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Frequently Asked Questions About Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are permanent, so if you are considering porcelain veneers, you likely have many questions. While Dr. Soto will answer any and all questions during your treatment process, here is a valuable set of the most frequently asked questions we receive.

What are porcelain veneers?

Veneers are thin, durable pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the surface of a tooth to enhance its appearance.

What is composite bonding?

Composite bonding is an alternative to porcelain veneers. Plastic filling material is bonded and shaped to a tooth to enhance the appearance.

Should I choose composite bonding or porcelain veneers?

Ask your doctor which option is best for you. If the needed changes are minor and the teeth function properly, cosmetic bonding is an excellent choice. If teeth are crooked, broken, dark, the patient clenches or grinds their teeth, more durable, porcelain veneers may be the best option.

How many veneers do I need?

A virtual consultation is needed to determine how many veneers are needed or if veneers are the best option. It is best to have an even number of veneers. Two, four, eight, ten or twelve veneers give the best results. In some cases, six veneers are not recommended because any changes to the canines without changing the premolars can look too drastic next to the back teeth. The molars and premolars can be overshadowed by the canines. This can give an unnatural look.

How long is the process?

Once we decide on the look of the veneers at your first in-person appointment, it will take three additional appointments completed over the next 3-4 weeks to prepare the teeth and then to cement the veneers.

How long do veneers last?

Brushing 2X each day for 2 minutes, flossing daily, and wearing a bite guard at night is a great way to protect the veneers. Using an electric toothbrush such as Sonicare or Oral-B brush is preferred. Avoid eating very hard foods like almonds, or cracking shells with the front veneers.

What is the most common reason to have veneers replaced?

The porcelain material which veneers are made of is very strong and should not break under normal circumstances. If gum recession occurs the root of the tooth may become exposed. Patients may want new veneers to cover the roots.

How long are the veneers guaranteed?

Dr. Soto will replace a broken veneer within two years of placement if the patient has been coming in for their regular recommended cleanings and exams, and they are taking reasonable care of their teeth.

How much do veneers cost?

There is a wide range of fees among veneer providers, from $900 to over $2500 per veneer. In our office, the current fee for each porcelain veneer is $2200 per veneer. New patients should expect to pay for a full examination and x-rays unless they have a current set.

How can I pay for my veneers?

We accept all major credit cards. A 5% fee reduction is given for prepayment with cash or check prior to treatment. Payments are expected to be completed by or before the veneer preparation appointment. Financing options include Alphaeon Credit and Care Credit

What are Lumineers?

Lumineers are a brand of porcelain veneers. The company advertises the veneers can be fitted to your existing teeth without the need to drill or grind them down.

Should I choose Lumineers or porcelain veneers?

Dr. Soto prefers porcelain veneers. If the dental situation is appropriate, traditional porcelain veneers can be made the same way as Lumineers, without tooth preparation or dental anesthetics. It is rare to find a situation in which the cosmetic outcome would not benefit from anesthetics and tooth preparation.

Why would a tooth need to be drilled to make the cosmetic outcome better?

If a thin veneer is placed on a tooth without removing tooth structure first, the tooth could look too thick and unnatural. If a tooth is dark and needs to be lightened, tooth structure needs to be removed so the darkness of the tooth doesn't show through the veneer. Adding porcelain to a tooth will only make it larger. If a tooth is small and the desired outcome is a larger tooth, prepless veneers are a great option.

What should I ask my doctor before getting veneers?

  • Ask your doctor to show you other cases of veneers they have done, specifically cases that look like your situation.

  • Ask how many patients they have treated with veneers.

  • Ask if they use a dental lab that specializes in cosmetic dental veneers.

  • Ask what the doctor can do to show you what your veneers will look like before they are permanently placed.

Can I preview my veneers before they go in to help me decide if veneers are right for me?

A digital smile preview can be made by taking a picture of the patient's face and digitally editing the teeth. This will give a patient a very good idea of the aesthetic outcome. We charge $65 for ordering a digital mock-up for patients who want a preview.

Does the process hurt?

Typically patients are numb for the veneering process. There should be no pain during the procedure once numbness takes effect. With smaller cases (two or four veneers), there will be very little or no discomfort after the numbness subsides. Patients should expect some soreness of the gums and possibly the jaw in cases that involve eight or more veneers. The soreness can be alleviated with over-the-counter medications.

Will I need gum contouring and what does it cost?

In most veneer cases, contouring the gums will result in a better cosmetic outcome. It is done to create symmetry and lengthen short teeth. Most gum contouring causes no additional discomfort during or after treatment. I do not charge any additional fee for gum contouring. On rare occasions surgical contouring must be done if the teeth are very short. Patients are referred to a periodontist for this procedure. The periodontist will charge a separate fee for the procedure.

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