Porcelain Veneers | The Pros, Cons and Costs
Most of us want a brilliant, sparkling smile. Dental veneers can help you achieve that. Whether you’re suffering from tooth discolouration, cracks or chips, veneers can help restore your teeth and help you smile with confidence.
If you’re considering dental veneers, it’s important to understand the benefits, drawbacks, costs and care.
What are Dental Veneers?
When you want to improve the appearance of your teeth, dental veneers are an ideal option. A veneer is a thin shell that’s bonded to your teeth. These tooth-coloured shells can be made from porcelain or a resin composite material, and they can be applied to one or more teeth at a time.
Although they can be applied to any tooth, veneers are most commonly applied to the front four, six or eight teeth.
Types of Veneers
There are two main types of veneers: traditional and no-prep. Just as the name suggests, no-prep veneers (like Lumineers) require less time to apply and are less invasive than traditional ones.
Traditional veneers do require some prep work. We may need to remove some of the tooth (past the enamel in some cases) or grind down the structure to fit the veneer. It’s important to remember that these veneers are permanent, and the procedure is irreversible. We use a local anesthetic during this procedure and offer sedation for those patient who would like some additional comfort.
No-prep veneers still require some preparation, but the process isn’t as intense. Local anesthetics may not be necessary. These veneers only affect the enamel, so there’s no need to remove other layers of the tooth.
While no-prep veneers do have advantages, traditional veneers offer the most natural appearance. No-prep veneers increase the size of the teeth, and you can’t adjust the position of the teeth.
What are the Pros and Cons of Veneers?
Like any other dental procedure, veneers have benefits and drawbacks that you need to consider.
Veneers offer many advantages, such as:
Veneers can greatly improve the look of your smile can be used to treat:
- Severe tooth discolouration that can’t be fixed with whitening
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Discolored fillings
- Gaps between teeth
- Teeth that are smaller than usual or unusually shaped
Traditional veneers can last more than a decade. So, they’re an excellent solution for patients wanting to improve the look of their smiles versus using just filling material which may last only 2-3 years.
Quick Procedure and Recovery
Compared to other dental procedures, veneers are quick to place and have a short recovery period.
While there are many advantages to veneers, there are also some disadvantages that you have to consider, such as:
If you choose traditional veneers, the preparation process is irreversible. You will need to continue replacing your veneers as necessary.
No-Prep Veneers Must be Replaced Often
No-prep veneers don’t require the same extensive preparation process as traditional veneers, but they need to be replaced more often.
How Much Do Dental Veneers Cost?
Veneers are generally considered a cosmetic procedure and are usually not covered by insurance. While costs can vary depending on your individual circumstances, but you can expect to spend the following on your veneers:
- Traditional veneers: $1000-$1400 per tooth
- No-prep veneers: $800-$1100 per tooth
While no-prep veneers have a lower upfront cost, they only last 5-7 years. Traditional veneers, on the other hand, can last up to 15 years with proper care. So, in the long run, it may be less expensive to go with traditional veneers.
Veneers Procedure – What to Expect
When you come into our office for your appointment, we will discuss your options and explain how the procedure will work. The process will depend on the type of veneers. The procedure for placing traditional veneers is very different from the placement of no-prep veneers.
Here’s what to expect:
Preparing for Your First Appointment
The first step is to come into our office for a preliminary appointment. During your visit, we will review your options and how many veneers will be placed.
We may also take X-rays to get a better picture of your oral health. The X-rays will help us find signs of gum disease, root canals, tooth decay, abscesses, extraction concerns or other issues that may need to be corrected. We may not recommend veneers if you have any of these conditions.
If your teeth aren’t properly aligned (e.g., uneven or crooked), we may recommend that you wear Invisalign or braces before we place the veneers.
Sizing and Impressions
When you come in for your next appointment, we will prepare your teeth and take an impression of your teeth. Then, the mold will be sent to a lab to create your veneers.
Placing the Veneers
It can take a few weeks for the veneers to come back from the lab. Once they arrive at our office, we will schedule an appointment to place them.
- First, we’ll take a look at the colour, fit and shape of the veneer to make sure they’re the ideal fit.
- Next, we will give your teeth a thorough cleaning. The cleaning is an important step because it ensures that no bacteria will be trapped under the veneers.
- After your cleaning, we use special solution on your teeth and veneers to enhance bonding
- The next step is to use dental cement to bond the veneer to your tooth.
- Finally, we will use an ultraviolet light to harden the cement.
In most cases, it takes no more than two hours to place the veneers. Once the cement has hardened, you will be ready to leave our office with your new smile.
Caring for Your Veneers
The great thing about veneers is that the recovery period is quick. Once the cement has hardened and the anesthetic wears off, you can eat and chew as normal.
The anesthetic will take a little time to wear off. As it does, make sure that you don’t chew your tongue or cheek if you do decide to eat.
For the first day or two, you may notice that the surface of your tooth is a little rough in some areas. In most cases, these rough spots are just leftover cement from the procedure, and they should smooth out in a few days. However, if they don’t, give us a call to make an appointment to smooth them out.
Veneers should be cared for just like your natural teeth, so make sure that you’re brushing at least twice a day, flossing at least once a day and returning for regular exams and cleanings.
Here are some other tips to extend the life of your veneers:
- Avoid chewing on hard objects, like your nails or pens.
- Use a retainer or splint if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night.
- Wear a mouth guard if you play sports.
- Avoid chewing with your front teeth whenever possible. Instead, use your back teeth to chew harder foods.
Veneers Vs. Crowns: What’s the Difference?
Many patients use the terms veneers and crowns interchangeably. While similar in some ways, crowns and veneers are two different dental solutions.
- Veneers are thin shells (typically made of porcelain and 1 mm thick) that are bonded to the front of the tooth.
- Crowns are a little thicker (about 2 mm) and are designed to encase the entire tooth. They can be made from a variety of materials, including all-metal and porcelain.
Crowns (with the exception of all-metal crowns) and veneers are both made to match the colour of your natural teeth.
Veneers and Crowns: Which One is Right for You?
We will review your options with you and help determine the right choice for your smile. However, there are still some factors that you should consider.
- If your tooth is generally healthy and you’re looking for cosmetic restoration, a veneer may be an excellent option for you.
- If you want to make minor adjustments to the shape of your smile, veneers may also work for you.
- If your tooth is decayed, cracked, has a root canal or has a large filling, a crown may be the better option.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Crowns
We previously discussed the pros and cons of veneers, but what about crowns? Like veneers, they have advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Crowns
- A semi-permanent solution – crowns don’t have to be removed for cleaning
- Natural appearance, especially when made from porcelain
- Look and feel like the rest of your teeth
- Some of the costs may be covered by dental insurance
- Easy to clean
Disadvantages of Crowns
- A large portion of your natural tooth will be removed to fit the crown
- Porcelain can easily become damaged or cracked over time
- Crowns can initially be extra-sensitive to hot and cold
- Some types of crowns are visible when you smile
Although crowns are a more practical solution in some cases, veneers do have advantages. If you want a brilliant, symmetrical smile, veneers are a great option. But if our dentist finds that you are not a good candidate for the procedure, we will find a solution that meets your dental smile needs.
Contact us today to book an appointment.