Want to Improve Your Smile? Questions You May Have About Veneers

If you have uneven, chipped, and/or discolored teeth, you may be interested in veneers. A veneer is a thin layer of composite or porcelain that can be manufactured to look like a tooth surface. Veneers are placed on the outer layers of your teeth to improve aesthetics. Here are some questions you may have about veneers.

Can Your Family Dentist Place Veneers?

Your family dentist can usually place veneers and provide other specialty services, like root canals, bridges, etc. However, if he or she cannot, then your dentist can recommend you to a cosmetic dentist or other specialists within your network. Keep in mind, however, that even if your family dentist is within your dental insurance network, you may still have to pay a good portion on your own since veneers are usually an elective cosmetic procedure.

Do You Need Veneers or Orthodontic Treatment?

If your teeth don't have any functional impairment, like uneven tooth wear, then you may want to proceed with veneers. The great advantage of veneers is that you'll only need one or two procedures to completely change your smile. However, if you have gaps or crooked teeth that are causing functional issues—such as pain, difficulty eating, difficulty speaking, etc., you may want to talk with your family dentist about orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment tends to take longer, but it may be worth it for people with functional impairments that could cause more issues down the road—like TMJ pain from bruxism.

Are Veneers the Same as Bonding?

Bonding materials are meant to correct small issues, like a chip of an incisal edge. Bonding material is only placed on a portion of your tooth. Veneers, on the other hand, cover the entire aspect of your tooth. While veneers may be more expensive than bonding, they are better at changing a tooth's shape, angle, spacing, or color.

How Much Enamel Is Removed for Veneers?

Your dentist will need to remove less than a millimeter of enamel so that the veneers have enough room to fit over your teeth. You may be sensitive to very hot or cold foods immediately after the procedure, but this should fade. If you already have sensitive teeth, then you may want to consider a different cosmetic procedure.

If you don't want enamel removed, there are certain brands of veneers that are made of thinner materials and don't require the prep like traditional veneers. The downside of thinner veneers is that they don't last as long and cannot correct more severe misalignments or discolorations.

Reach out to a family dentist to learn more.