Are you a good candidate for dental veneers?


Dental veneers are not appropriate for everyone or every tooth. It is important to get a qualified, professional evaluation as the process is not reversible. To apply the veneers a layer of enamel must be to achieve your desired result, it cannot be put back at a later time. Only an examination by your dentist can determine whether dental veneers are an appropriate choice for your mouth and for obtaining the results you want.

Some of the situations where certain teeth or people are not good candidates for dental veneers include:

  • Unhealthy teeth. Dental decay and active gum disease must be treated prior to fabricating and bonding dental veneers.
  • Weakened teeth. If a significant amount of tooth structure is missing or has been replaced by a large filling the teeth will not be strong enough to function with a dental veneer.
  • Teeth with an inadequate amount of enamel present. Dental veneers are more successfully bonded onto tooth enamel.
  • People who habitually clench or grind on their teeth. Habitual clenching and grinding of the teeth can easily chip or break dental veneers. Dental nightguards may be a solution for this in some cases.
  • Persons without a stable bite.
  • Very poorly positioned teeth or misaligned teeth. Orthodontic treatment may be required to achieve the desired result.
What is Involved in Obtaining Porcelain Veneers?

Usually two visits are required, and the first visit should take between one to two hours. During this visit:

  • Your teeth are examined, your desires and expectations are discussed and your color shades are selected. It is critical that you take an active role in this “smile design” process. The size and shape of your teeth will be discussed. Also the corrective limitations of porcelain veneers will be discussed.
  • Your teeth are prepared for porcelain veneers by trimming the enamel from the front and biting edge of your teeth to accommodate the added thickness of the veneers, so they can fit over your teeth without added bulk. Typically 0.5 – 0.7 millimeter of enamel will be removed.
  • An impression will be taken to make an exact replica of your teeth. This impression will be used to make a model, for a custom-fit of the veneers.
  • Temporary veneers may or may not be placed upon your teeth, depending upon the amount of tooth structure removed and kind of changes being made.

The second visit may also take between one to two hours. During this visit:

  • Temporary veneers, if present, will be removed.
  • The fit of the porcelain veneers will be evaluated by the doctor and then by you. This is a time for you to check the shape and color, fit and feel of the veneers to see if they meet your expectations before they are bonded to your teeth. This is the best time to make any changes you want, before the veneers are bonded to your teeth. Once porcelain veneers are bonded, it is best not to adjust them.
  • Once you approve of your veneers, your teeth will be cleaned with a mild acidic solution. A tooth-colored, bonding adhesive is applied to the teeth and veneers. They are then dried and hardened (bonded) to your teeth with a curing light .
  • Once they are bonded any excess cement will be removed, your teeth will be flossed and your veneers will be polished.
Are There Alternatives to Dental Veneers?

Yes, alternatives to veneers include porcelain bonds and crowns. Veneers are often an intermediate option. Veneers may be best suited for individuals who want to change the shape of their teeth more than just a little bit, as is done with bonding, but not enough to require a crown.

How Much Do Veneers Cost?

Costs of veneers vary depending on what part of the country you live in and on the extent of your procedure. Generally, veneers range in cost from $500 to $1,300 per tooth. The cost of veneers is not generally covered by insurance. To be certain, check with your specific dental insurance company.

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