Did you know that 48% of Americans name a smile as the most memorable part of a first impression?
When you’d like to make your smile a little more dazzling, the solution can be as simple as dental veneers.
Cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers can help to improve the appearance of your smile, boosting confidence and self-esteem.
We cover the costs, types, benefits, and procedure that you can expect when using veneers to improve the appearance of your front teeth.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells attached to the front of the teeth, covering them to alter their appearance. Veneers often are used to change the appearance of natural teeth that have been chipped, broken, or discolored.
This cosmetic procedure is typically permanent (unless you go with no-prep veneers). Unlike whitening or other ways to brighten and improve the look of your natural teeth, veneers require that your teeth be sanded down before application.
While many people get a set of 6-8 veneers around the front teeth, others may need only one or two, depending on the damage to the tooth. A veneer can improve the look of a smile and protect a tooth from more damage.
Types of Veneers for Teeth
There are several categories of veneers to choose in between when selecting the type of veneer that is right for your situation:
- Temporary veneers
- Composite resin veneers
- No-prep veneers
- Ceramic/porcelain veneers
Here are the materials, and purposes, of each variety of veneer.
1. Temporary Veneers
Temporary veneers are used as an interim measure in between preparing the teeth for veneers and adhering the permanent models. These models may feel a little thicker than the final veneers and less similar to tooth enamel.
When your new veneers get back from the lab, the thicker and rougher surface will be traded out for a more comfortable final product.
2. Composite Resin Veneers
Composite resin veneers are a good option for a slightly lower price point and typically only require one dental visit. The composite material is usually applied directly to the tooth and shaped on the spot in this dental procedure.
This option may be a good choice for a patient who wants veneers to cover a misshapen tooth or discoloration. Though they last a little less time than porcelain veneers, they also are a more affordable alternative.
3. No-Prep Veneers
These veneers, with popular brands like Lumineers and Durathins, are bonded to the teeth without needing to file or grind the enamel in most cases, preserving your tooth structure. They usually last between 5-7 years and can be removed (in some cases) with no permanent damage.
While no-prep veneers require less work to install and are typically less expensive than other types of veneers, they are also likely to break.
4. Ceramic/Porcelain Veneers
These thin porcelain veneers are the classic standard — not only for their stain resistance, but for their durable composition. However, they do involve shaving down more of the tooth enamel in order to place them correctly, doing irreversible damage to the natural tooth.
Who is a good candidate for porcelain veneers? A good candidate for porcelain veneers is someone who has more severe tooth damage or staining, or someone who grinds their teeth.
What are the benefits of porcelain veneers? Porcelain veneer benefits include stain resistance (from liquids like coffee or red wine), a low likelihood of chips or fractures, and improved tooth appearance.
Potential downsides to this type of veneer include a higher cost, several appointments to be placed, and more work to repair than other varieties.
How much do veneers cost?
Veneers cost between $250-$2,500 per tooth, determined by the type of veneer you choose, the prep work involved to place them, and the geographical location of the procedure.
Here are the typical costs for each option:
- Porcelain veneers: these range between $600 and $2,500 per tooth, averaging at $1,500 per porcelain veneer.
- Composite veneers: this variety costs anywhere from $250–$1,500 each.
- No-prep veneers: these range between $800 and $2,000 per tooth, depending on the brand.
Are veneers expensive? Veneers can seem expensive, depending on the material you choose. However, for many patients, being able to smile confidently is priceless.
Pros & Cons of Dental Veneers
As you can see, dental veneers are a commitment, and some options are a permanent decision that will change the amount of enamel in your natural tooth. What are the benefits and drawbacks of this procedure?
Pros of Dental Veneers
There are many upsides to a full set of dental veneers or even just a few to cover any issues in your smile. The pros of dental veneers include:
- A confidence boost
- Less stains
- A whiter smile
- Stronger teeth and safer enamel
- Altering the appearance of chipped, uneven, or poorly contoured teeth
The bottom line: Feeling proud of your teeth affects your behavior and self-confidence, and veneers are an investment into your smile.
Cons of Dental Veneers
- May increase tooth sensitivity in some cases
- Teeth with veneers can still experience decay
- Can fall out or chip off without proper care
- Not a good choice for those with existing decay or gum disease, weakened teeth, or very thin enamel
One other thing to note: People who grind their teeth or need orthodontic work may not be good candidates for veneers. It’s important to get to the root cause of your bruxism or fix misaligned teeth before this dental treatment.
