Dental veneers offer one of the quickest paths to the bright, healthy smile of your dreams. Whether you feel self-conscious about stained teeth or wish to cover over a tooth that is chipped, veneers can offer a satisfying solution.
Before you get your veneers, however, it is important to have all the necessary information about what they are, how they work, and what you can do to ensure their longevity. The best way to gather this information is through a one-on-one consultation with your dentist.
To guide your consultation, here are a few questions you might ask.
What to Ask About Dental Veneers
1) How long does it take to get dental veneers?
The process of getting dental veneers can take two or three appointments, and before you begin, it is wise to ask about the timeline. Generally, you will have an initial aesthetic consultation where records will be taken. This will include measurements and analysis of the facial structure to ensure the right fit and look for your veneers. The second appointment will be the longer preparation appointment. This is usually completed 3 weeks after the initial consultation. The teeth are minimally reduced (with sometimes no removal of tooth structure) in order to get the right fit for your veneers. The veneers are then made in a dental lab and customized to provide the fit, color, and appearance you desire. The final appointment 2-3 weeks after the preparation appointment is the final fitting of the veneers or what we call the cementation appointment. At this appointment, the veneers will be adhered to your teeth with chemical retention through bonding the porcelain to your tooth structure.
2) Does it hurt to get dental veneers?
If you are concerned about a scary or painful visit to the dentist, ask about it upfront. You will likely be pleasantly surprised by the answer: Most patients report little to no discomfort whatsoever from this minimally invasive process. In fact, the only preparation needed for your veneers is for a thin layer of tooth enamel to be removed; any discomfort you experience during this step will be minor.
3) Am I a good candidate for dental veneers?
Dental veneers represent one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry solutions… but does that mean they are right for you?
Generally speaking, you are a good candidate for veneers if you can say yes to any of the following:
- Your teeth are severely discolored or stained, and tooth whitening treatments have proven ineffective.
- Your teeth have minor cosmetic issues (e.g., they are chipped, cracked, or slightly misshapen).
- You have a lot of spaces between your teeth
- You have plenty of tooth enamel in place.
- You have good oral health and hygiene overall.
Your dentist will be more than happy to tell you whether veneers will address your aesthetic needs, or whether a different treatment might make more sense.
4) What can I eat with dental veneers?
When you have dental veneers, you can largely eat just like always. It is advised that you cut food up with a fork and knife instead of bite into it with your front teeth after getting the veneers. For example, avoid biting into an apple and instead cut it up into pieces. Some foods you might wish to avoid after placement of veneers include:
- Hard candies
- Hard foods, such as uncooked carrots
- Sticky foods, such as caramel
- Tough-to-chew meats
When you get your dental veneers placed, your dentist can provide you with more specific guidelines.
5) What can I do to keep my veneers clean?
Naturally, when you get dental veneers, you will want to do everything in your power to keep them looking bright, fresh, and new. Your dentist will be glad to furnish you with some tips, but generally speaking:
- Make sure you brush and floss consistently
- Stay on track with your routine dental cleanings
- Switch to a whitening toothpaste
- Try to limit your consumption of tooth-staining beverages, like coffee and soda
- Abstain from smoking or using tobacco products
With these basic steps, you can keep your veneers looking nice and clean.
6) Are there any downsides to getting veneers?
Most patients who get dental veneers really love them. With that said, there can be some potential downsides, and it is important to clarify those with your dentist. Some possible issues with dental veneers include:
- They are generally not recommended for those with gum disease
- They usually cannot be fixed if they crack or chip – they will need to be replaced entirely.
- Veneers can sometimes make your natural teeth more sensitive to heat or cold
A good dentist will help you make a truly informed decision about veneers… and that means being honest about both the pros and the cons.
7) Will insurance pay for dental veneers?
Usually, dental insurance will cover part of the cost of any restorative procedures; so, if you are getting veneers to address cracked teeth, your insurance company may help. If you are getting veneers for strictly aesthetic/elective reasons, however, do not expect insurance to pitch in.
8) How long will dental veneers last?
Depending on how well you care for your dental veneers, they may last you anywhere from 10 to 20 years. With that said, you will usually need to have your veneers placed sooner or later. Because veneers require the enamel of your teeth to be shaved down (although minimally), the process is irreversible; so, when your veneers start to wear down, you will need to get new ones.
9) What are the alternatives to dental veneers?
Before deciding to get dental veneers, it makes sense to ask about other options for achieving healthy, white teeth. Most dentists who offer veneers also provide a range of other cosmetic solutions, and in some cases, they may recommend you start with basic tooth whitening. It certainly never hurts to explore all the options available before landing on one.
10) Can I see some examples from your previous patients?
If you are unsure about what dental veneers look like, or have questions about the final outcomes, ask your dentist to see some examples of their past work. Most dentists are more than happy to show off their patient success stories, and to provide you with greater confidence in your own outcomes. Please take a look at our gallery for before/after shots!
Learn More About Cosmetic Veneers
As you consider getting dental veneers, do not hesitate to ask your dentist any questions that come to mind. To set up a veneers consultation appointment with Dr. Skoulas, we welcome you to contact our office at your next opportunity.