There are many uses for cosmetic porcelain veneers. Veneers can whiten teeth more reliably than teeth whitening and provide long-lasting results.

They also are a great way to mask chips and massive gaps in the front teeth. Compared to getting crowns, veneers are less invasive.

If you’re considering getting porcelain veneers, but you are not quite certain about whether to move forward with them or not, here’s a quick porcelain veneers guide:

woman showing off her cute smile

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are basically teeth cover-ups, custom-fitted to your teeth.

They are thin shells of special materials bonded to your teeth using special dental cement. Veneers are made of either of these materials:

a) Composite resin material

b) Porcelain

Do Veneers Look Natural?

Veneers can look very natural. Modern ceramics perfectly mimic the luster of healthy tooth enamel. Plus, modern color matching can make your veneers so subtly different from your natural teeth that no one will notice.

More dramatic changes tend to look less natural. Usually, we can find a good compromise that gets the results you want while maintaining a natural appearance.

How natural veneers look also depends on the type of veneers. Composite veneers look less natural, as do inexpensive porcelain veneers. 

Am I a Candidate for Veneers?

Before Dr. Shahin Safarian or another Irresistible Smiles dentist decides that you are a good candidate for dental veneers, he/she checks mainly two things:

1) Your dental problem that needs veneers

2) The overall condition of your teeth

What Problems Can Dental Veneers Correct?

Veneers are versatile cosmetic dentistry treatments that can correct many common cosmetic complaints you might have about your smile, including:

  • Discolored teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Small teeth (such as retained baby teeth)
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Poorly shaped teeth (such as peg laterals)
  • Crooked teeth

These are general categories of conditions that veneers can fix. Your Irresistible Smiles dentist will determine whether veneers are appropriate for improving the appearance of your smile. 

What Conditions Might Keep Me from Getting Veneers?

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Teeth weakened by decay and gum disease could make you ineligible for veneers.

If your gum problems and tooth decay are mild and curable, your Irresistible Smiles dentist will provide treatment for these problems before proceeding with the veneer procedure.

In other cases where there is not much enamel left on the teeth or much of the teeth’s structure is compromised by too many fillings, veneers are out of the question.

Usually, you can achieve the same cosmetic results with a dental crown. Other times, the tooth might be too unhealthy and might need extraction and replacement. Cosmetic replacement options include a dental bridge and dental implants. These are fully fixed replacements that let you bite and chew normally as if you had a full set of natural teeth again.

Severely Crooked or Misaligned Teeth

Porcelain veneers can correct teeth that are slightly crooked, misaligned or rotated. This is like orthodontics but it happens so fast, it’s often called instant orthodontics.

However, when teeth are very crooked, it can be difficult to add veneers. Unless the tooth position is corrected, it is virtually impossible to attach the ceramic or cosmetic porcelain veneers to the teeth.

Habitual Clenching and Grinding

People who have a problem with grinding and/or clenching their teeth need to have this problem fixed or relieved (with mouth guards, like Irresistible Smiles’ Battleguard) before veneers are placed. Otherwise, the clenching may cause cracks and damage to the veneers.

How Are Veneers Placed?

Composite resin veneers can be created and attached all in a single session, but cosmetic porcelain veneers may need two or three sessions to be completed.

The dentist will remove about one-half of a millimeter from the tooth by buffing. We use local anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable during the process.

With composite veneers, the resin will be fitted right after buffing. With the ceramic (porcelain) kind, the dentist will have to make a mold from the teeth.

This mold will then be sent to the laboratory for fitting. This usually takes one to two days before the veneers get back to the dentist’s clinic.

At Irresistible Smiles, our in-house laboratory ensures that the whole process is completed more quickly.

It should not take more than two visits to complete; in some cases, it may even be sooner than that.

After fitting, shade matching will have to be done to make sure that the veneer does not look too artificial.

It is essential to achieve the right shade of composite or porcelain veneer as the procedure is usually irreversible.

When the right shade is achieved, the teeth are chemically treated to prepare them for bonding. The right bonding cement shade will be picked and then the veneers are attached.

What Is the Difference Between Veneers and Lumineers?

Lumineers are a brand of dental veneers made so thin and strong that they can be applied directly over your natural teeth without removing any tooth enamel. This can make your teeth look a little bulkier, but it retains your natural tooth enamel and makes the procedure reversible. Read more about the difference between veneers and lumineers in this blog.

Do Veneers Protect Your Teeth?

Yes and no. Veneers are stain-resistant and less vulnerable to acidic attack than your natural tooth enamel. They can help you maintain an attractive smile for many years.

However, a veneer doesn’t cover the entire tooth. The parts of your tooth that are exposed are still vulnerable. It’s important to keep taking care of your teeth after getting veneers. Brush, floss, and make regular dental visits.

If you are concerned about protecting your teeth, dental crowns are a better choice, though you will still need to take care of your teeth. 

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Dental veneers are a long-lasting cosmetic dentistry procedure. How long they last depends on how well you care for them and the type of veneer you choose. Composite veneers may last 3-5 years with good care.

Ceramic veneers can last much longer, perhaps 10-20 years with proper care. 

How Much Do Veneers Cost?

Porcelain and composite veneers vary in cost. The cost can vary based on:

  • Number of veneers
  • Style of veneers
  • Size of veneers

It’s hard to quote a final cost until we design your procedure. Insurance does not cover the cost of veneers. However, financing options are available.

To learn more about how much they cost, and for more information about veneers and other options, visit Irresistible Smiles in Chula Vista and San Diego today! Book a consultation here.