), incredibly resilient, and “kind” (non-abrasive) to opposing teeth. When they are firmly bonded, they become very strong and durable.
What Types of Problems Do Dental Veneers Fix?
If you want to improve your smile, dental veneers are a simple option. They look and function like natural teeth and can be used to correct a wide range of dental issues, such as:
- broken or chipped teeth
- severe discoloration or uneven coloring that can’t be fixed with whitening
- gaps in the teeth
- smaller-than-average teeth
- pointed or unusually shaped teeth
What’s the Procedure for Getting a Dental Veneer?
Before getting dental veneers, there are a few important points to know. Because this process is not reversible, you have to make sure they are the right choice before you invest the time and money in this life-changing procedure.
First, your teeth and gums should be healthy. Second, it is possible for veneers to come loose over time, but happens rarely and they can be rebonded to your tooth by your dentist in our Las Vegas, NV office.
Steps to place porcelain veneers:
- Diagnostics: Dr. Racanelli has a custom process that allows him to communicate your desired changes to his ceramist for the design of your new teeth and smile. Dr. Racanelli and his ceramist create a proto-type of your new teeth that allows you to “test-drive” the veneers.
- Prepare the teeth: The first step is to prepare the teeth for the veneer. To do this, the dentist usually removes a small amount of enamel from the front and sides of the teeth. Basically, like filing the teeth down. This makes room for the veneers so that the finished product looks natural.
- Create the mold: Next, the dentist makes an impression, or mold of your teeth so the veneer fits perfectly. During this phase, the dentist also decides on which color shade that will be best for your smile.
- Production/Wait time: The impression made in our Las Vegas, NV office is sent to a dental lab that custom-makes the porcelain veneers to fit your teeth. This may take several days. The dentist may give you temporary veneers to wear in the meantime.
- Bonding: At the next visit, the dentist cleans the teeth, places the veneers and bonds them to the tooth.
At that point, the veneers are placed. You will have a couple of follow-up appointments to make any changes and check to see how they are functioning.
Types of Veneers
Because no two smiles are identical, no two veneers are the same. There are four main types of veneers. The type that works best for you will be determined by the dentist.
- Porcelain Veneers: These are also known as traditional veneers, they are thin ceramic shells. They typically last up to 20 years with proper care and maintenance. Though these are the strongest veneers, they are more difficult to repair if something chips them.
- Composite resin veneers: Composite veneers are also called “bonded veneers”. They are a less expensive version and can usually be applied in just one visit to the dentist. Bonded veneers will need to be replaced after a few years and are more prone to chipping and staining.
- Lumineers: These are the thinnest veneers because they are placed over teeth without any adjustment or preparation to the tooth. They are only about as thick as a contact lens.
- Snap on veneers: This type fits over the top of your teeth like a mouthguard. They change the look of your smile with a completely temporary method. You simply take them off whenever you want to without the help of a dentist, just like any other mouthguard.
Benefits of Dental Veneers
Veneers were originally used as a temporary fix to improve the smiles of actors in the 1930s. Today, they are a popular and permanent solution to create a perfect smile right here in Las Vegas. Veneers can hide slight tooth damage, discoloration, cracks, or gaps that may cause you to hide your smile or be self-conscious in a group setting. Beautiful veneers improve your smile appearance and boost your confidence.
How Long Do Veneers Last?
Traditional porcelain veneers can last 15-20 years, depending on your home care and maintenance cleanings with our dental hygienists. Composite veneers may last a few years. How you care for your them can have a great impact on their lifespan. To reduce the risk of damage, it’s important to care for your veneers.
How To Care For Your Veneers
It may take you a few days to get used to the feel of your veneers. But they should feel natural pretty quickly. Caring for your veneers is very similar to caring for your natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing. You can still get cavities, so it’s important to care for them carefully. In addition to daily oral care, your dentist may recommend additional care for your veneers including:
- Do not bite or chew on hard objects such as nut shells or bones
- Do not use your teeth to open or tear packages
- Avoid certain foods that could cause damage
- Wear a protective appliance while sleeping
- See your dentist and hygienist for regular exams and cleanings
- Eat harder foods with your back teeth only; cut up hard foods like chocolate bars so that this is possible.
- If playing sports, you must wear a mouth guard.
How Much Do Veneers Cost?
Porcelain veneers cost between $1,150 and $2,500 per tooth depending on the dentist and the type of veneer you choose. Composite veneers are on the less expensive end, at approximately $250 to $1500 per tooth. The cost of depends on several factors, including:
- The fees of the dentist.
- The artistic and technical skill of the ceramist making the veneers.
- The location where treatment is performed.
- The type of dental insurance you have. (Typically, dental insurance does not cover cosmetic procedures.)
- The material used.
- The number of teeth being treated.
Many dentists offer payment plans for cosmetic and restorative dental procedures. To see how much veneers will cost for you, give our Las Vegas, NV dentist office a call today to schedule a consultation with our resident veneer expert!
Dental Veneers FAQs
Does getting veneers hurt?
Typically, you are numb for the veneering process. Once the numbness subsides, your gums may be sore and your jaw might hurt slightly, but nothing that can’t be handled with over-the-counter pain medication.
What can I eat and what foods should I avoid?
As soon as you get your veneers, you’re going to want to stick with soft foods for a few days. Within a few days, you’ll be able to eat and drink normally unless your dentist recommends otherwise.
What happens if one of my veneers comes off?
It is rare for a veneer to come off, but it is possible. If possible, save the veneer (they are expensive to replace) and call our Las Vegas, NV office as soon as possible to put it back on.
If I have veneers will I get cavities?
Yes, you can still get cavities with veneers. This is why it is important to maintain good oral health and regular dental hygiene visits.
Who is not a good candidate for porcelain veneers?
If you have extensive tooth decay, or damage to the roots and gums, covering them up will not make it any better. Before you can use veneers, you must remove the decay and get your roots and gums to a healthy state.
What’s the difference between veneers and crowns?
Crowns cover your entire tooth; a veneer is just a shell that is applied to the front only. Crowns can be used to reinforce and support weak teeth while veneers are purely for appearance.
Refresh Your Smile
Cosmetic dentistry is designed to help people just like you to feel more confident about their smile. If you have tooth damage, discoloration, cracks, or gaps, you may be a perfect candidate for veneers.
If you are dreaming of a flawless smile, Stunning Smiles is there for you. Contact us at our Las Vegas, NV office to explore the options available to you through veneers and get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.