Do veneers ruin your teeth? Veneers do not ruin your teeth and can improve their look, but they must reduce the amount of enamel in most cases before being applied.
These downsides may help educate you on whether veneers are a good choice for you.
Veneers Before & After Pictures
It’s easy to talk about the smile-altering power of veneers, but it’s easier to let the results speak for themselves.
How to Prepare for Your Appointment
So, you’ve decided to get veneers. How do you prepare for your appointment?
Scheduling and attending your consultation should answer many of your questions.
Your dentist will walk you through the conversation, asking how many veneers you’d like, what teeth you’d like them on, and ensuring your teeth are not crooked. They will likely take x-rays to check for gum issues or tooth decay before moving forward, as any existing issues must be fixed before veneers are placed.
Then, you’ll talk about the appearance of your new smile. It will be helpful to bring photos of teeth shapes and colors you’d like to emulate. Your dentist will also likely weigh in on if the teeth you want will be the right size and “look” for your face, using their experience and training.
If you can be extremely clear in your communication, you will have a far better likelihood of walking away with teeth you love.
Each set of veneers is tailored to the individual, and so is the prep work. However, it is always helpful to come in knowing what you want, no matter what sort of veneers you want.
Veneers Procedure: What to Expect
The process for veneers varies depending on the material you’ve chosen with your dentist, though the process should always start with a thorough teeth cleaning to remove any potential decay-causing bacteria.
Here’s what to expect when you get veneers:
- Your dentist will make an impression of your teeth.
- For no-prep and direct composite veneers, they will then shape the veneers from the impressions, and check them against your teeth to ensure a good fit.
- For indirect resin composite veneers and porcelain models, the dentist will send the impressions off to a lab and send you home with temporary veneers. You will return in 2-3 weeks when your final set comes in.
- Next, your dentist may lightly etch or score the enamel of your teeth to give the veneers a place to attach.
- Your dentist will use adhesive to bond the shells onto your teeth, and set them quickly using a special light.
- At the end of any veneer procedure, the dentist will check your bite and edges and remove extra adhesive before sending you home.
How long does it take to get veneers? It often takes just one visit to get no-prep and some composite veneers, while porcelain and indirect resin composites take 2-3 appointments.
Taking Care of Your Veneers
The longevity of your veneers is partially determined by how well you take care of them. In order to prevent decay under or around the veneer, ensure you are brushing at least twice and flossing at least once every day, as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Along with oral hygiene, it’s important to avoid the following in order to help your veneers last without cracking or chipping:
- Biting nails or other hard objects
- Tooth grinding
- Using the teeth to open packages
- Playing sports without a mouth guard
These will help you protect your new smile.
How long do veneers last?
Here’s how long each veneer may last, given proper care:
- Porcelain veneers can last between 10-20 years, according to research.
- Composite resin veneers are expected to last between 5-10 years on average.
- No prep veneers are likely to last 5-7 years.
As you can see, the cost of a veneer is tied to its lifespan. While porcelain veneers cost more upfront, you will very likely be replacing them less often.
How much is a full set of veneers? A full set of 6-8 veneers can run between $4,800 and $48,000, depending on the material chosen.
Alternatives to Veneers
Alternatives to dental veneers for restoring the look of your teeth include:
- Dental crowns
- Dental implants
- Teeth whitening
- Dental bonding
- Enameloplasty (tooth contouring)
While veneers may sound similar to crowns or implants, there are major differences. Implants replace a missing tooth entirely, and crowns encase the whole tooth surface and are used for large areas of tooth decay. On the other hand, veneers are only attached to the front of the tooth.
If you’re simply unhappy with the color of your teeth, you may also consider professional teeth whitening with a cosmetic dentist.
Another alternative is an enameloplasty, or tooth contouring, where the tooth’s appearance is altered by stripping very small amounts of enamel. This is only appropriate for minor changes.
Dental Veneers in New York, NY
If you want to take your smile, and your confidence up a notch, veneers can be a great option for you.
Here at Rejuvenation Dentistry, our expert team offers both Lumineers and porcelain veneers. Book a consultation at our East Hampton or Manhattan offices to invest into yourself.