Porcelain is the most common material used for veneers because, like natural tooth enamel, it provides strength and suppleness. The veneer is a thin piece of material placed over the tooth to restore it to the shape, color or size desired. Here are five things to consider when deciding if this option is for you.
Medical necessity – Veneers are mostly for teeth that are discolored from root canals or other procedures. They are also for chipped, irregularly shaped teeth, misaligned or broken teeth. There are alternatives like braces and night guards that can help with crooked teeth. Also, there are home whitening kits that have become popular found in drug stores that can help with discolored teeth.
- Porcelain lasts longer and therefore costs more. If chipped or broken, porcelain veneers are replaced not repaired. In the process, some of the enamel is removed and therefore the tooth can become sensitive. Porcelain veneers cost between $925 to $2500 per tooth due to the material being used and its quality giving it the ability to last a long time. Total cost depends on how many teeth in total are in need of a veneer. In addition, because it is considered a cosmetic procedure, the possibility of it being covered by your insurance company is highly unlikely. Dental offices do offer payment plans in order to pay for the procedure.
- Maintenance of the veneer – Veneers can last from ten to fifteen years, however, in that time period, there can be the need to replace them if damaged. Veneers should be brushed and flossed just like with a regular tooth. The toothpaste you use would be the non-abrasive kind. Porcelain will eventually shatter if bent because it is a glass material. If you grind your teeth at night it’s best to wear a night guard to protect your veneers. You may be advised to avoid certain foods that are sticky.
- The procedure requires a minimal amount of tooth preparation which would be the removal of the healthy tooth structure. Usually, a very thin layer of the tooth is removed in order to make room for the veneer to be placed over. Veneers conserve more of the tooth in the restoration process than crowns, which does require more removal. The veneer is polishable and therefore staining after having certain foods or drinks is highly unlikely.
- Oral health – getting a thorough exam done prior is best in order to detect any risks of gums bleeding or infection. It is not advisable to have a veneer if you have a decayed tooth or periodontal diseases that cause your gums to bleed or itch.
Porcelain veneers, overall, are a great option for you to consider for replacing a tooth. Speak with your dentist about different options that you may have and if a porcelain veneer is a possibility for you.