Are veneers worth it?

If you've been looking into ways to brighten your smile or to cover up small chips, gaps and crooked teeth, you've probably heard about dental veneers.

These thin teeth coverings are less invasive than crowns, but more long-term than teeth whitening. But are they right for you?

What are veneers?

There are two types of veneers: thin porcelain shells that are custom-made and bonded to the front of your teeth, and composite resin that's applied directly to your teeth and hardened.

They're designed to look as much like natural teeth as possible. Your dentist will recommend the right shade for you and polish your veneers so they look like the real thing.

What are they used for?

Most people associate dental veneers with teeth whitening, but there are many reasons your dentist might discuss veneers with you.

They could be an option if your teeth:

  • are stained or discoloured
  • have small chips or cracks
  • have small gaps
  • are slightly crooked or misaligned
  • have an irregular shape.

If any of these issues are caused by a more serious underlying condition, this should be treated as a priority before you have veneers fitted.

How much do veneers cost?

The cost of veneers depends on a few things, including how many teeth you're having treated, whether you choose porcelain or composite resin veneers, where you're having the treatment done, and whether your insurance covers cosmetic treatments.

Porcelain veneers usually cost more than composite veneers, although they have certain advantages. They're more durable than composite resin, they usually last longer, and they can look more natural than resin. Your dentist will explain what payment plans they have available to help you afford your treatment.

How long do veneers last?

Porcelain veneers can last between 10 and 15 years, while composite veneers may need to be replaced after 5 to 7 years.

You can help your veneers to last as long as possible by following good oral hygiene and avoiding hard foods that could cause damage, especially to composite veneers. Your dentist will check their condition every time you visit for your regular check-up.

You may notice that your veneers seem to change colour after a few years. This is actually your teeth naturally changing colour and your veneers staying the same. Your dentist can correct this by shading your veneers or fitting new ones.

What other options are there?

Although veneers are less invasive than some dental procedures, they're still a big decision. If you choose porcelain veneers, your dentist needs to prepare the surface of your teeth to help them bond and fit correctly, and this permanently alters their shape and appearance.

If you're thinking about veneers to whiten your teeth only, teeth whitening could be a more convenient option. However, these treatments will need to be re-applied every 6 to 12 months.

If your teeth are severely crooked or misaligned, or you have larger gaps, your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment involving braces or clear aligners.

Some chips and cracks in teeth can be fixed with dental bonding. This also uses composite resin, although the treatment may not last as long as veneers.

Are veneers right for me?

Your dentist will let you know whether you're suitable for veneers during your appointment. You probably won't be a candidate if you have an ongoing oral health condition, weak teeth enamel, or if you bite your nails or grind your teeth.

To find out more about veneers or to make an appointment with a dentist in Perth's Northern Suburbs, call Ocean Reef Dental Surgery on (08) 9307 6700. You can also contact us online.