While we’d all probably love to have that perfect Hollywood smile our favorite on-screen celebrities have been blessed with, the reality is most people have some kind of dental imperfection they wish they could change.
Whether you have minor damage, like chips or cavities on your front teeth, or discoloration that goes beyond what basic whitening treatments can solve, veneers are a simple cosmetic treatment that can give you the beautiful smile you deserve.
Dr. Silvers will work with you to create a smile that looks both beautiful and natural. Through the color matching process, we can create veneers that match the shade of your other teeth—or that brighten your teeth to just the shade you want. This simple cosmetic procedure could be the upgrade you need to regain confidence in your smile.
Veneers are an extremely thin layer—usually made of ceramic—attached to the front side of teeth in a painless process that can often be completed in one dentist visit. Veneers can make teeth appear whiter and straighter, and they can even correct mild crowding and spacing. If your needs are more significant, it is possible to use a combination of veneers and orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign, in order to give your teeth the color, shape, and spacing you want.
What are veneers?
Veneers are very thin, tough coverings that are placed on the front of teeth to improve their appearance and to address a number of issues. They are most often used for cosmetic purposes—to correct discoloration, chips, or multiple cavities in the same front tooth. They can also be used to address small gaps between teeth or to straighten the appearance of slightly crooked teeth. Veneers can be made out of composite or ceramic material. Although Dr. Silvers usually recommends ceramic veneers, she will walk you through your options and help you make a decision based on what will look best and what your functional needs are.
How are veneers different from crowns?
Veneers are sometimes confused with dental crowns, but they each have their own advantages and are used in different situations. For one thing, veneers are more minimal than crowns. They only go on the front side of the tooth, whereas crowns go on the front and back sides of the tooth. Deciding between these two treatments is done on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the amount of tooth structure you have left on the back side of the tooth. If there are cavities or a significant amount of acid wear on the back of a tooth, for example, Dr. Silvers would probably suggest a crown. But if the tooth has only minor damage and is largely intact, a veneer might be a great choice.
How does color matching work?
We want your veneers to look great and will work with you to make sure they look completely natural. Finding the right color for your veneers is an important part of creating the perfect smile. We can use small tabs in a range of colors to find the shade that perfectly matches your natural teeth. However, many people get veneers because they want to brighten their teeth, so you might choose to go one or two shades brighter than your natural teeth. Whatever your goals, you’ll have lots of options to choose from in order to get the look you want. No matter which shade you choose, Dr. Silvers usually recommends that people do veneers in even numbers in order to keep a balanced, more natural look.
How does the process of getting veneers work?
Before getting veneers, schedule an evaluation to talk with your dentist about whether veneers are the best option for you and to develop a treatment plan. The exact process for getting veneers made and placed will depend on your personal needs. For many people, it is possible to get same-day veneers because Dr. Silver's office has an in-house CEREC machine that allows Dr. Silvers to make veneers while you wait. However, depending on your functional and aesthetic needs, it might make sense to have them fabricated at a specialized lab, which will add a little extra time to the process. For those getting same-day veneers, the process starts by numbing the area. Then Dr. Silvers will remove an ultra-thin layer—between .5 and 1 millimeter—of tooth structure from the front of the teeth that are being fitted with veneers. At this point, Dr. Silvers will scan your teeth with an intraoral scanner, then design and mill the veneers. Finally, they are bonded to the teeth with a very strong ceramic cement.
Are veneers painful?
Getting veneers is not painful, and there is no recovery time. Some people might experience mild cold sensitivity at first, and in certain cases, some may experience minor soreness at the gum line. But in general, the experience is no different from getting a basic filling.
Do veneers stop tooth decay?
Since veneers are essentially a cover for the tooth, some people think getting veneers means they’re no longer at risk of tooth decay or cavities. But this is not true. While a veneer can’t get a cavity, the tooth that it’s on still can, so it’s important to maintain proper dental hygiene even after getting veneers.
Are there limits to what I can eat with veneers?
Dr. Silvers does recommend that people with veneers use basic caution when they bite into things. But for the most part, you can still eat whatever you want. Putting sudden, strong force on veneers can occasionally cause them to break or chip, so it’s important not to chew ice or bite down on a fork. However, normal eating should not cause any problems.
Are veneers permanent?
Like anything, veneers can experience general wear and tear over time. The typical lifespan for veneers is about 10 to 15 years. While it is possible for them to fall off, chip, or crack, these situations are extremely rare. In order to extend the life of their veneers and to protect their investment, Dr. Silvers recommends that people use a night guard afterward, since this takes the pressure off them for one-third of the day.
Can veneers be whitened?
No, veneers cannot be whitened after they’re placed. If you are considering getting your teeth whitened, Dr. Silvers recommends doing that first. Once your teeth are a color you’re happy with, veneers will be created to match your new, brighter shade of teeth.
Are veneers covered by insurance?
Veneers are usually considered cosmetic treatment, so it’s rare for insurance to cover it. However, there are some cases where a portion of treatment might be covered. For example, if someone has a couple of teeth that are twisted or broken down and their treatment plan involves a combination of crowns and veneers, the crowns will often be covered.