Everything you wanted to know about veneers (but maybe didn’t know what to ask)

by Dr. Michael Furey • For many patients of Furey Dental Group, “dental veneers” is a mysterious term — so mysterious, in fact, it’s hard to know even which questions to ask! For this blog, I’ve put together a series of questions and answers about teeth veneers,based on what I’d want to know if I were a patient.

Q: What are dental veneers, and why are they used?
Dental veneers consist of thin layers of material, either porcelain or composite resin,
that are bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth. Many individuals with worn, dingy or
damaged teeth choose veneers to improve the appearance of their smile.

Q: Which type of dental veneer is the best?
In my opinion, the best type of veneer depends on the needs of each patient. Composite
resin veneers cost about half as much as porcelain veneers and can be placed in a single
visit. Porcelain veneers are more durable, and they reflect light more like natural teeth.
Within the porcelain category, there are several types of veneers, offering varying
degrees of durability and reflective qualities.

Q: What are the pros and cons of dental veneers?
Dental veneers offer the best way to correct aesthetic issues resulting from damaged or
defective tooth enamel. Veneers allow us to alter a number of factors that go into a smile,
such as color, size and shape. Dental veneers bond permanently to teeth, so they look
and feel natural, and they’re easy to maintain. Many types of veneers require little or no
preparation of the teeth.

At first glance, dental veneers may seem to be quite costly. However, when you consider
how durable they are, veneers turn out to be a pretty good value. Some people do not
achieve the natural results they expected with veneers because their dentist and/or lab
technician do not possess the highest level of skill and attention to detail.

Q: How long do dental veneers last?
With good care, porcelain veneers can last 20 to 30 years or more, while composite
veneers have a life expectancy of eight to 12 years. Veneer longevity tends to be reduced
among patients who engage in detrimental habits, such as clenching, grinding, chewing
on pencils or biting fingernails.

Q: What is involved with placing dental veneers?
At Furey Dental Group, we follow a meticulous, multi-step process that includes
a detailed analysis of your smile, a treatment mock-up, preparation of the teeth (if
required), impressions and bite records. With porcelain veneers, you’ll go home with
temporary, or provisional, veneers while the permanent veneers are being fabricated.
Finally, the permanent veneers are placed in your mouth for evaluation. If acceptable,
they’re bonded to your teeth. Composite veneers require only one treatment visit; you
leave with permanent veneers…no temporaries required.

Q: How do I care for my dental veneers?
You care for veneers just as you would for normal, healthy teeth: proper brushing and
flossing and regular dental checkups. If you clench or grind your teeth, you may need a
nighttime bite guard to help protect your veneers.

Q: Are there alternatives to dental veneers?
Yes. Alternatives include orthodontics (braces or Invisalign®), teeth whitening, composite
bonding, esthetic re-contouring or a combination of these. Some patients may be
interested in a new product called Snap-On Smile®, a one-piece set of acrylic veneers
that is snapped into place over your teeth and removed for cleaning. Snap-On Smile
is temporary in nature and is often used as a transition to a more extensive restoration.
However, it does provide an easy and immediate smile makeover.

To find out whether you may be a good candidate for dental veneers, call
Furey Dental Group at 651-490-9011, or click here to request a complimentary
consultation.

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