If asked, most people would agree that they’d like to change something about their appearance. In most cases, it is something to do with their smile. Dental veneers were introduced in the 1920s by a Hollywood dentist as a way to temporarily improve the smiles of performers on stage. In the 1960s, technology advanced to where veneers could be permanently attached to teeth.
Today, dental veneers are one of the most popular ways to resolve these aesthetic issues because they can be used for a single tooth or for several. Most of the time, patients get veneers on the top 6 to 8 front teeth.
The dentists at 5th and Olive Dental in Downtown Seattle offer a variety of dental procedures, including cosmetic dentistry. While the veneers do not last a lifetime, this is a permanent, non-reversible procedure because some of the enamel is removed from the teeth.
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are attached to the teeth to resolve cosmetic issues including:
Veneers are typically made of porcelain or composite resin.
Teeth prepped for Veneers
Prior to getting dental veneers, it is important to practice proper oral hygiene and to make sure that your teeth are ready for the procedure. If you have any underlying dental concerns, those should be resolved prior to applying the veneers.
The process for getting porcelain veneers typically takes 2 to 3 visits over a 6-week period. The steps for getting dental veneers are:
The first step is the consultation appointment. At this time, the dentist will perform a comprehensive exam, including scans. In addition, you will discuss your current dental concerns as well as your expectations for treatment. You will also choose your tooth color and shape.
During the second visit, the dentist will administer local anesthesia or sedation, depending on your needs and treatment plan. Once the anesthesia takes effect, the dentist will reshape the teeth by removing some of the enamel and will create a mold of your teeth to send to the lab. You may be provided with a temporary veneer to wear while you wait.
During the final visit, the dentist will attach the veneers to your teeth, and polish/adjust them as needed. You may need one more visit to ensure that the veneers are placed properly.
The process for getting composite veneers is typically shorter and less complex. Once your teeth have been reshaped, the dentist will shape and harden the resin and bond it to your teeth. If the dentist uses CAD/CAM to create the veneers, the process may be completed in just one visit.
How long do Dental Veneers last?
On average, porcelain veneers last 10 to 15 years- but may last 20+ years with proper care and maintenance. This includes good oral hygiene habits and visiting the dentist every 6 months.
Composite resin veneers, on the other hand, only last about 5 to 7 years. In some cases, they may last up to 10 years, with proper care and maintenance.
5 Tips to Make Dental Veneers Last Long
While there is no way to make dental veneers last a lifetime, there are some things you can do to increase their life expectancy:
Don’t use teeth as tools
When you use your teeth as tools, you are putting unnatural pressure on them. This can cause the thin shells to crack, chip, or break, as well as damage the bond between the tooth and the veneer.
Practice proper oral hygiene
Dental health professionals recommend that you should brush at least twice daily and floss before bed. This will prevent plaque and tartar buildup, as well as prevent stains from developing on your veneers and natural teeth.
In addition, you should visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning- and to monitor your veneers for damage or excessive wear/tear.
Limit staining foods and beverages
While dental veneers are stain resistant, they are not 100% stain-proof. The best way to prevent stains from developing on your veneers is to avoid foods and beverages known to cause stains, such as red wine, dark sodas, berries, coffee, soy sauce, and tea. If you do consume them, make sure to at least rinse your mouth with water after.
Don’t chew on non-food items
Your teeth should only be used to bite and chew food. Therefore, you should avoid biting or chewing on non-food items such as fingernails, pens/pencils, or anything else. In addition to damaging dental veneers, this habit can cause TMD by putting undue stress on your temporomandibular joint.
Smoking can cause staining as well as damage the bond between your veneers and teeth. Additionally, smoking can ultimately cause damage to your natural teeth, gums, and jawbone.
Are Dental Veneers Worth it?
Dental veneers offer several benefits, including:
- Brighter/whiter teeth
- Gums tolerate porcelain well
- Natural appearance
- Porcelain is stain-resistant
Porcelain veneers can last 20 years or more with proper care and maintenance. This means that veneers are a great investment to improve the appearance of your teeth and therefore, your confidence.
If you are interested in learning more about dental veneers, schedule your consultation with the team at 5th and Olive Dental in Downtown Seattle. We are located at 509 Olive Way, Suite 1542. Our office hours are Tuesday through Thursday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Friday by appointment only.
Our dentists offer a variety of dental treatments from general and family dentistry to cosmetic procedures. We also offer sedation for patients who are anxious about visiting the dentist.
Dental Veneers FAQs
The professionals at 5th and Olive Dental understand that you may have questions regarding your dental treatment. We are happy to discuss these with you at any time. We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about dental veneers below:
What are Pop-on veneers?
Pop-on veneers are a brand name of temporary veneers. The kit is sent to your home, and you make the impression yourself and send it to the lab for the creation of your veneers. The veneers are removable and affordable.
What are clip-in veneers?
Clip-in veneers are custom-made, removable veneers designed to improve the appearance of your smile. Since they are removable, they are an excellent alternative for patients who do not want to commit to traditional dental veneers.
How much do veneers cost?
The cost of dental veneers depends on several factors:
- Type of veneer
- Brand of veneer offered by the dentist
- Experience and expertise of dentist
- Location of dental clinic
- How many veneers you are getting
On average, porcelain veneers range from about $925 to $2,500 per tooth and composite resin veneers range from about $400 to $2,000 per tooth. However, you may be able to save money by visiting a dental school where students perform the procedures under the direction of the faculty.
Porcelain veneers last an average of 10 to 15 years, while composite veneers last an average of 5 to 7 years. Therefore, porcelain veneers are the most cost-effective option.
Are veneers covered by insurance?
According to the American Dental Association, dental veneers are typically not covered by insurance because it is a cosmetic procedure.