If you’re a fan of English soccer, you might have witnessed the transformed smile of Jurgen Klopp a few years back, whose teeth went from yellow and crooked to a perfect dazzling white overnight. Or maybe you remember a young Tom Cruise’s gnarled fangs when he was climbing into his F-14 Tomcat, compared to the polished teeth that he has today.
Such rapid smile transformations are often achieved with veneers—a type of tooth remodelling that conceals and reshapes the visible surface of your teeth; the results of which drastically improve the shape, colour and alignment of your teeth and smile. In this article, we’ll be answering all of your burning questions about veneers—how they work, how they’re fitted, the different types, the benefits, and typical costs.
What are veneers? And how do they work?
Veneers are thin slivers of white material (most commonly composite resin or porcelain) that are bonded onto the surface of your teeth, to enhance the appearance of the teeth as a group. They’re added purely for aesthetic reasons, and can be used to hide individual teeth that are chipped or discoloured, or they can cover every visible tooth (most commonly the front 6-8 teeth in the upper jaw) to establish an entirely new smile and look. Porcelain veneers are more expensive (as they are custom made in a dental laboratory) and require some tooth reshaping prior to bonding onto the tooth. Composite-resin veneers are less costly; they don’t last as long as porcelain veneers but they can be fitted with minimal or no reshaping of the underlying tooth structure (as such they are reversible – meaning the veneers can be removed completely).
When installing single veneers, the material is usually customised to match the colour of the person’s adjacent teeth. When installing a full set of veneers, the overall colour can be chosen by the person receiving them; everyone wants ‘white teeth’ but it is advisable to not select a shade that is too bright. Asking your friends to put their sunglasses on every time you smile can become tedious!
What’s the difference between veneers, implants, and crowns?
Dental veneers cover the front (visible) surface of the teeth; crowns encase the entire ‘above gum’ portion of the teeth; implants are like the root portions of teeth and when combined with implant retained crowns or bridges can replace the entire tooth (root and crown).1 Veneers are typically used for most visible front teeth that can be seen when you smile; crowns are preferable for teeth under regular bite force (food-chewing back teeth like premolars and molars) due to their additional strength.
How are veneers fitted?
Firstly, the Specialist will assess your facial shape, tooth display when smiling, tooth shape, colour and alignment of teeth. Moulds of your teeth are simple but important means to establish the ideal length, size and arrangement for each veneer. This ‘diagnostic work-up’ becomes the prescription for the final veneers.
When porcelain veneers are planned the veneers are created in a dental laboratory (which can take a few weeks to produce). The finished veneers are then back to the Specialist for insertion.
To fit the porcelain veneers, a small portion of your tooth structure needs to be ground down, so that the veneers look their best. This means that once you decide to have veneers, you won’t be able to remove them at a later date (although you could have them altered).
When composite resin veneers are planned, the final veneers are fabricated in rooms and are fitted the same day. There is often no need to grind down the surface of the tooth to fit the veneers
The preparation work required for installing veneers can take some time, and may require local anaesthetic, but the procedure isn’t invasive, and usually produces minimal if any discomfort.
What are the benefits of veneers?
Happiness is a goal shared by the vast majority of humanity, and our non-verbal expression of happiness is the ‘smile’. If you’ve never been satisfied with the appearance of your smile, or feel embarrassed every time you show your teeth, then over time this experience can taint your feelings toward happy occasions. If you’re anxious about smiling, then veneers could improve both your smile and self-confidence allowing you to re-engage in social settings without hesitation.
For this reason, having veneers installed can do wonders for your sense of self-worth and well-being, which are important indicators of good mental health. When you’re confident, you’ll be more approachable, have better social interactions, and ultimately, a chance at having better relationships. And humans are ‘social animals’, good relationships are another major factor for our happiness and wellbeing.
Veneers resistant staining, which makes for easy maintenance of their original colour. In this respect, porcelain veneers are longer lasting than composite resin type veneers.
What are the downsides of veneers?
If you’re unhappy with the general appearance of your smile, veneers (rather than braces) might be a good option for you. The problem is, veneers can be expensive, and the cost varies depending on where you’re located. But when you consider the effect they can have on your confidence, the cost might be worth it. It’s also important to note that veneers need to be replaced roughly every 10 years, so you should factor in this cost when making a decision.
Some people experience tooth sensitivity when they have veneers fitted, especially for the few first days after the procedure. But this usually goes away quickly, so isn’t a major concern.
Perhaps the biggest downside to veneers (porcelain type only) is the fact that they’re irreversible. Your Specialist will need to change the structure of your teeth to position the veneers properly, and when your enamel is shaved off, it doesn’t grow back. But most people are happy with the new appearance of their teeth after having veneers fitted.
What is the typical cost of veneers?
The cost of veneers varies depending on the material, the number of individual veneers being installed, and the amount of preparation work required. A rough estimate for a single porcelain veneer is $1250.00, although it’s common for the price to decrease if multiple veneers are being fitted.
If you need more information or wish to book a consultation, then come and talk to the Smile Specialists at Dental Implant and Specialist Centre.
We have extensive experience, can provide detailed costings for treatment and discuss payment plan options.