Regaining a Unique, Confident Smile
Your smile doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful and confident—in fact, a little imperfection often adds character to your smile, so much so that the best cosmetic dentists carefully design little imperfections into treatments like smile makeovers. Despite the unique qualities some imperfections can bring to your smile, others can make you self-conscious.
Thankfully, porcelain veneers are a cosmetic treatment that can help you regain confidence in your smile by addressing the features you’re self-conscious of without erasing the unique features that make it so distinctly yours. To help you learn more about this treatment and whether or not it’s right for you, we’ve prepared the answers to 10 common questions our patients ask us about veneers.
1. Will veneers look fake?
No, your veneers will look just like natural teeth. They’re made from porcelain, which matches the gloss and shade of your natural teeth perfectly, and each veneer is carefully designed specifically for you. You’ll work with Dr. Wohlers to choose the size and shape of your veneers, so even a single veneer will blend into your smile perfectly.
If you’re restoring your entire smile, Dr. Wohlers will help you choose veneers that will complement your facial features, helping your new smile to look even more natural. You’re able to decide if you’d like to design a completely new smile, keep elements of your old smile, or restore it to the way it was before your teeth became damaged or stained. If you’re a little unsure about how your veneers will look, try spending a little time Googling some of the biggest celebrities out there. Can you tell which ones have veneers? Your answer is almost certainly no—and no one will be able to identify your veneers, either.
2. How many veneers do I need?
Since each veneer is applied individually, the treatment is incredibly versatile. You can receive a single veneer to repair or restore one tooth, get an entire set to completely reimagine your smile, or anywhere in between. The exact number of veneers you need will depend upon your treatment needs and preferences.
3. What issues can veneers resolve?
Veneers can resolve a wide range of issues, including gap-toothed grins, slightly crooked or misshapen teeth, and teeth that have been cracked, chipped, slightly broken, worn down, or stained. They can even treat enamel erosion by acting as a shield for the damaged tooth, preventing future damage, and reducing or eliminating tooth sensitivity.
4. Can anyone get veneers?
While veneers are a great treatment option for almost everyone, there are a few factors you should consider before determining whether or not you’re a good candidate. The first factor is your current oral health. If your teeth and gums aren’t healthy due to cavities or gum disease, you’ll need to undergo treatment to resolve those issues before you start the process to get veneers.
The second involves your habits, not all of which are voluntary. If you tend to clench and grind your teeth, especially if you do it at night and therefore can’t drop the habit, veneers might not be right for you. Although they’re incredibly durable, clenching or grinding them together runs the risk of cracking or breaking your veneers. Wearing a mouth guard to sleep at night is a solution that can still make veneers a viable option for you.
Voluntary habits such as smoking or other forms of tobacco use can also make veneers an unwise choice. The porcelain is durable and stain-resistant, but tobacco can stain the composite used to attach the veneers to your teeth, causing them to appear yellow-rimmed, and it may even stain the veneers themselves over time. As a result, it’s wise to either drop the habit before you get your veneers or look into other treatment options.
5. What’s the process to get veneers like and how long will it take?
If you count your initial consultation with Dr. Wohlers, getting your veneers generally takes about three appointments over the course of several weeks. During your consultation, you’ll speak with Dr. Wohlers about your treatment goals and begin brainstorming what you want from your veneers. At a second appointment, Dr. Wohlers will numb your mouth and prepare your teeth for veneers by shaving a small layer of enamel from their surface. When she’s done, she’ll take an impression of your teeth and finalize the details about the shape, shade, and size of your veneers before sending it off to the lab to be made. It will take a few weeks before your permanent veneers are ready, so she’ll fit you with temporary veneers in the meantime. Once your veneers have arrived at our office, you’ll come in for your third and final appointment so that Dr. Wohlers can cement them in place.
6. What’s the recovery process like?
The procedure doesn’t involve intense drilling, so the recovery process is actually incredibly simple. Your teeth will likely be a little sore for a few days, though the soreness should fade quickly and you may hardly notice it if you only receive one or two veneers. Sticking to softer foods will help limit your discomfort and shorten its duration, and you can manage your pain with over-the-counter medications if you need to.
7. Are veneers really permanent?
Yes—once you get veneers, you will always need veneers on those teeth. During the placement process, Dr. Wohlers removes a small amount of enamel, which is necessary to give the veneers a rougher surface to adhere to while preventing your teeth from looking too thick. Due to the thinner layer of enamel, however, the teeth will always need to be protected by veneers.
8. How do I care for my veneers?
Veneers don’t require any special maintenance—they need the same exact care as your natural teeth. Still, you should commit yourself to a great oral hygiene routine before you decide to get veneers. This means you should be prepared to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, floss and use mouthwash at least once a day, and visit Dr. Wohlers for regular professional dental cleanings every six months.
Aside from this, porcelain veneers are incredibly durable and can be treated just like your natural teeth, but it’s important to remember that not even your natural teeth are designed to crack nuts, bite into ice, or open containers. As a result, you shouldn’t try to use your natural teeth or your veneers for these tasks. If you do, you risk damaging them, and that can quickly translate into an expensive trip to the emergency dentist.
9. How long will my veneers last?
Porcelain veneers can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, depending on how well you care for them. If you practice great oral hygiene, your veneers are much more likely to last around 15 years. Eventually, however, your veneers will need to be replaced, so it’s wise to keep this in mind when you’re deciding whether or not to receive the treatment.
10. Will my veneers be covered by insurance?
Since veneers are considered a strictly cosmetic dentistry treatment, they’re usually not covered by insurance. It’s wise to check with your insurance company first, especially if you’re getting veneers to restore your teeth after they’ve suffered decay or an injury, but there’s no guarantee that your dental insurance will cover any portion of the treatment. As a result, you should be prepared to pay for the full cost of your veneers. Many patients find the results worth it, but it’s certainly a factor you’ll want to take into account as you consider the treatment.
Even if you don’t love every aspect of your smile right now, it has a unique beauty that sets it apart from every other smile in the world. By improving the features you’re self-conscious of while still letting your smile’s unique beauty shine through, porcelain veneers can help you regain confidence in your smile.