Dental veneers are a convenient and easy way to brighten or even out someone's smile. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or composite resin material that are cemented to the front surfaces of natural teeth. They are also a permanent addition to the teeth, and if one is considering having a dental veneer procedure, it is important to consider all of the possible pros and cons.
Dental veneer pros and cons
Pro: dental veneers whiten and brighten a smile
Many things can dull the luster of a person's natural smile. Smoking can yellow the teeth, and even something like the habitual consumption of coffee or wine can stain the teeth. Tooth enamel which has become stained can be addressed with whitening treatments at home or at a dentist's office, but often become stained again soon after. Dental veneers, because they are not made of natural tooth enamel, are highly resistant to staining.
Con: dental veneers can be expensive
The final price of any dental veneer treatment will vary depending on a number of factors. The number of teeth being treated will affect the price, as will the policies of the individual dentist. Regardless of what goes into determining the ultimate cost, dental veneers can often be expensive. According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, veneers can average in cost anywhere from $800 to $2,500 per tooth.
Pro: dental veneers easily remedy cosmetic issues
Teeth which may be crooked or have spaces between them can often be treated successfully with dental veneers. Because veneers attach to the front surfaces of teeth, they can hide minor problems that would otherwise require the work of an orthodontist.
Con: teeth treated with dental veneers can often become sensitive
Because the outermost layer of tooth enamel is removed prior to dental veneers being affixed to the teeth, some people can develop an increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. In some cases, this increased sensitivity may only last a few days, and will usually diminish over time.
Pro: dental veneers can be used to replace damaged tooth enamel
The enamel that covers a person's teeth can become worn down by a number of factors. Highly acidic food or drinks that are consumed on a regular basis, stomach acid from those with acid reflux disease, and even overly forceful tooth brushing can all damage tooth enamel over time. Once it is gone, this enamel never grows back, which can lead to further problems. Fortunately, dental veneers are a convenient and effective way to treat teeth that have lost some enamel.
Con: the process of having dental veneers affixed to the teeth is irreversible
Dental veneers can last for a long time — 15 to 20 years, on average. However, they are not permanent in and of themselves. Because a dentist needs to remove a thin layer of each tooth prior to affixing veneers, it is considered a permanent procedure because it changes the structure of the tooth in a way that cannot be reversed later.
The bottom line
Though it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of any permanent procedure, dental veneers are a straightforward and very effective way to remedy teeth that are discolored, damaged or crooked. There's nothing like a bright, white smile, and veneers can be the best way to attain that. Consult with a dental professional to learn more about dental veneers and to see if they might be an appropriate option for you.
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