Dental veneers can be an option for anyone who has concerns about the aesthetic appearance of their teeth or smile.
In the right circumstances, they can make a drastic improvement to the overall appearance of a person’s teeth and, in the process, can also enhance their self-esteem.
Dental veneers may not always be the best option, and sometimes it may require a combination of different treatments which may include veneers, to achieve the desired result.
In this post, we discuss what veneers are and when they might be the right option.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are a bit like the teeth’s equivalent of false nails. They are thin ‘covers’ made from either porcelain or composite material placed on top of the natural, existing tooth or teeth and are designed to be more aesthetically pleasing (though with false nails this might be subjective!).
A key difference, however, is that veneers are likely to have a greater degree of permanence than false nails. They also impact a part of the body where greater care is required – unlike nails, teeth are not continually regrowing.
Dental veneers can change the shape, size, and shade of teeth, filling gaps when orthodontics may not be an option or restoring the shape and color of a chipped tooth.
Porcelain v Composite Veneers: What’s The Difference?
Anyone considering veneers for their teeth has a further decision to make – porcelain or composite.
Both types of veneers are long-lasting, though porcelain can have the advantage here as they are more durable, typically lasting for around 15 years as opposed to an average of 7 or 8 years for composites.
However, if a porcelain veneer is damaged, for instance, chipped, then it usually has to be replaced in its entirety. A minor chip or similar on a composite veneer can be easily remedied by a dentist in a single visit.
This is because the process of each treatment varies.
Think of composite veneers as the “shellac” or “gel” equivalent of nails – they are sculpted directly on to the teeth in one appointment.
Porcelain veneers are made from an impression of the tooth/teeth and require several separate appointments.
During your first appointment for porcelain veneers, you will have impressions taken of your teeth so that the veneers can be made to exact specifications in an off-site lab, you will then return to have them fitted.
The “sculpting” of composite veneers involves no change to the natural teeth on which they are placed, whereas porcelain veneers usually involve some minor preparation of your teeth before they are fitted (normally a thin layer of enamel has to be removed from the teeth first).
Theoretically, therefore, composite veneers can be removed with the patient reverting to the appearance of the teeth as they first were because the existing enamel remains intact.
Both options look highly realistic, porcelain veneers are less prone to staining, though modern composite options are also easy to clean so this is less of a determining factor than was once the case.
Price is a consideration – composite veneers are considerably less expensive than porcelain although both options do mean that you may require dentistry in the future to keep them intact.
The Advantages of Dental Veneers
Veneers might not be for everyone but they do have a number of advantages.
They can whiten a smile almost instantaneously and the whitening results normally last longer than the whitening of natural teeth as veneers are largely stain-resistant.
Minor cosmetic issues can also be addressed with veneers, for instance, cracks or chips to the teeth. In some cases, veneers might also be able to reduce the appearance of crooked or gapped teeth.
With crooked or gapped teeth your bite needs to be considered, an experienced dentist will suggest the best approach, often involving an orthodontist.
A further advantage comes in treating worn enamel on your teeth. Enamel can be eroded over time and does not regenerate, lost enamel is lost for good. Veneers can help in protecting your teeth from further damage.
Things to consider with veneers
While veneers have a number of advantages, they are not a treatment recommended to all. Veneers do not rectify existing or underlying dental problems.
Having porcelain veneers fitted is also an irreversible treatment that will require future dentistry to keep them maintained.
Veneers are also not indestructible, it is possible to chip and damage them just as you would a natural tooth. However, good care veneers can last for many years.
Veneers vs Other Teeth Whitening Methods and Orthodontic Options
It is impossible to determine whether veneers are the most suitable solution for any prospective patient’s dental desires without a proper examination of their teeth and oral health.
The best advice is to see a dentist to discuss your concerns regarding your teeth and what you hope to achieve.
Following thorough consideration for your health, they will discuss all your possible treatment options and work with you to achieve your best smile.
Why consider Lancaster Dental in Texas for Veneers?
We’ll let our patients speak for us there, our most recent feedback from a patient:
“I am really happy with the treatment I received at Lancaster Dental and I am so pleased with the results. Everything was explained to me in a calm manner and I felt completely comfortable. The results gave me exactly what I wanted and asked for.”
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions, so get an appointment.