Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain (porcelain veneers) or composite materials that are designed to improve the color, shape, and/or size of a person's teeth. Dental veneers a good solution for a person with discolored teeth, worn down teeth, broken or chipped teeth, gaps between teeth, or misaligned and uneven teeth. As such, dental veneers are used for cosmetic dentistry purposes, and a cosmetic dentistry specialist or a cosmetic dentist performs the veneer procedure.
Dental Veneers Procedure
The dental veneer procedure requires three dental visits: one for a consultation, and two additional procedures to make and apply the veneers.
The first step in obtaining veneers is planning with a dentist for the dental veneers. A person should communicate with is or her dentist what he or she would like to achieve cosmetically, such as whiter, straighter teeth. During such an appointment, a dentist examines a person's teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate. For example, a person who is seeking whiter teeth may not need veneers but in stead would benefit from teeth whitening.
General Dentists or cosmetic dentists may also take an x-ray and may also make impressions of a person's mouth and teeth.
After the initial consultation, a person will return to a dentist to make a mold or model of his or her teeth, which will be sent off to a dental laboratory to construct the veneers. In the lab, CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) technology constructs the veneers. After a week or two, a person will return to the dentist to have the veneers applied.
During the veneer application, a dentist may administer a local anesthesia to numb the mouth. The dentist temporarily places the veneer on the tooth to examine the color and fit. The dentist may trim the veneer to properly fit it to the teeth.
Once the veneer is a perfect fit for the tooth, the dentist cleans and polishes the teeth to prepare the tooth for the veneer. The dentist positions the veneer on the tooth and uses a light beam to activate the cementing chemicals on the veneer to harden on the tooth. The dentist repeats the process if more teeth require veneers.
After the veneer is applied, the dentist removes excess cement, evaluates a person's bite, and makes any necessary adjustments.
A person may require a follow up visit to the dentist for evaluation of his or her bite, and how the person is adjusting to the new veneers.
Dental Veneer Aftercare
Veneers are as natural as a person's real teeth and require only good oral hygiene including brush and flossing. Porcelain veneers resist stains well, although a person should avoid staining the veneers with coffee, tea, red wine etc. With good care, veneers last between 5 and 10 years. Veneers need to be replaced after this time.
Cost of Dental Veneers
The cost of dental veneers ranges from $500 to 1500 per tooth. The location where the procedure is performed, the dentist, and the extent of the procedure are all factors in the cost of dental veneers. The cost of dental veneers is generally not covered by dental insurance, but a person should check their dental policy or dental plan for specific details.
For more information about porcelain veneers, dental insurance, gum disease, TMJ, dry mouth syndrome, tooth decay, bad breath, dental plaque, oral cancer, and dentistry, visit Consumer Guide to Dentistry.
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