If you want to improve your smile, then one of your choices is to get veneers. You might have heard something about veneers in the past, but you might not know exactly what they do. To help you make a more informed decision, here is an introduction to dental veneers:
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are custom shells that are usually made of porcelain or resin. They are bonded to your teeth, providing protection and improving your smile. Veneers tend to last quite a few years after being installed, which means that you won't need to get a replacement any time soon.
The installation process can take a while, since your dentist will need to make sure that the veneers will properly interface with your teeth. This may involve manipulating the enamel on your teeth, in order to create a smooth surface for the veneers to rest on.
What are the benefits of dental veneers?
Veneers last a lot longer than most of the other options, which means that they are the ideal choice if you want to minimize the amount of work done on your teeth. While bonding or whitening might take less time for a single session, both of those will need to be reapplied multiple times in order to achieve the same effective duration as veneers.
Veneers will also protect your teeth much more effectively than bonding or whitening. While bonding will chip and crack fairly easily, whitening will not protect your teeth at all. On the other hand, veneers are quite hard and durable (especially if they are porcelain), able to absorb quite a bit of damage to protect your teeth.
What are the drawbacks of dental veneers?
Unfortunately, veneers do tend to cost quite a bit, generally between $500 and $1000 per tooth. This means that it can cost thousands of dollars to fully equip your teeth with veneers. However, that isn't usually necessary. Instead, you can just get veneers on the most visible of your teeth, which often means your four middle teeth on your upper jaw. From this perspective, improving your smile could cost between $2000 and $4000, and while that may seem like a lot, it is only a fraction of the price that you would otherwise pay.
Additionally, veneers can't be used for every patient. If your teeth are improperly shaped and do not have enough enamel to allow reshaping, then it might be impossible to actually install veneers in your mouth. Contact a cosmetic dentist like P. Jeffrey Lowe, DMD, PA for more information.