Time to Talk
There are lots of pros and few cons to getting veneers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences. Before you start the process for veneers, your dentist should be engaging you in a conversation. Here are some things to talk about during your consultation:
- Cost—The average cost of a single veneer, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, is roughly $1,300. So, you should have a firm understanding of what your insurance will cover and whether or not your dentist will accept payments in the event you can’t cover the entirety of the bill.
- Type—Porcelain, composite, non-permanent … There are many types of veneers available. Make sure you understand the benefits of each.
- Time—Most veneers become part of your mouth permanently, but that doesn’t mean their integrity lasts forever. Know what can go wrong with a veneer and when, typically, that could happen.
- Eligibility—Most people can get veneers, but if you’ve had reconstructive surgery or plan to get plastic surgery, lip enhancement, and so on, your dentist should know. Your dentist may also need to take X-rays of your mouth to determine whether veneers are appropriate for you.
Time to Impress
Veneers are all about looking good for a long time, so the first part of the veneer process involves taking impressions of your full set of teeth. The mold of your mouth is sent to the lab to prepare a sample set of veneers. In order for that impression to be correct, your dentist will need to remove enamel from your damaged teeth. You’ll be given a shot of novocaine to numb any pain.
The injection is typically done above the gumline. Your dentist will remove about a half millimeter of enamel from your teeth, which is the same thickness as the veneer that will replace it. Sounds worse than it is.
At this time your dentist will also determine the shading your veneers will need so that they match the color of your healthy teeth.
Time to Place
After a week or two, your veneers should be back from the lab and ready for placement on your teeth. If you have a severe cosmetic issue as the reason for your veneers, a temporary set of veneers can be used as you wait for the permanent set.
The placement process is sometimes called “seating” the veneers and it starts with polishing your teeth. Now that the surface is clean and smooth, the bonding gel can be “etched” onto your teeth where it will sit a minute or less depending on the type of gel used. Your teeth are now ready to accept the veneers.
Once the veneers are placed, the first bonding gel is washed off, but another bonding agent is also used to strengthen the bond even more. Once that’s finished, your dentist will clean your teeth and examine his or her handiwork.
Time to Smile
After a week or so, you should come back in for a visit to make sure the veneers are comfortable and holding in place as expected.
Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?