Dental Veneer FAQs
Dental veneers are a dental treatment used to improve your smile. While used primarily for cosmetic purposes to correct aesthetic flaws like crooked, chipped, or stained teeth, dental veneers can, on occasion, be used as a restoration.
Dental veneers are applied directly to the surface of the tooth. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain bonded to the teeth, while composite resin is applied one layer at a time. Both types of veneers require a small amount of enamel to be removed from the tooth—or teeth—being treated, making dental veneers a permanent procedure. Removing about a half a millimeter of enamel ensures the veneers fit seamlessly and securely onto the tooth and blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
Dr. Kristen Campbell and Dr. Donna Sparks of Norman Smile Center have more than 30 years of combined experience providing outstanding dental services like dental veneers to the Norman community. They lead an all-woman team of professional dental hygienists, assistants, and staff, all of whom are committed to a compassionate, attentive approach that provides patients with the care and respect they deserve.
Are there different types of dental veneers?
There are several different types of veneers, available in a variety of materials. The doctors at Norman Smile Center can help you determine which veneers are right for you.
Porcelain veneers are thin custom-made “shells” that are bonded to your teeth and can correct a broad array of imperfections and irregularities. They require some of the enamel to be removed from your teeth in order to adhere properly, and you’ll need two appointments—one to create an impression and one to place the veneers. Porcelain veneers are more expensive, but they are stronger, more durable, and more resistant to staining than other types of materials.
Composite veneers are made of the same type of material used for dental bonding—composite resin—and are ideal for correcting mild cosmetic problems. It is applied to the tooth one layer at a time. Composite veneers require less enamel to be removed and can often be placed in one visit, but they are more prone to damage and do not last as long as porcelain veneers.
No-prep veneers are custom-made like traditional porcelain veneers, but require slightly less enamel to be removed before placement.
Removable veneers—also commonly called snap-on or pop-on veneers—work similarly to a retainer. They cover your teeth while in, but can also be removed. Snap-on veneers are not recommended, because they can impede your speech and eating and could cause damage to your natural teeth.
Who is a good candidate for dental veneers?
Good candidates for dental veneers include people who have:
- Severely stained teeth, or mild to moderate staining that doesn’t respond to whitening products
- Minor cosmetic problems, like misshapen, cracked, or chipped teeth
- A small gap between teeth or teeth that are uneven
- Teeth that have become discolored, such as after a root canal
- Several cosmetic problems that can all be fixed with veneers
In general, you should have good overall oral health and plenty of existing enamel to be a good candidate for dental veneers.
Who is not a good candidate for dental veneers?
There are several situations in which your dentist may advise against veneers, such as if you:
- Do not have enough tooth enamel. Because the dentist must remove a thin layer of enamel before adhering the veneers to your teeth, you must have enough even after the procedure to maintain the strength and health of your teeth.
- Clench or grind your teeth. Dental veneers are made of very thin porcelain that can chip or break easily under the pressure of clenching and grinding, or even as the result of habits like biting your nails or crunching ice.
- Have untreated cavities or gingivitis. Veneers require healthy gums and teeth, so you’ll need to have any pre-existing oral conditions treated before being considered for veneers.
- Have severely misaligned teeth. While veneers can help create a straighter smile, they cannot correct severe misalignment or bite issues. You may need orthodontic treatment before being considered a candidate for veneers.
Even if you aren’t a good candidate for dental veneers, Norman Smile Center offers a variety of restorative, preventative, and cosmetic services like crowns, bonding, and bridges to help you achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you’ve always wanted. From gingivitis and periodontal therapy to composite fillings, Norman Smile Center has you covered.
What is the procedure for getting dental veneers?
Before getting dental veneers, you’ll need an initial consultation with your dentist. During this appointment, your dentist will assess your oral health, including the quantity and quality of your tooth enamel and whether or not you have any conditions that need treatment first, such as a cavity, gingivitis, or even jaw misalignment.
Once your dentist determines you are a good candidate for veneers, they will discuss your options for veneers, including what type of material and shade and how many you need or want placed. Then, your teeth will be prepped for an impression.
In order to properly place veneers, some of your enamel must be removed, so the dentist will trim approximately half a millimeter of enamel off the teeth to be treated before making the impression with a digital scanner. The impression will be sent to a lab where your custom veneers will be made in about 1 to 2 weeks.
When your veneers are ready, you’ll be scheduled for a placement appointment. During the placement appointment, your dentist will make sure that the new veneers fit your teeth appropriately and blend in naturally with your other teeth. You’ll receive a thorough cleaning to make sure no bacteria or tartar are trapped under the veneers. The veneers will be applied to the teeth with a dental cement that will be hardened with a UV light.
Is there any recovery time after placing dental veneers?
After the procedure, there is no recovery time. You can return to normal activities right after your appointment, including eating and drinking.
How long does it take to place veneers?
Once the impression has been made and your veneers are ready, the veneers can usually be placed in a single appointment. The average appointment to place veneers takes about 2 hours, but the duration of your appointment may vary depending on the complexity of your case.
How many veneers will I get?
