Cosmetic Veneers

What is a Dental Veneer?

Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.
Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.

What are the reasons for dental veneers?

Regardless of what causes unattractive teeth, dental veneers may solve most or even all of your cosmetic dental issues, including:

  • Worn enamel: Over time, the thin, hard translucent substance covering your teeth (enamel) may become worn, dulled and discolored. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or result from a genetic predisposition. However, it often results from consuming soft drinks, tea or coffee; smoking; using certain medications, etc.

  • Wear and tear: Teeth naturally wear down as people age. Aged teeth are more likely to have chips, cracks or a generally uneven appearance.

  • Genetics: Certain people are born with abnormal spacing between their teeth that widens with age.

  • Uneven teeth: Uneven teeth can result from tooth grinding or general wear and tear.

What is the Procedure for Getting a Dental Veneer?

Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.

  • Diagnosis and treatment planning: During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.

  • Preparation: To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 1-2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. For very unsightly teeth, temporary dental veneers can be placed for an additional cost.

  • Bonding: Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. He or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit; the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched -- which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly position on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer's placement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need a veneer or a crown?

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Determining if a veneer is suitable or a full-coverage crown is required depends on the extent of the tooth's defects and the remaining amount of healthy tooth structure. For teeth with imperfections that cannot be remedied with a teeth whitening procedure, dental veneers often provide the desired cosmetic improvements. However, a significantly undersized, misshapen, chipped, or darkly stained tooth usually requires a full coverage crown.

Do veneers look natural?

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Porcelain veneers are fabricated from the highest grade of dental ceramics, which reflect light in much the same way as the enamel of natural teeth. In addition to this feature, dental porcelain is resistant to stains and discolorations, keeping your smile white and vibrant for years to come.

How long do dental veneers last?

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Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin customized facings that become strong and durable once bonded to the underlying teeth. With proper hygiene and routine dental care, veneers provide a cosmetic solution that not only looks and feels completely natural but is also long lasting.

However, just as harmful oral habits can affect your natural teeth, they can also cause damage to your veneers. To prevent chipping, cracking, or dislodging a veneer, avoid nail biting, chewing on hard candies, ice, pens, or pencils, and opening bottles or other objects with your teeth. Also, remember to protect your smile on the playing field by wearing a properly fitted sports mouthguard.

Tooth grinding or bruxism is another important consideration in care. If you clench or grind your teeth, you may need to wear a night guard to help protect your new smile or discuss other options with our office.

How many veneers will I need?

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As versatile as they are beautiful, dental veneers can be applied to a single tooth in need of cosmetic improvement or multiple front teeth to dramatically improve the look of your smile. Whatever the case may be, dental veneers provide highly satisfying results to create a smile; you'll feel confident sharing with the world.

Can veneers address more than one cosmetic problem?

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Among the many benefits offered by dental veneers is their ability to mask a range of imperfections at once. In addition to covering stains or discolorations on the front surface of a tooth, the size and shape of a veneer can also be customize to improve the tooth's contours and dimensions. At the same time veneers create a whiter and more vibrant smile; they can also lengthen or widen a tooth, close minor gaps, and address other minor alignment issues.

Are there different types of veneers?

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The two most common types of veneers are porcelain veneers, also known as porcelain laminates, and composite veneers. Although porcelain veneers are the most commonly offered option in care, composite veneers fabricated directly on the tooth can also achieve excellent results. You may have also heard the term no-prep veneer. It refers to a type of porcelain veneer that requires little to no preparation of the underlying dental enamel. At your consultation visit, we'll discuss your best options in care.

With dental veneers, can I clean my teeth as before?

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Once they're in place, your veneers are also easy to care for and maintain. Simply by brushing, flossing, and visiting our office for periodic checkups, you can successfully protect and preserve your new and beautiful smile.

How much do dental veneers cost?

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Although certain procedures that are considered cosmetic may not be covered by dental insurance, veneers remain a worthwhile investment in your smile. Based on the unique considerations of each case, we develop treatment plans that consider specific dental needs, cosmetic goals, and budget. Our experienced and friendly office staff can address all your insurance questions and review various payment and financing options.

Why choose the office of Urban Smiles Dental?

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At the office of Urban Smiles Dental, we value patient input and pay close attention to your treatment goals, concerns, and expectations in care. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, we recognize that every smile is unique and never take a “one size fits all” approach to care. We utilize the most advanced diagnostic technology and treatment methods to assess your smile and to design your porcelain veneers for a precise fit and optimal aesthetics.

As experienced providers of care, we provide highly personalized treatment, combining state-of-the-art technology with an artistic touch to produce long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing results of care.

About Us

Our goal is to help every patient experience the benefits of good oral health and a beautiful smile. We value the trust you have placed in our office and strive to provide solutions that meet your dental needs and expectations of care.

Questions?