Did you know that about four out of five of us keep our mouths firmly shut when we are smiling, laughing, or being photographed? Many people are self-conscious about discolored, chipped, cracked, crowded, or uneven teeth. Cosmetic dentistry offers several solutions for this, but the most popular and well-known option is veneers, a Hollywood trend that has become mainstream in recent years. Here at the office of Christopher Cooley DDS and Ryan Vick DDS, we’ve got everything you need to achieve the same kind of show-stopping smile as your favorite celebs! But while the look of veneers is something we’re all familiar with, what veneers actually are may not be.
Actual Patient Before/After Veneers
Let’s take a look and learn a little more.
What veneers are
Veneers are thin shells that are affixed to the front of your natural teeth to improve their appearance, instantly creating a new smile. The shells are generally made of either resin or porcelain compounds, both of which are highly resistant to stains. Resin requires less of the natural tooth surface to be removed before bonding, while translucent porcelain reflects light and tends to be more natural looking.
Veneers will cover stains, chips, and cracks, and they can sometimes even improve the look of spaced out or worn-down teeth. They’re custom designed to match color, and veneers can also be used to lengthen, reshape, and change the size of teeth. Our experienced team at the office of Dr. Cooley & Dr. Vick can give you veneers in as few as two visits, and with proper care, this treatment generally lasts 12-15 years. However, we have patients that have kept their veneers for many more years with excellent home care.
How veneers work
Veneers work to correct a variety of dental problems, such as:
Discoloration. Teeth can lose their natural color through issues like high-flouride exposure, large resin fillings, or an extended period of antibiotics. Caffeine and nicotine can also stain teeth.
Broken or chipped teeth. These can occur due to injury, bad habits, or even eating certain foods.
Worn teeth. Teeth are worn down through age or habitual grinding.
Misaligned or badly shaped teeth, conditions that usually occur naturally.
Gapped teeth. Gaps also occur naturally, and veneers can fill large spaces between teeth.
The first step in the veneers process is a consultation where the patient will discuss goals with their dentist, creating a plan around that patient’s specific needs. The patient will be x-rayed to determine if the patient’s natural teeth are suitable for the procedure.
In the preparation phase, about one-half millimeter of tooth enamel will be removed. This ensures the tooth will be the same thickness after the veneer is added. Some patients are candidates for "prepless veneers" and in these cases, no enamel needs to be removed. An impression of the tooth is then made and sent to a lab where the veneer will be constructed. It can take up to 14 days for the custom veneer to be made.
The bonding phase is the final step. The veneer will be placed on the tooth to judge its fit and make any necessary adjustments. The cement color will be chosen to make the veneer match the natural teeth as closely as possible. A thorough cleaning and etching of the tooth will allow for a good bond. The veneer is carefully bonded in place, with a special light applied to make the cement harden quickly. The bite will then be evaluated and any extra cement will be removed. Patients will usually return in about two weeks for an evaluation of the veneer.
Advantages and disadvantages
Veneers provide a natural appearance and are well tolerated by the gums. Along with being stain resistant, they make darkened teeth look whiter.
The primary disadvantage of veneers is that the procedure cannot be reversed. Veneers will not be bonded in until the patient is happy with the end result.
How to care for veneers
Veneers last on average from twelve to fifteen years, but can last much longer if properly maintained.
Having veneers doesn’t require any special care. Regular and thorough brushing and flossing are all that is needed for maintenance. Use of a quality antiseptic mouthwash is also recommended.
The cost of veneers
The overall cost of veneers will vary per patient, depending on how extensive the procedure is. Veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure, so patients will need to check with their dental insurance provider to see if any of the cost is covered. Contact our friendly team today to schedule your free consultation and learn more about our veneer procedure and the associated cost.
Dental veneers in Memphis with Cooley & Vick
Doctors Cooley and Vick are proud to offer dental veneers in our state-of-the-art Germantown office. Along with our top-notch dental services, we invest in a variety of unique amenities for our patients, including paraffin hand treatments, bottled water, multiple TV monitors, and scented candles scattered throughout the office.
If you’re looking for more information on how to get a brighter, whiter smile, get in touch with our team today to take a tour of our office or schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you to create a smile you’re proud to show!