Veneers are most often applied over the front-most teeth to correct discoloration or severely cracked, chipped, or crooked teeth. They are a desirable alternative to crowns that allow the patient to maintain more tooth structure. Smaller, more localized structural problems can often be treated using dental bonding procedures.
Veneers are made of porcelain, lumineer porcelain, or composite resins. Composite resins are applied directly to the teeth, and then shaped appropriately. Porcelain veneers are thin shells that must be constructed in a lab before being bonded over the teeth.
Composite veneers are typically less expensive than their porcelain counter-parts, but they have a slightly shorter life span. Composite resin restorations last between five and seven years, whereas porcelain veneers typically last well over 15 years.
Unlike bonding procedures used for small problems, most veneers require a tooth reduction prior to placement. This means that the thickness of your teeth must be slightly reduced to provide enough room for the veneer. Lumineer porcelain veneers are a new variety of veneers that require less or no tooth reduction. This variety of veneers is made from Cerinate porcelain, which is stronger than regular porcelain and so can maintain durability with minimal thickness.
Porcelain or Lumineer Porcelain Veneers
During your initial consultation, you should discuss options for trying out your veneers to ensure that you are happy with the color and fit. Many practitioners will allow you to try out your veneers by applying them to your teeth using temporary cement. This can help you to be sure that your desired results are achieved.
To begin fitting you with veneers, the enamel of the teeth will be slightly reduced (if necessary) using a buffing method. The teeth are very minimally reduced, usually between 0.5mm and 1.0mm. The dentist will then take an impression of the area, which will be sent to a dental laboratory to construct the veneers. You will be fitted with temporary veneers until your final restoration is completed. If there are any problems with the comfort or fit of the temporary restoration, the practitioner should be contacted to ensure that no similar problems exist with the final restoration.
Next, your specialist will carefully check the completed veneers for proper color matching and fit. If you choose to try the veneers before permanent application, they will bond them to your teeth with temporary cement that is the same color as the permanent cement.
During the final placement of the veneers, a substance will first be applied to the teeth that will strengthen the bond between the cement and the tooth. Next, the final veneers are carefully bonded to the teeth using a strong adherent. This bond is solidified by treating the area with a laser, or strong light.
Composite veneers can be applied during a single office visit. After careful discussion of desired results and options for treatment, the practitioner will help you choose the correct color for your veneer.
Next, the putty-like resin will be directly applied to your teeth and carefully sculpted into the desired shape. This type of veneer does not normally require tooth reduction prior to placement.
A bright light or laser is used to set the material and solidify the bond.
The cost of veneer procedures is dependent on the type of veneer, the amount of material needed to create the veneer, and the number of office visits required. Porcelain and Cerinate porcelain veneers must be constructed in a lab, which adds to their cost.
Composite resin veneers are typically the least expensive, ranging from $200-300 per tooth. Porcelain veneers are generally the most, costing between $900 and $2,500 per tooth. Lumineer veneers range from about $700 to $1,000 per tooth.
Despite their cost, veneers are a very popular choice in cosmetic dentistry because in addition to renovating your smile, they can protect against future staining. Though the procedure is not reversible, veneers require very little tooth preparation and the procedure is non-invasive and painless.