What are dental veneers and are they right for me?

Mark McOmieAsk Dr. McOmie Dental Questions

What Are Dental Or Porcelain Veneers?

Have you always dreamed of having a picture perfect smile, like the people on TV and in magazines? Well, you might be surprised to learn that not every celebrity was born with perfect teeth.

The good news is, that means you too, can have a picture perfect smile with dental veneers.

Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain that can help you change the color, size, or shape of your teeth. So, if you feel like there’s too much space between your teeth or if your teeth are yellowed from smoking or drinking coffee, veneers can help you.

Veneers can transform:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Irregularly shaped teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Damage from grinding

Check out some amazing before and after patient photos of our veneer work in our case studies HERE.

In order for veneers to work for you, your teeth need to be healthy, strong and have enough enamel to bind them to. Both Dr. Mark and Ellen McOmie are highly experienced with veneers and will help you determine if veneers are right for you.

Veneers are one of the most popular methods for improving the overall appearance of your smile. There are several different types of veneers to choose from. These range from higher-end permanent solutions like porcelain veneers to temporary cosmetic solutions like snap on veneers.

Types Of Veneers

Porcelain Veneers:

These veneers are very popular because they look the most natural. Dr. McOmie can custom design porcelain veneers that fit the natural size, shape, and color specifically for your teeth. They are resistant to staining and are the perfect answer for teeth with severe chips, cracks or discoloration. They do cost a bit more than other types of veneers, but they typically last much longer and look amazing.

Composite Veneers:

Sometimes called direct bonding or direct veneers. These are a good and viable treatment option and are sculpted and applied during a single appointment at McOmie Dentistry. We use composite veneers to fix minor cosmetic issues, like cracked or chipped teeth, to fill small gaps between front teeth or fix slightly crooked teeth.

Composites are considerably less expensive than porcelain veneers and take less time to apply, but they are not resistant to staining or discoloration, and their final appearance is not as natural or beautiful as porcelain veneers.

Instant Veneers:

These premade veneers are less expensive and can be applied quickly, but because they’re premade, they won’t exactly match the size of your natural teeth. They are also made from composite.  Here at McOmie Family Dentistry we don’t do these kind of veneers because they are low quality and can lead to gum problems.

The biggest downside is that you’re not getting a custom made veneer and the pre-made veneers also mean you’re not relying on the expertise of your dentist to sculpt the tooth like you would with composites and they don’t have the long-term lifespan or look you get from a porcelain veneer. These can be prone to over hangs and not fitting well it can have an adverse effect on your overall dental health. We never trade dental health for a short term look.

Removable Veneers:

Removable or snap on veneers are just that – removable! They are a cross between porcelain and instant veneers; meaning that they’re custom made to your teeth and you can remove them whenever you want to.

They are constructed from a hard dental resin to form a thin but durable cover which you wear over your real teeth to present the appearance of a flawless smile. You can still eat food and drink as you usually would, although you will need to remove and clean them when you’re done.

This was very popular a few years ago under the name “Snap On Smile”. They were fairly expensive for what they were and the broke in a few months. Dr. McOmie does not do this kind of treatment because it is not a long term solution with a quality outcome. When this snap on smile trend was hot many people ended up not satisfied with this treatment because the life span of a snap on smile was only months in most cases. We never got on this band wagon. Maybe one day the material will become quality enough that it will be a viable option.

 How We Apply Veneers

The veneer application process is painless. It usually takes place over two visits. First Dr. McOmie will take digital x-rays and make digital impressions of your teeth with our TRIOS® digital scanner by 3 shape which allows us to take quick, high-quality, accurate impressions with no discomfort for the patient caused by traditional impression materials.

If you choose to get customized veneers, they’ll be done in a laboratory, by a highly skilled ceramist with an eye for artistic beauty. Since it usually takes a two weeks for veneers to be made, we will create temporary veneers in the meantime. We can pick every aspect of the dental veneer the length, color, translucency and shape. Do you like a flat edge, rounded edges, pointy canines, flat canines, super white, white natural look, whatever it is we can accommodate your wildest desire. We have smile catalogs to look through to help you make the decision and our expert cosmetic dentists Dr. Mark McOmie and Dr. Ellen McOmie can help make recommendations to give you the perfect smile you want.

To apply the veneers, Dr. McOmie will remove about a half to a millimeter of enamel from your teeth so your teeth won’t be extra bulky when done. Then  they will cement the veneers, and use a state of the art dental curing light to set the cement. Any extra cement will then be removed, and your new teeth will be polished, flossed, and ready to smile! They should last decades at this point the materials are amazing and are beautiful and natural looking.

The Advantages of Veneers

  • Having a fantastic smile can give you the ultimate confidence boost. With veneers, you can have that gorgeous smile you’ve always dreamed of having.
  • You can even select the color of porcelain veneers, and your veneers won’t change color, so you don’t have to worry about staining from tea or coffee.
  • Veneers look very natural. They have the grooves and ridges of natural teeth.
  • Veneers are also easy to care for. They don’t require any special maintenance, and you just brush and floss as you usually would.

The Disadvantages of Veneers

  • Veneers don’t change color. So if you have veneers on your upper teeth but not on your lower teeth, over time, your bottom teeth may not match the color of your veneers.
  • The process is not reversible. So be sure to thoroughly discuss your options and the process with our dentists.
  • Porcelain veneers may need to be replaced after 10-15 years. So, you need to keep the future investment in mind when making your decision.
  • Because enamel is removed, you might feel more sensitive to cold and hot foods. This is usually temporary and will go away quickly.
  • Although it’s unlikely, veneers can crack. Be sure not to chew on hard foods like ice and nuts. Veneers can also be damaged by nail biting and teeth grinding.
  • You can still get cavities if you have veneers. So, if you have are prone to tooth decay, veneers may not be the best choice for you.

Veneers FAQs:

How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

There are no guarantees for how long veneers will last, but with proper care, most veneers will last at least 10-15 years. Don’t chew extremely hard foods or grind your teeth which will help you extend the life of your new veneers. We have veneers in our practice that were done in 1998 and still look beautiful today. Now the material and bonding agents are so much more advanced then they were 20 years ago so there is no telling how long today’s veneers will last. We think a very long time.

Do they require maintenance?

Veneers do not require any special maintenance. Just brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.

How much do they cost?

Veneers generally cost about $1200 depending on the type you choose. They are not covered by most insurance plans because they’re considered a cosmetic procedure, but we suggest calling our insurance specialist at 423-899-1112 to discuss your insurance and payment options. We do offer financing as well.

What are the alternatives to veneers?

Alternatives to veneers include bonding and crowns. Bonding is a putty-like substance that can be shaped and molded to change the appearance of a tooth. Bonding can stain, whereas veneers don’t.

Crowns typically encase the whole tooth. Veneers only cover the front of the tooth. Crowns also require more enamel trimming and are more expensive than veneers, but can last much longer and are more durable.

Getting Started With Veneers

If you are contemplating veneers, it’s important to visit a licensed, well-reviewed dentist like our team here at McOmie Family Dentistry for an initial consultation, so we can help you determine if veneers are right for you.

Together, you and Dr. McOmie will decide if veneers are right for you and if so, what type will help you feel your best, most confident you. Our office located in the heart of Chattanooga, TN is convenient, and our friendly staff can schedule your appointment quickly. Call To Schedule Your Appointment Today! 423-899-1112

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