So, you’ve finally decided to talk to our Houston cosmetic dentist about getting dental veneers and a smile makeover. You wish you hadn’t waited so long, but you wanted to be sure that the treatment was right for you.
Now that you’ve scheduled your consultation appointment, there are a few things you’ll want to consider and ask our Greenspoint Dental providers about before setting your treatment plan into motion.
Will Veneers Fix the Problems You’re Troubled By?
It’s true that veneers offer extensive enhancement to your smile. But, they’re meant to be an aesthetic procedure, not one that repairs or reinforces teeth that have been badly decayed and damaged. If severe damage is present, a full coverage porcelain crown may be a better option.
Generally, veneers are used to address issues such as teeth that look:
Crooked — Also known as “instant braces,” veneers can help your teeth to look straight immediately after treatment, without having to undergo months of orthodontic therapy. If your teeth are slightly crowded, rotated, or crooked, veneers can cover the exterior surface at the front of your mouth so that they look perfectly aligned in just a couple of trips to our office.
Slightly gapped — Do small gaps between your teeth make you feel self-conscious when you smile? Veneers close these spaces as each of the teeth is designed to fit right alongside the next one, filling in your smile without making anything look too bulky.
Shorter or uneven — Over time, your teeth can wear down and look shorter than they used to be. The edges might even feel sharp or jagged when you run your tongue over them. Or perhaps you have a couple that just aren’t as long as the others are, which makes your smile look a bit lopsided. As long as the tooth is structurally sound and doesn’t need something like a crown, or bite directly against the opposing teeth, we can place a veneer over the front of the tooth to enhance its length so that all of them are the same “size.”
Misshaped or have surface irregularities — Do your teeth have pitted areas, uneven surfaces, spotty stains, or areas of abrasion? A veneer will leave your tooth looking smooth and healthy, with the natural tooth structure tucked safely behind your aesthetic layer of porcelain.
Just Unhappy with their smile – For individuals who had an illness growing up (such as a severe fever,) took medications like tetracycline, or grew up in an area with unregulated mineral content in the water, their enamel may not be shaped or colored properly. Even though your teeth are healthy, they’re just not something that you’re thrilled to look at in photos. Veneers are a straightforward option to finally give you teeth that you feel comfortable showing off.
Yellow or discolored — Some people have naturally discolored teeth or enamel that is difficult to whiten. Maybe old restorations have turned your enamel dark grey, or a tooth has died and now looks completely different from everything around it. If professional teeth whitening isn’t the best solution, veneers can address tooth discoloration while also enhancing the shape and size of your teeth for a flawless smile in just a couple of visits.
The Number of Teeth Involved
One of the biggest questions that patients ask our Houston cosmetic dentist is “How much do veneers cost?” Well, it usually depends on how many you need. For that, it’s important to look at your smile in the mirror.
- How many teeth do you see when you smile?
- Is your grin wider, or narrower?
- At what point in your smile do you want the teeth changed?
- Do you only need the front four teeth veneered? Corner to corner?
- What about the bottom teeth?
Depending on your unique anatomy and smile shape, you may only need four to six veneers on your top front teeth. Other people find that it’s better to go with eight across, or even have the lower teeth treated as well. A lot of it will depend on how your teeth bite together and what’s visible when you’re smiling in photographs.
Types of Veneers Available
Traditional porcelain veneers offer the most dramatic results when it comes to changing your smile’s appearance. The thin shells of porcelain cover the front of your teeth in a way that makes it appear as if you didn’t have any dental work at all. Each one is expertly crafted by hand, so that everything from the coloration to the texture can be modified.
Alternative veneers like “no-prep” or chairside treatments can also enhance a tooth’s appearance, but they lack the customized coloration and may add bulkiness to your tooth’s shape. It’s up to you and your cosmetic dentist to decide how these aspects come into play with your unique needs and goals.
The Treatment Process
If you’ve chosen to get traditional porcelain veneers, the process is generally phased out into two different treatment appointments after your initial consultation. Once you and our Houston veneers provider have decided on the type of smile design that you’re looking for, we’ll take an impression and send it off to a private lab, where your new restorations will be made. In some cases, a “mock-up” or “wax up” will be involved, where you can preview the veneers before we make any major changes to your smile.
At your first treatment appointment, we’ll prep your teeth by removing a thin layer of the surface enamel and then taking an impression. In the meantime, we’ll make some provisional cosmetic restorations for you to wear over and protect your teeth from any sensitivity. About two weeks later, your permanent veneers will be ready to bond into place. Once they are, you’ll have a completely new smile staring back at you in the mirror!
The Long-Term Maintenance Involved
Like any other type of dental restoration, dental veneers require daily care and maintenance. It’s important to floss around them regularly so that excessive bacteria or acids don’t accumulate around their margins.
Do you grind or clench your teeth during the day or while you sleep? Consider getting a protective mouthguard to wear. This splint will take the extra force off of your teeth so that porcelain isn’t prone to chipping or cracking due to excessive use. Otherwise, like your natural teeth, your veneers can start to chip and wear away as well. You want to do everything possible to protect your investment!
Over time, veneers will start to give out or leak, just like a filling or crown would. While you can expect your smile makeover to last several years, you will want to consider having to replace veneers every decade or so to keep your smile as beautiful as you deserve. See your Houston dentist regularly for scheduled re-care visits to make sure that everything is as healthy as it should be.
Alternatives That May be Available
Veneers are an excellent way to transform your smile, but for individuals with more minor aesthetic concerns, it may be better to go with an alternative treatment. For instance, wearing Invisalign braces and whitening your teeth can help a healthy smile look straighter and brighter, without the need for altering the tooth structure. Cosmetic bonding can cover minor irregularities such as a chip or tiny gap between the teeth. It’s up to you and your Houston cosmetic dentist to decide the best approach to enhancing both your oral health and your self-confidence.
A combination of different cosmetic treatments may be your best choice in certain situations. In others, six or eight veneers may be the perfect solution. Part of your veneers consultation is to evaluate which choices are available and review them with you so that you understand all of the procedures, advantages, and costs involved. You deserve to be an essential part of planning out your new smile!
You’ve got great dental insurance that always covers most of the treatment you need. However, insurance carriers won’t pay for elective or cosmetic dental treatments. Maybe that’s one of the biggest reasons why you’ve held off on getting veneers for so long: because you weren’t quite ready to pay for them out of your own pocket.
Fortunately, investing in veneers can do a lot for both your career and your personal life. Even if they aren’t covered by your insurance plan, it’s easy to work the treatment into your existing monthly budget. At Greenspoint Dental we offer flexible payment options that allow you to make affordable installments each month. CareCredit options are available at 0% interest so that you can feel guilt-free about investing in your future smile. Plus, our Houston office is currently running a veneers special for just $1,999 per tooth, four veneers for $2,999, or eight veneers at $3,999. There’s a good chance you won’t find more affordable veneer treatments anywhere else.
Still Curious? Schedule a No-Hassle Consultation to Get the Facts
Ready to learn more about getting a smile makeover at Greenspoint Dental? Call our Houston cosmetic dentists today to schedule your no-pressure consultation.