If you are unhappy with the physical appearance of your teeth, veneers are one of several options for giving yourself a smile rejuvenation. Veneers are less invasive than other methods and do not destroy healthy teeth in the process. Veneers have become widely accepted as the price has come down, and also because the veneers have been perfected to seamlessly blend in with your natural teeth.

What are veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin shells that are affixed to the teeth to improve their appearance. They are so thin that they can be laid over the existing tooth without the need to drill the tooth surface. Each veneer is custom made to fit perfectly over the tooth.  The veneers blend in with the rest of your teeth and are not noticeable. Veneers are very strong, but they require a bit of care as they can chip.

What is the difference between crowns and veneers?

Veneers are affixed to the surface of the tooth, with minimal drilling necessary. Crowns require that the majority of the tooth be drilled down to a nothing more than a nub. The crown is essentially a new tooth that covers the leftover nub in your mouth.

Who are good candidates for veneers?

People with strong and healthy teeth are the best candidates for veneers. The veneers mask gaps between teeth, stains, chips, and irregular or dull looking teeth. Veneers are a cosmetic, not a structural, fix. For example, they do not correct the gaps between the teeth; they only cover them. Seriously decayed and damaged teeth cannot be corrected with veneers. In this case, restorative dentistry is the only option.

How long do veneers last?

Veneers typically last for about ten years. Daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings will prolong the life of a veneer. Cosmetic dentistry has increased in popularity in the past ten years. This has brought the price of veneers down significantly. Veneers range from $700 - $1,000 per tooth.

What is the process for getting veneers?

Veneers are custom made for each tooth and take more than one appointment to complete. During the first appointment, the teeth are shaped and the surface is roughened. Next, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth. The impressions allow the laboratory to make veneers that perfectly fit each individual tooth. Each veneer is essentially a work of art which is created by a skilled technician. Finally, the veneers are applied using a bonding adhesive. Once in place, the veneers are a permanent part of your mouth.

If you are considering veneers, be sure that you are working with a dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry. Consider your other options to veneers as well. For example, if your teeth are only stained, tooth whitening may be a better option. It is important to note that veneers are a permanent solution. You cannot remove them later if you no longer want them. To consider all of your options and to decide if veneers are right for you, consult with your dentist.

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