You’ve been considering veneers, but you’re not sure they’re the right choice. You’re not alone. More than 30% of Americans do not like how their teeth look. When whitening isn’t enough, there are gaps, chips or cracks are unattractive, or the alignment isn’t perfect after braces, veneers are a popular solution.But veneers are an investment, so you have to carefully consider the pros and cons. You also have to consider your habits and how well you’ll follow instructions when it comes to caring for your new veneers.Insurance doesn’t always cover the cost as they’re considered a cosmetic dental solution. How much do they cost? The ADA reports the cost ranges from $925 to $2,500 per tooth. If you were doing your four front teeth, that’s a possible cost of $10,000.Will you have to pay that much, not necessarily, as prices vary, but even if you’re on the lower end of that price scale, it’s still a considerable investment. Given the expensive nature, how long can people expect their veneers to last? It depends on the type of veneer and how well you care for them. Care for them well, and you could get upwards of 20 years from them.
What Is a Veneer?
A veneer is a thin shell that’s molded to match your existing teeth. It is adhered to the surface of your tooth and looks just like the rest of your teeth. That shell is made from one of two materials: resin or porcelain.You’ll go see your dentist for a consultation to determine if veneers are right for you. X-rays are taken and an exam is performed to make sure your tooth is healthy. If it’s decayed, veneers aren’t a good option.After the initial consultation, if you still want to go ahead with the veneers and the dentist believes you’re a good candidate, you’ll go for an appointment where some of the enamel is removed from the tooth. A mold of the tooth is taken and the veneer is made.At a third appointment, the veneer is affixed to your tooth. It may need to be adjusted to get the fit right. Once it is, the veneer is trimmed and the color is checked to make sure everything looks great.
The Type of Veneer Dictates Longevity
There are two types of veneers: porcelain or resin-composite. While resin-composite are less expensive, they may not last as long as porcelain.
Porcelain veneers are more expensive. They’re better at preventing stains and look natural, which makes them a popular option. They are more likely to chip or crack if you’re not careful, and they can’t be quickly mended. You’ll have to have new ones.With proper care, it’s possible that your porcelain veneers will last 10 to 15 years. Some patients are able to extend their life upwards of 20 years. But, that means avoiding eating harder objects like hard candies, ice cubes, corn nuts, and popcorn kernels. You also need to avoid nervous habits like chewing on pencils or pens and chewing fingernails.
Resin-composite veneers are less expensive and are quicker to make. They don’t look as natural as porcelain, but they’re very close. They can be fixed, which is another benefit. Some dentists are equipped to make them in the office during your dental visit, so fewer visits may be needed. If they chip or crack, it’s often possible to fix them rather than replace them.Even with the possibility of repairs, resin-composite veneers have an average lifespan of four to eight years, but it’s possible to have them last up to 10 years by avoiding hard, crunchy foods and biting on nails, pens, pencils, and other hard objects.
Take Care of Your New Veneers
With either type of veneer, you need to be careful with them. If you play sports, make sure you wear a mouthguard to protect your veneers. Talk to your dentist if you find yourself grinding your teeth when you’re sleeping or frustrated. Go for regular cleanings and brush and floss after meals.In addition to avoiding crunchy foods, limit sugary foods. They increase the risk of tooth decay, which impacts your chances of cavities and gum disease. If you do have a sweet treat, try to drink a full glass of water after you eat to rinse some of the sugar away.When you’re brushing your veneers, use a soft toothbrush. You might think hard bristles do a better job at removing plaque and food, but harder bristles can cause microscopic scratches. Avoid gritty toothpaste that is abrasive, when possible, ask your dentist for a recommendation. Charcoal toothpaste is popular, but it’s often very abrasive. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth can be gentler, but it’s not necessarily the case.Do you smoke? It’s time to stop. Smoking increases the risk of gum disease and many other chronic health conditions, but it also causes discoloration of the teeth.During a dental exam, your dentist will check that your veneers have slipped and created extra space between the veneer and gum. If your gums are receding at all, a veneer may fracture. At that point, a new veneer must be made and adhered to your tooth.Keep in mind that you may not be able to have another veneer. Veneers require some of the enamel to be removed in order for the veneer to bond to the remaining tooth surface. If there isn’t enough enamel left for a veneer replacement, a crown may become necessary.If you’re missing teeth, veneers aren’t an option, but dentures are. Dentures are designed to look just like your natural teeth. They can replace all of the teeth in your mouth or just a few that are missing. You could also look into dental implants that are as close to the real thing as possible.No matter which option is best, you need to talk to a dental professional for advice and pricing. Stop hiding your smile and experiencing poor self-esteem because you’re unhappy with your existing teeth. A dentist can go over your options and help you find the right solution for your needs.
Get an Expert Opinion
Before making any decisions, you need to talk to a dentist in your area. The price of veneers can vary from one region and dentist to another. Don’t rule them out based on average prices. You may find that they’re much more affordable in your area, especially if they help you feel more confident with the smile you’ve dreamed of.Jody Jones DDS is an expert in veneers. Give his office a call to schedule a consultation. You’ll learn more about the cost of veneers, the time frame, and whether you’re a good candidate. Schedule your consultation online or by phone and learn more about veneers from Dr. Jones.