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A dental veneer is a tooth-colored shell that fits over the front of your tooth. The purpose of veneers is to change the shape, color, size, and appearance of natural teeth. They are sometimes referred to as “smile makeovers.”
Veneers are most commonly placed over front teeth, rather than back molars. The shells fix chipped teeth, different sized teeth, slightly crooked teeth, and tooth discoloration.
Inlays and onlays are generally the better options for restoring back teeth.
All types of veneers are permanent, which means they cannot be removed after placement. If you have cavities or gum disease, it is essential to seek restorative dental treatment rather than veneers.
Veneer shells are typically made of porcelain, but they can also be made out of composite resin. There are a few different types of veneers to choose from, including:
Porcelain is the most esthetic and least harmful material available for dental restorations. It is also the strongest and longest-lasting of all veneer materials.
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Porcelain laminate veneers are extremely biocompatible, which means they rarely injure the gum tissues and surrounding soft tissues in the mouth.
CEREC® (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) porcelain veneers are a new, popular option that provides same-day results. CEREC veneers use high-quality 3D software to design you a new, beautiful smile in minutes.
Composite veneers are made of composite resin, which is a mixture of inorganic and organic materials. The natural materials include the initiator, the resin, and the coupling agent. The primary inorganic material in composite resin is the filler.
The bonding material used to make composite resin veneers is the same as tooth-colored dental fillings. While strong, composite veneers are not as durable as porcelain.
Composite veneers are less expensive than porcelain veneers. However, they blend in fairly well with your natural tooth color, but are prone to stains over time and do not last as long.
Lumineers are a brand of veneers. They are made of ultra-thin porcelain laminate material and require minimal preparation before placement. Unlike porcelain veneers, less natural tooth structure is removed before placing a lumineer over your tooth enamel.
Lumineers are commonly used to treat discolored and irregularly shaped teeth. They are smooth to the touch, so they also look and feel natural.
Removable veneers are “snap-on” alternatives. They are a recent trend because they are easy to use and inexpensive. Unlike permanent veneers, such as composite resin and porcelain shells, you can take removable veneers out.
The process of getting a removable veneer is quick and simple. First, you place an order online. After the order is processed, you will receive the impression trays and soft dental putty in the mail. This putty molds comfortably to your teeth and holds the removable veneer trays in place.
Although convenient, removable veneers do not look as natural as permanent veneers. They are also more prone to plaque build-up and may harm your gum tissue over time with frequent wear. Dentists always recommend permanent veneers over temporary alternatives.
The cost of veneer treatment depends on a variety of factors, including:
On average, a single veneer can cost anywhere between $600 and $2,500. Insurance does not cover the cost of veneers because they are considered cosmetic (not medically necessary).
Goldstein, Ronald E., et al. Ronald E. Esthetics in Dentistry. Wiley Blackwell, 2018.
Phinney, Donna J., and Judy H. Halstead. “Delmar's Handbook of Essential Skills and Procedures for Chairside Dental Assisting.” Delmar/Thomson Learning, 2002.
“Removable Veneers.” Removable Veneers | Shiny Smile Veneers, www.shinysmileveneers.com/removable-veneers/.