Dental Veneers Q & A with Dr. Lori Kemmet, DDS
Let’s talk about veneers since so many people want to know more about them. The most commonly asked questions we receive about dental veneers at Incredible Smiles are:
- What is a dental veneer?
- How much do veneers cost?
- How long do they last?
- What can I eat with veneers?
- What happens to the tooth underneath?
- Can I still get decay?
- How many teeth should I do?
- Will my insurance cover this ?
What is a dental veneer?
Dental veneers are thin very strong pieces of porcelain that look much like an artificial fingernail. They are custom made to fit each individual tooth, and therefore vary in size, shape and color. A dental lab makes a veneer from an impression or digital scan. The dentist then bonds the veneer to each tooth with a very strong bonding material that allows the veneer to nearly fuse to the tooth.
How much do veneers cost?
Veneers range in cost from $800 to $2500 per veneer. Cost per veneer should go up with dental experience, and the quality of materials used to fabricate the veneers. In other words, the more experienced the dentist and the laboratory the better the results. The consumer should always ask to see before and after photos of people actually treated. If the dentist uses stock before and after photos, then I recommend you choose another dentist. Experience counts when it comes to a smile enhancement with veneers because there are many techniques an experienced dentist will use to make the smile more symmetric and enhanced.
If you are offered a veneer at anything less than $1300, know that the quality is going to suffer. Why? That dentist is not using a quality lab to fabricate the veneers for you. If the fee is more than $2500 per veneer, they most likely are overpriced. No veneer is worth more than $2500 in my opinion. I know this because I believe that what we offer is amazing! At Incredible Smiles our fee for a dental veneer is $1895. We are proud of our results, and they speak for themselves.
How long does a veneer last?
I started doing veneers in my practice very routinely in 1997. Very rarely do I have a guest return with problems with their veneers. And, they never have a problem with all their veneers – it is usually one veneer. Veneers can crack with trauma just like a natural tooth. The fractures I see are due to accidents – like a ski pole to the mouth, biting on a pebble in a spinach salad, falling on the ice and hitting the face hard. I don’t know when or if I will ever replace my veneers. With great home care (flossing and brushing) and using my waterpik I plan to have my veneers a very long time. Nothing lasts for forever – including me – so maybe my veneers will outlast me? How long will Incredible Smiles veneers last? A long time!
What can I eat with my veneers?
Because veneers are bonded to your teeth they are only as strong as the bonding material. This bond is super strong! But, just to be careful I recommend that people not open packages, rip open a power bar, or tear tough foods (like french bread, taffy and beef jerky) with their veneers. You can bite into apples, steak, carrots without a problem.
What happens to the tooth underneath?
If veneers were placed over your teeth as they are now the teeth would end up looking bulky. For a streamlined, natural appearance it is necessary to remove about .5mm of tooth structure anywhere that the veneer will be placed. It is not necessary to remove tooth structure aggressively to enhance a smile with veneers. I have however replaced veneers done by other dentists where the tooth structure was aggressively prepared. Seek an experienced dentist for a conservative, yet authentic result.
Can I still get decay?
Yes, you can still get decay anyplace where natural tooth structure still exists. It is impossible to get decay anywhere that the veneer has been placed. The most vulnerable place for decay is the veneer to natural tooth junction. This interface needs to be properly sealed. Experience counts, and a good lab will help insure this interface between natural tooth structure and the veneer is closed off to the outside environment. Prevent decay with brushing, flossing and use of a waterpik.
How many teeth should I veneer?
The most common number of teeth that I veneer is eight. When we veneer eight teeth we are able to choose a shade that is lighter because we are not limited by the other teeth in the front of the smile. Most people want to have brighter and whiter teeth. Doing eight veneers gives the illusion that you were born with your veneers. When we do 6 or 4 veneers we must make sure that the back teeth are white so there is a good blend. I rarely do 6 veneers and more often will do 4 or 8 veneers. It is possible to do 4 veneers when the front teeth have chips or fractures and the back teeth (from canine back on both sides) are in really great shape. The goal with veneers is to make them look really natural like you were born with them. Occasionally we do 10 veneers when we have someone with a really wide smile. It is important to discuss options regarding the number of teeth you plan to veneer.
Will my insurance cover the cost of veneers?
Occasionally the insurance company will cover 1 or 2 of the veneers if the teeth have severe fractures or large amounts of filling or decay present. However, insurance rarely covers the cost of any kind of cosmetic dentistry.
Do you have other questions about veneers? Book a free consultation today with Dr. Lori Kemmet. You too, can have an Incredible Smile!