Dental veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures performed in the U.S. They can help conceal gaps between teeth, discoloration, chips, and other cosmetic flaws that can make a smile less than perfect.
If you’ve been considering receiving porcelain laminate veneers you no doubt have questions about them. So let’s delve right into exactly what veneers are and the answers to the most common questions patients have about them.
What are Porcelain Laminate Veneers?
A porcelain veneer is essentially a ceramic shell custom shaped to look like the outer layer of a tooth that can be bonded onto teeth. They can change the shape, color, or size of a tooth and look completely natural.
The veneer concept was conceived by pioneering Hollywood dentist Dr. Charles Pincus who would temporarily affix shells onto the teeth of film stars in the 1920s and ’30s to give them a better-looking smile. Veneers have since come a long way and are now made from porcelain or resin composite materials.
1. Do Veneers Hurt?
Receiving veneers on your teeth is no more uncomfortable than having a filling or other dental work done. Your dentist will inject a local anesthetic to numb the area and will remove a minimal amount of tooth enamel before affixing the veneer.
You may experience some tooth sensitivity after receiving veneers for a few days to up to a few weeks. In time, you may discover that veneers make your teeth less sensitive to consuming hot and cold foods. That’s because the porcelain makes it harder for extreme temperatures to penetrate the tooth’s enamel.
If you continue to experience pain several weeks after receiving a veneer you should contact your dentist right away, as it may indicate a problem with the veneer placement.
2. Can Veneers Break?
Patients with veneers should take care not to bite into anything hard such as ice or hard candy. Just as biting something hard can damage natural teeth, they can also break or damage veneers. Avoid biting your fingernails as well.
Like other dental work, porcelain laminate veneers don’t last forever. They usually function for about 10 to 15 years before they need to be replaced. However, dental technology and materials are always improving and it’s possible that in the future that the lifespan of veneers will get longer.
3. Does Insurance Cover Veneers?
Veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of one’s teeth, so they’re usually not covered by dental insurance. Your dentist may be able to offer you a payment plan so you don’t have to pay the entire bill all at once.
What About the Cost?
The cost of veneers varies depending upon how many teeth need to be treated and the materials used. Porcelain laminate veneers usually cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500 per tooth.
4. How Many Visits are Needed?
It usually takes about three visits to the dentist to receive veneers. The first appointment will be a consultation. The other two will require placement of the veneers and to make any adjustments.
5. Do Veneers Stain?
Because they are made out of porcelain and not natural tooth material, veneers do not stain quite like natural teeth can. After a few years, you may experience staining at the edges where the veneer ends and the natural tooth material begins. Your dentist may be able to remove the stains.
Keeping the consumption of certain stain-causing foods such as wine, coffee, and tea to a minimum can help keep your veneers bright.
Contact Us for Your Veneers Consultation
Now that you know a bit more about the benefits of veneers, perhaps you’re considering receiving them to improve your smile. If so, schedule an appointment with us for a consultation. We can tell you if veneers or another cosmetic dental procedure is right for you to keep your smile healthy and white.