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What are Dental Veneers? Dental Veneers Cost Types, Procedures, Implants vs Crown vs Dental Veneers All you need to know

What are dental veneers? Dental veneers may be your solution if you are suffering from low self-esteem because of damaged or discolored teeth. The dental aesthetic elements hide chipped, broken stains or uneven teeth.

Dental veneers are cosmetic add-ons that are attached to your teeth to improve their look. These are thin shells that are custom-made to match the same color as your teeth. Veneers are made of synthetic material; either porcelain or resin composite materials. These are usually attached to the front of the teeth permanently.

Dental veneers are used to improve the aesthetic look of your teeth. Teeth may get chipped or broken, or be discolored due to smoking. Veneers can even address issues like smaller than average teeth.  You may want to improve the appearance of your teeth.

Veneers can be costly, but not If you are attempting to improve the look of a single broken or chipped tooth. However, for an even and symmetrical look, you may want to get six to eight teeth veneered. Commonly, the top front teeth usually get the aesthetic treatment with veneers.

dental veneers

Why not dental implants or crowns than dental veneers?

Dental implants and dental crowns are expensive and more invasive procedures than dental veneers. While the implant requires the removal of the entire tooth and its replacement with an artificial implant, dental crowns also cater to encasing a single tooth at one time.  

What are the differences between veneers, crowns, and implants that enable their variant use?

Dental veneers, crowns, and implants are all cosmetic solutions to different teeth issues. Each covers a different area of the affected teeth.

Dental veneers cover the front, sometimes the sides, of a tooth.

Dental crowns cover the entire tooth. They fit like a cap covering the front, back, and sides. That is why crowns are better options for broken teeth. They also help bolster the teeth that have little structure left.

Dental implants are bolt-like structures that replace a missing tooth and are fixed to the jawbone.

To sum it up, crowns are used to repair the shape and structure of badly damaged teeth while implants replace an entire tooth. Veneers are cover-ups that improve the appearance of intact teeth.

Plaining Dental veneers is a less invasive procedure. The custom-fit setting of a veneer corrects the dental damage like;

  • Stains and discoloration may occur in smokers.
  • Chipped teeth or teeth with various small missing pieces
  • Tooth decay
  • Crooked and mal-aligned teeth
  • Unusual gaps between the teeth

Dental veneers deliver a long-lasting solution to permanent cosmetic dental problems. If taken care of, dental veneers provide cost-effective options for dental treatments as teeth whitening, braces, or retainers.

Once the dental veneer is in place, it cannot be removed. The placement of a dental veneer involves removing dental tissue right up to the enamel and fixing of veneer permanently. So if you want to give it a go, ensure to get it done by an expert because there may be no going back if you do not like the result.

What are the different types of veneers?

There are two types of dental veneers.

  • The common traditional ones are made of porcelain. They require intensive prep work of the selected teeth to be placed. The porcelain dental veneers last a lifetime with adequate oral care.
  • The other type, non-traditional or no-prep veneers, require a less invasive procedure. These Dental veneers include Lumineers, and Vivaneeres take less time to be placed. No-prep veneers last five to seven years.

Preparing the teeth for receiving dental veneer is an irreversible procedure. The teeth are subjected to grinding. Sometimes, the enamel needs to be removed as well for proper placement of the veneer.

Placing a traditional veneer can be painful and requires local anesthesia.

No-prep veneers require minimal alterations to the teeth. Usually, only the enamel is removed. The procedure is not painful. it usually does not require anesthesia.  

Depending on the types of material used, the dental veneers are of two types;

  • Porcelain; these are thin yet strong shells that are placed on the surface of the teeth. They have the advantage of being the same color as the rest of the teeth. Porcelain veneers can be polished or whitened for a brighter look.
  • Resin-based composite; these are the same as the porcelain ones but are less expensive. They require less removal of tooth tissue and enamel for placement than their counterpart porcelain ones.

Which type of dental veneer is the best?

The type of veneer recommended depends on an individual’s requirements and budget.

The American Dental Association (ADA) maps out some key differences between both types of dental veneers so you can make an informed decision. These differences include;

Porcelain     Resin-based composite
Require removal of enamelMay not require enamel removal
Usually takes two to three appointmentsRequire only one appointment
Last longer, about 20 yearsLast about five years
Do not stainTake the stain of foods and beverages
Strong with fewer chances of chipping or breakageLess resilient, more likely to chip and break off
Difficult to fix or repair if damagedEasy to repair and may even be replaced
Cater to a more natural appearanceHave an artificial look

Your dentist can advise you better on which type of veneer to select according to your budget and requirements.

How much does a veneer cost?

The cost of dental veneers depends on;

  • Your requirement; the number of teeth to be veneered
  • The type of dental veneers you choose
  • The expertise of your dentist and the reputation of the clinic

Since veneers are a cosmetic procedure, they are not covered by health insurance.

The Consumer Guide to Dentistry tags each type of dental veneer differently.

