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A dental veneer is a cosmetic product often prescribed by a dentist to improve the appearance of teeth. Dental veneers may accompany other treatments, like crowns, for problems like damaged or broken teeth. Read ahead to learn about what dental veneers are, why you might benefit from getting dental veneers, and finding affordable options.
>A dental veneer is a thin, porcelain shell made to mimic the shape of your teeth. Sometimes also called laminates, these veneers are bonded onto the top of your real teeth to improve appearance. For example, if you have seriously yellowed teeth, you can use dental veneers the make them look whiter.
Think of dental veneers like really thin fake nails that can last on a near-permanent basis. Like paste-on nails, dental veneers are essentially pasted onto your teeth. But it’s done in a way that allows the porcelain to bond with the enamel, so the shell doesn’t fall off.
Compared to dental crowns, dental veneers only have one side. That is to say, a veneer doesn’t cover all sides of a tooth. It only covers the front, visible side of the tooth. A veneer’s purpose is to improve the appearance of a tooth, not to improve the functionality of a tooth.
Dental veneers are typically made from porcelain. Yes, it’s the same material your china is made from. But this porcelain is medical grade, suited to be used in medical procedures.
Nowadays, you may get veneers made from porcelain mixed with other materials or from composite materials that use porcelain as a base. Here are short explanations to understand dental veneer materials:
Dental veneers are traditionally made from feldspathic porcelain. The veneers are made by reducing the mineral to a powder and mixing with water. Porcelain is favored for dental implants because the material is stain resistant.
It also emits light in a similar manner to the natural enamel of your teeth. Porcelain has a long lifespan too. A modern porcelain veneer might last up to a decade with the right care.
There’s one downside to porcelain veneers. The material includes a significant amount of silica, the type of sand glass is made out of. Therefore, porcelain veneers are prone to fragility. These shells may not be able to withstand hard biting forces.
Glass ceramic veneers are made out of porcelain strengthened with a mineral called leucite. This mineral looks like glass, but it forms rocks. Leucite is less fragile than silica, so the overall porcelain paste strengthened because of it.
Glass ceramic veneers are just as translucent as regular porcelain. The material can mimic natural enamel quite well. The downside is glass ceramic veneers can be more expensive than porcelain veneers.
A resin is a material derived from tree sap. The material is combined with other minerals to design composite resin veneers. These veneers don’t contain porcelain as a base.
Resin composite can give you a number of advantages over porcelain. Chief among them is the price. Resin composite veneers are significantly cheaper compared to porcelain or porcelain mix veneers. Also, the material is malleable. Resin veneers are designed “chairside” by a dentist. On the other hand, porcelain veneers are designed in a laboratory based on 3D scans of your teeth.
Resin composite veneers are sculpted right beside you, so these have a higher chance of being accurate. Once designed, porcelain veneers cannot be changed, unlike resin. If there’s a mistake in the sculpting, it can be reshaped in the resin composite.
Composite veneers, however, are not prescribed to treat severe dental issues. The material has to be polished a lot too to look like natural teeth.
Your dentist would prescribe your dental veneers to address one or more of the following conditions:
Severely discolored teeth that cannot be fixed with tooth whitening procedures
To visually close minor gaps between teeth
To make crooked teeth appear straighter
To protect damaged enamel from further decay or erosion
Make misshapen teeth appear normal
Make teeth in a row appear more uniform
Improve the brightness of a smile
Reshape misaligned teeth
Cover up minor chipping or physical damage to the enamel
You can request dental veneers to address teeth discoloration or shape issues. Your dentist would tell you if veneers are the best options available to you.
Here’s an overview of the benefits you can receive from dental veneers that address any of the above-mentioned conditions:
Veneers are a near-permanent solution to improve the visual appearance of teeth
Veneers can be more affordable compared to getting a dental crown or an implant for fix damaged or misshaped teeth
You can select the color of the veneers to make your teeth exactly the way you want them to look
Veneers don’t put your gum health at risk
Veneers are remarkably capable of mimicking real enamel
As any medical procedure, dental veneers are not without some risks. Here’s what you should know about the downsides of dental veneers overall:
The veneer bonding process is not reversible. You can’t remove a veneer once it ’s bonded.
Veneers may crack or chip once pasted onto the teeth. But the damage is not repairable afterward.
The veneer application process involves removing a part of a tooth’s enamel. This process can make your teeth more sensitive. You may feel hot and cold things you eat or drink more acutely.
The color of the veneer must be carefully chosen because it can’t be altered following application.
Veneers can fall off and dislodge from teeth.
Veneers are vulnerable to decay as well, though not as the same as enamel
Porcelain veneers, due to fragile nature, can crack or chip under heavy pressure, like a heavy bite or constant teeth grinding.
