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Unveiling Veneers: What They Are and How They Work

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As we begin to swap social interactions from online to in real life, now is a great time to tune up your smile! For some patients, veneers are a great option. Dr. Henry and Dr. Clayton both have a great deal of experience with this cosmetic procedure, and address many of our “Veneer FAQs” below.

What are veneers? And what are veneers made of?

Veneers are made of porcelain and are essentially a thin shell or covering placed on the front surface of a tooth (or teeth) to improve their appearance.

Do veneers discolor or stain like natural teeth?

Porcelain veneers do not stain like teeth do! While this does not mean you can cut back on normal at-home care like brushing and flossing, you can drink your coffee without worrying about staining.

How do I know if veneers are right for me?

Patients with significant stains on their teeth or spaces between them may consider veneers as a way to improve their smile. We see some patients who have had orthodontic work earlier in life but the spaces came back - either from a tooth size discrepancy with their bridges or simply a lapse in retainer use. Veneers provide a permanent solution, with the added benefit of stain resistance.

During the consultation process, our team will discuss your goals and expectations and then assess your current smile. From this point, we can typically write up a treatment plan at that time.

At Bellano, we are committed to putting our patients first. If veneers are not the right fit for you, or another treatment would be better, we will advise you accordingly. At times, Dr. Clayton and Dr. Henry may suggest Invisalign and cosmetic whitening to reach a patient’s smile goals.

On the other hand, if a patient’s teeth are small or misshapen, whitening and Invisalign may not be sufficient for the result they are hoping to achieve.

What conditions would make someone not a good candidate for veneers?

Pre-existing fillings, decay, or damage to the teeth could indicate the need for full crowns in the future. Other signs we look for include: periodontal disease, unhealthy gums, or a compromised foundation. In these cases, we would not recommend veneers.

What is the process of getting veneers?

If we don’t see any of the aforementioned warning signs, during the consultation process, we will do a digital scan of your teeth to send to the lab. This will create a simulation of what your new smile could look like. We also create a physical wax-up or model so you can see the smile in 3D. Your reaction at this point (and any questions you have) helps us understand whether we’re moving in the right direction or need to make tweaks. We also take some before photos to use as a reference throughout the next stages of the process.

Next, we reduce or “prep” the front of the tooth. This etching process creates a surface for the bonding agent to adhere to, and is a permanent procedure. After this point, you’re committed to finishing the process because your teeth will have been permanently shaped.

Once the tooth is prepped, we apply a composite resin bonding agent and then the veneer.

How do I care for my veneers?

Normal brushing and flossing still applies even when you have veneers on your teeth. Regular at-home care and dental cleaning appointments are usually sufficient for tending to your veneers. If your veneers are prepped and bonded well, you shouldn’t get decay underneath the veneer.

What can damage veneers?

Any trauma - such as a hard blow - that would have broken a natural tooth will likely damage your veneer as well. If one does break, the lab can usually match the new veneer to the surrounding teeth. Decay around the veneer can also cause it to fail, which is further reason to continue your regularly scheduled hygiene appointments.

Does insurance cover veneers?

Commercial insurance typically does not contribute to the cost of veneers, as it is deemed a cosmetic procedure.

The Bellano Savings Plan, however, does include a discount on elective procedures such as veneers, and can be a great option for you and your family. To learn more about the Bellano Savings Plan, click here.

Have more questions about veneers? Get in touch with our team!

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