The traditional veneers can cost about $925 to $2,500 per tooth.

While the cost of no-prep veneers averages around $800 to $2000 per tooth.  

If you are looking for a cost-effective solution to your dental aesthetics, traditional veneers are the one-stop solution.

Benefits of dental veneers

The primary benefit of dental veneers is the more aesthetic appearance of your teeth. You can smile brighter and with confidence. Some of the cosmetic attributes of dental veneers include;

  • Repairing broken or chipped teeth
  • Removing discoloration of teeth that is unresponsive to teeth whitening measures
  • Filling gaps between the teeth
  • Even out smaller-than-average teeth
  • Shaping pointed or misshaped teeth

The procedure of dental veneer placement

The procedure for placing dental veneers may take several appointments.

  • The preliminary appointment with your dentist would include a detailed examination of your affected teeth.

Your dentist may take X-rays of your teeth to assess your dental health. Any signs of gum disease or tooth decay are addressed first. You may require a root canal. These situations pose contraindications for a dental veneer. In case of uneven, misshaped, or crooked teeth, you may have to wear braces for some good amount of time before you can have your teeth veneered.

  • After carefully evaluating your oro-dental health status, your dentist would start prepping your tooth to receive a dental veneer.

The affected teeth are ground and trimmed down about half a millimeter. The enamel is removed. An impression of your teeth is taken on a mold, then sent to a dentistry lab to design customized veneers for your teeth.

The lab may take a week or so to prepare the veneers suitable for you.

  • The placement of veneers is undertaken in a separate sitting. Before fitting the veneers, your dentist will check them for proper fit, shape, and color.

Before placing the veneers, the teeth need to be thoroughly cleansed. In fact, your doctor may give you guidelines to take care of your dental hygiene at home while you are waiting for your veneers to be delivered by the lab.

Adequate dental hygiene is essential because it prevents any entrapment of bacteria under the veneer. This helps any issue of tooth decay after the veneer is fixed in place.

The enamel of the tooth is removed. The surface of the teeth is made rough with a grinding device. This makes placement and attachment of the dental veneer properly.

Dental cement is used to bond the veneer to the front surface of the tooth. The adhesive is dried and hardened quickly with the help of ultraviolet light. This cuts back the time taken to fix the dental veneers, making it an outpatient procedure.

The whole procedure of veneer placement does not last long, usually taking about two hours in total. If your dentist used local anesthesia, you might need to spend extra time in the observation room.

The fitting of resin-based composite veneers also requires cleaning, reshaping, and preparing the teeth. This is followed by bonding and sculpting the composite material. The color of the resin is adjusted according to the surrounding teeth.

Ultraviolet light is used to dry the composite material fast. After drying the veneer completely, the veneer is smoothened or polished to match the natural teeth.  

Tips to take care of dental veneers after placement

Dental veneers are easy to manage. There are no specific post-procedure precautions you need to take. Because the process is not lengthy, nor does it take extended recovery time. As the anesthetic wears off, you can eat and drink normally.

The only precaution you might need is not to chew on your cheeks or tongue while the anesthetic is still in effect.

A slight roughness on the surface of the teeth veneered is normal. Extra cement may adhere to the surface, which results in a rough texture of the tooth. The surface of the tooth becomes smooth with regular brushing of teeth. In case of resistant spots, you may book an appointment with your dentists, who may buff the surface of the teeth.

To increase the life span of dental veneers, certain tips are;

  • If you have a habit of chewing on hard objects, quit that.
  • Do not use your teeth to open food packages or bottle caps.
  • Do not make use of the front teeth to chew or bite on food. Use the molars for this purpose.
  • Use a splint, retainer, or a mouth guard to protect your veneers if you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth at night.
  • Wearing a mouth guard is a must while playing sports, especially contact sports.

Follow up of dental veneers.

A reputed clinic will book an appointment for a follow-up so that your dentist may have a look at the veneers. It is ensured that the veneers are fixed correctly and are comfortable to the patient.

The wearer of the veneer can discuss any discomfort or other issue with the dentist. Though the wearer of a veneer is not stopped from consuming any food or beverage, your dentist may advise you against hard to chew foods and staining drinks like cola, coffee, black tea, etc. This helps to preserve the color of the veneer for a long.

It is possible to develop dental caries even if you are wearing veneers. So adopting good oro-dental hygiene with twice brushing and regular flossing is advised.

Take home message

Dental veneers improve the aesthetics of your teeth by enhancing color, shape, bridging gaps, and hiding chips and other minor damage to teeth.

Veneers vary in material and cost. That apparently impacts their durability. Porcelain is more resilient than resin composite veneers. The former is also tagged with a higher price.

Dental veneers are a long-term solution to persistent cosmetic tooth problems. You may need to discuss your options with your dentist to get cost-effective treatment for your teeth.

Abdur Rashid
Medically Reviewed By Abdur Rashid
MSC Public Health, MCSP, MHCPC
BSC (Hon) Physiotherapy
Consultant Neuro-spinal & Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist


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