You must discuss the disadvantages of veneers with a dentist before getting them.
The typical procedure to obtain veneers involves about three steps. First, you have to visit a dentist for a diagnosis. The dentist will examine your teeth before telling you whether veneers are the best option for you. Veneers may be unsuitable for you if you have oral diseases like gum disease, severe tooth decay, or lack of enamel on teeth.
If veneers are an option for you, then you will move to the treatment planning process. The dentist will take X-rays of your teeth and make an oral impression. This would be used to sculpt the veneers at a lab. You can also discuss the type of veneers to buy, which brand to choose, and the color of the veneers.
When all of the above is complete, then the application process begins. It starts with the dentist removing a small scrape of the enamel off the surface of a tooth. The thickness would be similar to the veneer is applied. Your dentist may temporarily place veneers on your teeth to make sure the color and the shape is right.
During the application process, you can choose to use a local anesthetic to eliminate the risk of pain. If you are really scared of dental procedures, you can ask your dentist to sedate you.
Finally, the bonding process begins. The dentist would first clean the tooth for the veneer to bond as optimally as possible. Then the veneer would be placed on a tooth using a special cement as a paste. Then, the dentist uses a medical light beam on the veneer, to make the cement harden and fix the veneer to the tooth. Once the veneers are in place, the dentist would inspect their placement and test your bite.
You would have to wait two to four weeks for the veneers to fully bond. Then you would need to go back to your dentist for a follow-up visit. Designing the veneers can take two weeks or more as well. So the entire time for getting veneers would be about a month.
If you are serious about getting dental veneers, pay attention to the following:
Veneers are not a necessary medical procedure. It’s something you can choose after discussing options with your dentist. So fees won’t be reduced under healthcare policies.
Though veneers are aesthetic, the procedure is a serious dental procedure. It has risks and rewards, which would need to ask your dentist about.
You can’t use veneers to make your smile look like a celebrity’s. There are limits to what’s possible based on the natural profile of your teeth. Modifications done using veneers are largely moderate or minor.
Veneers don’t fix functional issues with teeth. For that, you would need to consider other dental procedures like implants.
Veneers don’t always give you a perfect smile. Veneers can enhance the appearance of your teeth, but do not make them look geometrically perfect with the brightest white color.
Your dentist would assess any underlying medical conditions before applying veneers. They are not for everyone, as mentioned earlier. You should also disclose any prescription medications you are on to the dentist prescribing your veneers.
The cost of veneers depends on several factors, including the following:
The number of veneers you are getting
The geographical region—country, state, or town—where you live
The complexity of the procedure
Veneers are categorized as cosmetic dental procedures. It’s highly unlikely that you would find an insurance policy to cover these costs.
The costs for veneers in most cases are expensive. A single porcelain veneer attachment could cost up to $2,000 in the U.S. per tooth. If you are getting multiple veneers, you would have to spend tens of thousands on the procedure.
Don’t worry; there’s a way to lower the costs. Read below:
Why dental veneers are expensive. Many factors play a role here as well. If you live in an area where dental costs are generally high, then getting would be expensive as well.
So one of the best ways to reduce the cost of getting veneers would be to get the procedure done in an area where medical costs are low. Enter, Turkey.
The southern EU nation is a prime destination for medical tourists who want affordable dental care. Prices for dental care in Turkey is surprisingly cheap compared to other parts in Europe, even though the standard of care is the same.
You can spend a lot less in Turkey on dentists, clinics and the laboratory procedure necessary to sculpt the veneers. Keep in mind, the price of veneers themselves is not lower in Turkey.
In Turkey, your main concern would be paying for branded veneers. All other fees would cost less than what you are charged in North America or elsewhere.
Turkish clinics can provide you with branded, original veneers at relatively the same price. But the costs of your care would not be as expensive.
If you are a medical tourist, Turkey would be a great place to get the dental care you need. Now, another obvious question pops up—what about the travel costs?
Traveling to Turkey is supremely expensive if you are a patient from a developed country. The tourist-friendly country has affordable accommodation and low traveling costs to benefit visitors.
You can calculate your travel costs with a representative from a dental clinic. Once all the costs are added up, you will notice that the overall cost of the procedure plus the travel cost are significantly lower.
Traveling to Turkey is just an option to lower-the-cost of your procedure. It’s important to find a good oral surgeon first.
If dental veneers are completely out of your budget range, you can consider alternatives that will cost you less. For example, dentures or tooth whitening procedures can also improve the appearance of teeth.
However, the advantages of dental veneers are many. These are permanent, for starters, and can fix appearance issues of many sorts. Therefore, spending money on veneers won’t be a bad investment.
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