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What Are Dental Veneers?

A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or composite resin that is bonded to the front of the tooth. Veneers are a relatively quick and simple solution to correcting many aesthetic problems including chipped, worn, crooked, misshapen, discolored and unevenly spaced teeth. Typically, there is little or no removal of the existing tooth before placing the veneer over the tooth.

Our dentists in The Woodlands/Conroe align these veneers perfectly with other veneers as well as the existing teeth to make them appear as real as possible. The purpose of these dental veneers is to provide patients, even those with healthy teeth, a beautiful smile. Some patients choose veneers to make slight position alterations or sometimes to change a tooth shape, size, and/or color. At Signature Smiles we will spend time clearly identifying what cosmetic improvements you want to accomplish with your smile.

Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers

There are two types of materials used for veneers: composite resin and porcelain. Both kinds of veneers are placed and bonded using a cement type of substance. This ensures that the veneer remains on the tooth and does not shift or fall off.

Composite resin and porcelain veneers are both very durable and strong. They both look and feel like real teeth, but there are some fundamental differences between the two.

Composite Resin Veneers – Veneers made from composite material can be removed easily and are more affordable than porcelain veneers. The downside is that this material can easily stain and their life span is approximately four years. They are more susceptible to chipping as well.

Porcelain Veneers – This material is the closest to looking like real teeth. Once they have been glazed, the porcelain is very resistant to chips and stains. These types of veneers are more expensive, but they do last much longer at approximately 15 years. The teeth that receive porcelain veneers must have a layer removed before the veneers are placed.

The material used depends on the choice of the patient.

Am I a Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?

If your teeth are discolored or have been chipped, then you may want to consider receiving either composite resin or porcelain veneers. At Signature Smiles, our dentists will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth to see exactly what type of veneers you and how many you should receive. While most patients are candidates for veneers, our dentists can also discuss alternative options with you based on your individual goals, including dental crowns and teeth whitening.

What Does the Porcelain Veneers Procedure Involve?

After preparing the targeted tooth that is set to receive a veneer, your dentist will develop a digital impression of your smile. This impression is sent to a dental laboratory where a porcelain veneer is designed that is specifically customized for your mouth. Following any color correction to match your original teeth, the veneer or veneers will be fixed into position by the dentist at our practice using a cement material that creates a stable hold. Any adjustments can then be made per the patient’s request before a final polish is applied, adding to the natural appearance of the veneer.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

With general maintenance and proper oral hygiene at home, porcelain veneers can have lasting effects that appear natural for years to come. When maintained properly, porcelain veneers can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years. However, veneers are not indestructible and can break if enough pressure or physical force is applied. For the best results, patients should treat their veneers with extra care to see the longest-lasting results.

How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?

The cost of receiving porcelain veneers will vary depending on the extent of the work being completed for each patient. Each patient will have individual needs that can be addressed by porcelain veneers, causing the process to differ from procedure to procedure. However, the average cost of porcelain veneers typically starts at $1,000 per tooth. The full price of your porcelain veneers treatment will be discussed at the time of your initial consultation.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Porcelain Veneers

How strong are porcelain veneers?

Our veneers are made of a durable dental porcelain that is designed to be highly resistant to damage and wear. With proper care and maintenance, your veneers can last for many years. That said, it is generally best to exercise caution when eating particularly hard foods, such as ice cubes, certain types of nuts, and pitted foods such as cherries. It is also recommended that you avoid using your teeth to open packages or containers, as this can exert excessive force on your veneers.

Can you whiten porcelain veneers?

Since porcelain veneers are made of a non-porous material, they do not typically respond to whitening treatments. Indeed, if done incorrectly, whitening treatments can actually cause damage or wear to the veneers. The good news is that veneers are designed to be highly resistant to staining and discoloration, so they should not need to be whitened. If you have concerns about the color of your veneers, we recommend contacting your dentist so you can discuss potential solutions.

Do porcelain veneers look natural?

Our skilled cosmetic dentist meticulously designs each porcelain veneer to blend in seamlessly with your surrounding teeth for the most natural-looking smile enhancement possible. The shape, length, shade, and opacity of your veneer are all customized based on your smile goals for maximum aesthetic appeal.

How do you care for porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers can generally be cared for in the same manner as your regular teeth. This involves maintaining good oral hygiene and scheduling twice-yearly professional dental cleanings. Veneers are designed to be durable and stain-resistant, allowing them to provide long-term smile enhancement with no need for special maintenance.

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