Most people get between 4 and 8 veneers for a more seamless appearance, ensuring the treated teeth blend in with each other and the adjacent natural teeth. However, before getting veneers, you and your dentist will determine how many you will need and where they will be placed.
How do I take care of my veneers?
Veneers are durable and can last for 10-15 years or more with proper care. The best way to maintain your veneers is to care for them the same as you do your natural teeth. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, be sure to visit the dentist every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning. Not only will this help preserve the look of your veneers, but it will also give your dentist a chance to check for any damage in the veneer material as well as any cavities or decay that might be developing in the teeth or tooth roots under the veneers.
To protect your veneers, you should also avoid biting directly into very crunchy or hard foods and try to limit the dark-colored foods and beverages you consume, since these can stain the veneers.
Are there any risks or side effects associated with dental veneers?
While there are no significant risks or side effects to dental veneers, there are some disadvantages. For example, dental veneers require the removal of some of your natural enamel, and most types of veneers are not reversible. While rare, veneers can fall off or become dislodged or damaged, and they are considered cosmetic, so they’re unlikely to be covered by your insurance.
For some people, veneers can make their teeth more sensitive to heat or cold, but this can often be treated with sensitivity toothpaste and may subside over time.
Are there any potential complications with dental veneers?
Over time, veneers can start to fade, but avoid trying to brighten them with whitening treatment or strips. If you have noticed a change in the color of your veneers, your dentist can polish them to remove any stains or discolorations.
Veneers can also be susceptible to staining from dark-colored foods or beverages like red wine, coffee, and berries, so limit how much of them you consume and be sure to maintain good oral hygiene.
Veneers do not cause any damage to your teeth, but without proper oral care and hygiene, it is possible for the natural tooth structure underneath the veneer to develop decay. Be sure to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist every 6 months for a check up.
How much do veneers cost?
The cost of veneers can vary widely, ranging from several hundred dollars to more than $2,000 per tooth, and every situation is unique.
Three factors that can affect how much your veneers will cost include:
- Type of material. Although popular and more durable, porcelain is more expensive than composite resin, and porcelain veneers typically require two appointments—one to make the impression and one to place the custom-made veneers. Composite resin veneers can be placed in a single appointment, but also may require two appointments.
- Number of teeth. To reduce the cost of your procedure, consider only using veneers on teeth with visible damage, as opposed to all visible teeth
- Any preliminary treatment you’ll need. If you have good oral health, you may only need a good cleaning before placing veneers. If you have decay, gingivitis, or jaw misalignment, however, you’ll likely need to have it treated before getting veneers.
Will insurance cover dental veneers?
Because they are considered a cosmetic procedure, dental veneers are not typically covered by insurance. However, if your veneers are being used as a restorative treatment to fix a chipped or broken tooth, or to protect your teeth from erosion because you have acid reflux, your insurance may cover at least a part of the cost.
How long do dental veneers last?
All veneers will need to be replaced eventually, but the lifespan of your dental veneers will depend on factors like the type of material and how well you care for them. Composite veneers, which are less durable and more prone to staining, usually need to be replaced after around 4 or 8 years, while porcelain veneers can last from 10-12 years.
Dental veneers need to be replaced if and when the veneers:
- Chip or break as the material weakens with daily use
- Break from changes in the bite caused by decay, erosion, or tooth loss
Veneers also need to be replaced if there is gum recession, exposing a gap between the veneer and root of the tooth.
How do I choose the right dentist for my veneers?
Choosing the right dentist for your veneers is important to making sure you have a safe, successful experience with the best results possible. The enamel removal required for veneers is permanent, so choosing a qualified and experienced professional will mean more than just a straight smile–it will mean a smile that stays healthy for years to come!
When looking for a dentist for your dental veneers, check for their:
- Before and after pictures. Every cosmetic dentist should offer a “portfolio” of their work, so you can see what kinds of smiles they’ve fixed in the past.
- Credentials. Look for a dentist with a degree–like a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)–from an accredited institution, as well as membership in or certifications from trusted organizations like the American Dental Association.
- Experience. In addition to several years of experience performing dental veneer procedures, look for a dentist with extensive training and experience in other areas of dentistry, including aesthetic dentistry or general dentistry. A wide range of strengths and capabilities can help give your dentist a broader, more comprehensive view of your oral health and facial aesthetics for the best results possible.
- Reviews and testimonials. Look for satisfied patients who love to rave about their new smile. Also look for reviews on the experience–was the dentist professional, patient, and focused on making their patients comfortable and happy?
When you think you’ve found a good option, go ahead and schedule an appointment to meet the doctor. Scheduling a consultation with a dentist about veneers doesn’t commit you to the procedure, but it does give you a great opportunity to meet with the doctor face-to-face and get straightforward answers to your questions.
Dental Veneers from Norman Smile Center
When it comes to dental veneers, you don’t just want a beautiful smile; you want a strong, healthy smile that will last you a lifetime. At Norman Smile Center, we can help make your best feature your favorite one, using the latest in precision dentistry, digital imaging, and innovative treatment solutions to create a smile you’re proud to show off. Schedule a consultation today to find out if dental veneers are right for you and discover more about our comprehensive dental services for patients of all ages.