8 Dental Veneers FAQs for Patients Considering a Smile Makeover

Posted .

pocelain veneer being attached to front tooth

Dental veneers, also known as porcelain veneers or tooth veneers, can completely alter the look of a smile. The process of getting veneers only takes a few appointments. If your smile is plagued by permanent stains, uneven or wide spacing, chips, or other imperfections, veneers may be the ideal treatment to deliver the smile you really want–the one you’ll be excited to share at work, at home, and in public! 

In today’s blog, you’ll learn answers to some of the most common questions about porcelain veneers, so you can determine whether they’re the best smile makeover treatment for you. We’ll answer these questions:

  1. What do veneers cost?
  2. How long will veneers last?
  3. Will porcelain veneers stain?
  4. How fragile are veneers?
  5. Why are veneers the “smile makeover” procedure?
  6. At what age can a person get veneers?
  7. Are veneers safe for senior citizens?
  8. Can veneers get cavities?

First, though, if you’d like to discuss porcelain veneers or other dental treatments with a pro, call Lakewood Dental Group in Dallas. Our restorative and cosmetic dentists, Drs. Shaun Sigurdson and Mahir Patel, build unforgettable smiles for patients in East Dallas. Call 214-827-1885 today to schedule your consultation.

Veneers FAQs

  1. What do veneers cost?

The cost of veneers varies, depending upon many factors. The patient’s oral health is a consideration. Will he need to improve his dental health with fillings, crowns, or gum disease treatment prior to veneers? How many teeth show when the patient smiles? Will we veneer the upper front teeth or lower teeth, as well?

Generally, porcelain veneers cost a few thousand dollars. Dental insurance will not cover the cost of veneers, even in part, because they are a cosmetic dental procedure. At Lakewood Dental Group, patients can ask about financing options. We accept CareCredit, a company that offers low- and no-interest loans to qualified patients.

If your budget doesn’t allow for veneers right now, but you want a smile makeover, the dentist may suggest cosmetic dental bonding. Though bonding only lasts five to seven years on average, the cost is much less. Over time, especially if the patient drinks tea, coffee, or red wine, or uses tobacco products, the seam between bonding and tooth enamel may become pronounced with staining. Bonding can be replaced, in most cases. Or, the patient may be eligible for veneers after bonding.

  1. How long will veneers last?

This is a great question and one of our favorites to answer. Veneers can last 20 years or longer! To keep your veneers in great shape just follow this advice. Practice good oral hygiene: brush twice, floss once a day, and attend six-month preventive checkups and dental cleanings at Lakewood Dental Group in East Dallas.

Also, it’s important that you break any compulsive chewing habits, like biting your nails, chomping on pen caps, or chewing ice. Don’t use your teeth as tools for opening bags, tightening or loosening knots, or pulling gloves on and off your hands. And after 20-plus years, if you need replacement veneers, get them!

  1. Will porcelain veneers stain?

Virtually all substances can stain if exposed to staining elements for an extended time. Porcelain veneers do not stain as quickly or as deeply as natural tooth enamel. They can stain over time, but if you follow these tips, you can reduce the potential for stains: (1) avoid using whitening toothpaste because it scratches veneers; (2) use a straw when drinking tea and dark-colored beverages; and (3) do not smoke or use tobacco.

Note also that chemical teeth whitening, whether over-the-counter or administered by a dentist, has no effect on dental work, porcelain veneers included. It simply does not work.

  1. How fragile are veneers?

Not very! Because they’re handcrafted with layers of strong dental porcelain, veneers are very durable. Like natural teeth, they can chip, so patients should avoid habits like biting fingernails and chewing on pen caps. Remember, veneers can last for two decades or longer. They’re strong!

  1. Why are veneers the “smile makeover” procedure?

Veneers cover the front surface of front teeth, so they can:

  • Close wide or uneven spacing between teeth
  • Repair chips
  • Alter the shape and edge of a tooth
  • Permanently whiten front teeth
  • Straighten the appearance of crooked or slightly overlapping teeth

Patients can often avoid wearing braces for two years because porcelain veneers correct mild to moderate alignment issues and spacing problems. Veneers replace the need for crowns or bonding on front teeth, as well. So, because veneers address a multitude of cosmetic dental issues, they are the all-in-one smile makeover procedure.

  1. At what age can a person get veneers?

Veneers are best on patients whose teeth have completed growing. For women, this age is around 16 years, and for men, it’s around 18 years. Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel can evaluate a teen’s smile to determine whether dental development has finished.

Teen patients who don’t yet qualify for veneers can opt for cosmetic bonding and/or Invisalign clear, removable orthodontic aligners for cosmetic enhancements. 

  1. Are veneers safe for senior citizens?

Yes. An image-conscious senior citizen who has good oral health and natural teeth (not dentures) can make the ideal candidate for porcelain veneers. Years of built-up staining, little chips, and other imperfections will disappear beneath beautiful, white porcelain veneers. Patients whose front teeth have worn down over time or taken on a “V” shape on the tips can enjoy a completely new smile with veneers. Best of all, white teeth make a person look younger, healthier, and friendlier.

A smile makeover usually makes a patient feel more confident smiling in public, too, which can improve mood, outlook, and quality of life!

  1. Can veneers get cavities?

No. All dental materials, whether composite resin, porcelain, ceramic, metal, or zirconia cannot develop cavities. Only natural tooth enamel can get dental caries, AKA tooth decay.

If the seal on a restoration becomes compromised, however, bacteria can infiltrate the natural tissues beneath the restoration. So, if a porcelain veneer ever feels loose or unsolid, call the dentist for an immediate appointment. In most cases, veneers never lose their seal. Regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months allow the dentist to find issues like failing dental restorations before additional damage develops.

Your Porcelain Veneers Consultation

To learn more about veneers, smile makeovers, and other cosmetic dental procedures, or to discuss your dental health with a professional, reserve an appointment with Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel at Lakewood Dental Group in East Dallas. We are accepting new patients and would love to meet you. Call 214-827-1885 now or visit us online to schedule.