It’s hard to deny that nowadays, more and more people are dealing with dental issues. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, over 2.3 billion people suffer from permanent tooth damage. But thanks to countless medical innovations, you can solve almost any dental problem with ease. For example, if you are not happy with your chipped or discolored teeth, you can simply visit your dentist and get them fixed.
One such big medical innovation are veneers, which are improving smiles all over the world. But while many people are considering getting veneers, there are a few things you need to know about them. Luckily, we are here to show you the pros and cons of the procedure and see if veneers are truly worth it.
What Are Veneers?
Dental veneers are custom-made shells that cover the front surface of teeth in order to improve their appearance. Their main purpose is to improve the length, size, shape, or color of teeth. In fact, people that are dealing with chipped, discolored, or misaligned teeth are prime candidates for veneers. It’s important to mention that the procedure is permanent and veneers are almost impossible to remove.
Who Can Get Veneers?
Although everyone can get veneers, you need to have good oral hygiene before you can start the procedure. If you have gum disease, teeth decay, or weakened teeth, you must fix those issues before giving veneers a try. Additionally, people who grind their teeth should avoid porcelain veneers as that can cause the veneers to crack.
Types of Veneers
Depending on their material, there are two main types of veneers:
- Porcelain veneers are more stain-resistant and mimic the light reflection your teeth naturally have. They are also more durable and have a longer lifespan than their counterpart. However, porcelain veneers are usually expensive and are harder to repair in case of damage.
- Composite veneers are affordable and share most of the benefits that porcelain veneers offer. The main difference is that your doctor can apply several composite veneers in a single visit, reducing the overall procedure duration.
How Do Veneers Work?
Generally speaking, getting veneers requires three or more trips to the dentist, depending on how many teeth need to undergo the procedure. The first trip is for consultation, while the other two are reserved for applying the veneers. Some dentists might even schedule follow-up appointments to check the progress of your veneers and the state of your gums.
In order to prepare you for veneers, your dentist will need to reshape your teeth’ surface. The amount of enamel trimmed is usually equal in thickness to the veneers your dentist will apply. Once that is done, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth which will be sent to a lab. It usually takes two to four weeks for the lab to finish the veneers, depending on the number of teeth. In the meantime, your dentist might recommend that you wear temporary veneers to cover the reshaped teeth.
On your next appointment, your dentist will place and remove the veneers on your tooth to examine the shape and color. They will also trim the veneer to make it fit better before permanently cementing it. Your dentist will also clean and polish your teeth to remove any excess enamel.
If everything fits perfectly, your dentist will apply special cement to the veneer and then place it over your tooth. After the positioning, the dentist will shine a light beam on the veneers to activate the cement’s chemicals and quicken the hardening process. Once that is done, your dentist will remove the excess cement and then check your bite and teeth positioning. They could also ask for a follow-up appointment in a couple of weeks to check the veneers and your gums.
How Do Clip On Veneers Work?
Clip-on veneers are a temporary solution that provides some of the benefits of permanent veneers. While they are more affordable and are easy to apply, they are less reliable and durable. It’s worth mentioning that clip-on veneers are non-functional, meaning that you have to remove them before eating.
You should consider getting clip-on veneers if you want to improve your teeth’ look without spending too much money on porcelain veneers. However, if you are looking for a better solution, traditional veneers are the way to go.
Veneers Care Tips
Even though veneers are durable and should last up to 15 years, there are still a few things you can do to increase their lifespan.
- Avoid Grinding: You should avoid grinding or clenching your teeth, as they can damage the veneers. In fact, you can even dislodge the veneers if you are not careful.
- Brush Your Teeth: Good oral hygiene is a must, meaning that you have to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Doing so will prevent plaque and can protect you from gum disease or tooth decay.
- Floss: Most dentists recommend flossing after getting veneers in order to remove any food particles stuck between teeth.
- Regular Dentist Appointments: Visiting your dentist regularly is extremely important. That’s because your dentist can notice potential problems before they become threatening to your oral hygiene.
- Chew Carefully: While veneers are generally durable, they can still chip, crack or even break. It’s best to avoid chewing hard foods that can damage your veneers.
- Watch Out for Stains: Even though porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, the cement is not. In other words, if you are not careful, you can darken the edge of your veneers. You should try to avoid drinking excessive amounts of coffee, soda, or anything that can stain the veneer cement.
All in all, veneers are one of the most accessible and reliable ways to improve your smile. Not only do they fix problems like misalignment or teeth discoloration, but they are also much stronger than crowns. And if you are not a big fan of the procedure, you can always go for the cheaper yet less reliable clip-on alternative. But remember that no matter what option you choose, your veneers can end up lasting almost a lifetime with proper hygiene.