Dental veneers are tooth-colored coverings that are cemented to the surface of your teeth to improve your smile. Veneers can be sought if:
• You have mildly crooked teeth – veneers can make them look more aligned, although braces are a more suitable treatment if they are severely crooked. Some people choose veneers instead because they provide an instant improvement in looks, whereas a brace can take over a year to correct your teeth.
• You have stained teeth – veneers can cover the stains.
• You have chipped or broken teeth.
How are Dental Veneers Fitted?
You will be given a local anaesthetic to numb your teeth and gums and then the dentist will reshape your teeth by filing a small amount away so that he can fit the veneers. He will then take an impression of your mouth using dental ‘putty’.
This is used to make sure your veneers fit your teeth. You may then be given temporary veneers to protect your teeth while you wait for them to be made.
At a second appointment the dentist will adjust the new veneers if necessary, then give your teeth a thorough cleaning and add a special gel to them so that the dental cement will stick. He will cement the veneers in place using a light that bonds the veneers to your teeth.
There are three different types of veneer options: porcelain, ceramic and composite. Your new smile will last up to 10 years, if you have chosen porcelain veneers, as they are more durable. If you have chosen composite veneers, they only last a year or two.
How do I Pay for Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers cost between $900-$2,500 per tooth. They are cosmetic dentistry so you will need to pay for them yourself or take out a dental loan. Many dentists offer affordable repayment plans. Composite veneers are a budget option and cost around $250 per tooth.
Side-Effects of Dental Veneers
The dentist should tell you all the possible side-effects at your initial consultation when your medical history will be discussed.
There is a chance your teeth will become extra-sensitive after you have had veneers fitted. Some of your tooth enamel will have to be removed to fit the veneers and each time you have them replaced, more enamel will be removed. You cannot leave your teeth as they are once you have had enamel removed so it requires life time maintenance.
Sometimes veneers may crack, chip or fall off and then you have to pay a lot of money to have them replaced. Some patients have had nerve damage and chronic pain after the procedure.
Porcelain Veneers for Smile Makeovers, Cosmetic Dentistry Guide. Web. 13 December 2011.
Cosmetic veneers cost, Porcelain Veneers. Web. 13 December 2011. http://www.porcelainveneers.org/cosmetic-veneers-cost.html
Porcelain Veneers Risks, Doc Shop. Web. 13 December 2011. http://www.docshop.com/education/dental/cosmetic-dentistry/porcelain-veneers/risks
Damaged nerves, chronic pain, sky-high bills: How a perfect smile can cause lifelong misery, Daily Mail, 24th February 2009. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1153519/Damaged-nerves-chronic-pain-sky-high-bills-How-perfect-smile-cause-lifelong-misery.html
Joanna is a freelance health writer for The Mother magazine and Suite 101 with a column on infertility, http://infertility.suite101.com/. She is author of the book, 'Breast Milk: A Natural Immunisation,' and co-author of an educational resource on disabled parenting.
Reviewed December 13, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith