What Are Porcelain Veneers and Are They Right For You

What are Porcelain Veneers? They are thin shells of fired porcelain that are placed on the front side of the teeth. Often known as instant orthodontics veneers offer a natural look and feel and they are strong & versatile. Veneers also resist staining to keep a white smile for a long time.

Porcelain veneers are used for a variety of smile enhancements from complete makeover to more specific flaws like stained or discolored teeth, chipped or cracked teeth, crooked teeth and even gaps between teeth.

The process takes several visits and starts with an exam followed by a discussion about the options and the type of smile you would like. The dentist then takes an impression of your mouth and sends it to the lab which makes the veneers with precise instructions.

The lab produces a wax model called a “Wax up” that shows how your smile will look. The dentist and patient will examine the model and either approve it or request changes. Once a model is settled on the lab starts to produce the final product. This takes 3 – 4 weeks.

While waiting for the veneers the dentist makes temporaries. To do this the dentist first makes another impression then make the temporaries. The next step is to grind the teeth down a little. This is done for several reasons.

· Shape the teeth so the veneers fit right. If the teeth aren’t taken down the veneers will

stick out to far and look unnatural.

· The adhesive will stick better to a surface that has been roughed up.

After the veneers come in the temporaries will be removed and the final product bonded to the teeth. After a few days the veneers may need to be adjusted to provide a more comfortable bite or fit. This is perfectly normal.

Porcelain veneers aren’t cheep. They run from $975 to $2,200 per veneer depending on the part of the country you live in. This is a significant cost that is out of many peoples price range. There are some steps you can take to help save money.

1. Shop around: A dentist can’t give you an exact cost without first examing your mouth and that will cost money but many can give you a rough idea of what they charge.

2. Ask about payment plans: Dental insurance doesn’t cover anything considered “Cosmetic” so most cosmetic dental providers are prepared to set up payment plans for patients who can’t afford to pay the entire amount up front.

3. Medical savings groups: Today there are groups that for a very affordable monthly fee can offer huge discounts on all dental care, including cosmetic dentistry.