How do Veneers Work and How Much do They Cost?
So, veneers are basically like false fingernails that fit over the front and the edge of the teeth. They are designed basically to enhance and improve the color of the teeth, the size of the teeth, the shape of the teeth, and they’re one of the most commonly used cosmetic dentistry materials. Veneers are basically made of two materials. One is porcelain and the other is composite resin. And the veneer basically is designed to fit over the front of the teeth and just slightly over the edge. So, porcelain is like a glass-like substance often called ceramic. And porcelain veneers are the most lifelike, the most durable, and the prettiest form of veneer. And they generally have to be made in the dental laboratory by one of our master ceramic technicians. The other method is to use a composite resin. And again, they can also be made in the laboratory, but very often they’re done by the dentist’s chair side. And the dentist uses his artistry and his skill to build the veneer up directly onto the patient’s tooth.
If veneers are made with a very skilled pair of hands either the dentist’s hands, for example, making composite veneers often called bonding, or the master ceramic technicians that make porcelain veneers. In essence, the skill of the craftsman making those two things is the most important factor in having them look natural. The second most important factor is the desire of the patient. Some of our patients want very natural, very aesthetic results. So, enhancement of their teeth, but not necessarily to make them look fake and that aesthetic choice is a personal choice. And some patients come and they want the Hollywood smile or the most perfect set of white teeth. And they can look less natural, more cosmetic.
But again, that’s down to the choice of the patient and the desire for what they want to look like. But a lot of it comes down to the skill of the craftsman that makes the veneers. And they can look as natural as the patient wants them to look. So, veneers and caps are generally not referring to the same thing. The traditional term cap is usually referring to a crown. And a crown in the dental profession terminology is something that completely envelops the whole tooth. It’s a 360-degree wrap, a complete enclosure of the tooth. And a cap is very often done when the tooth is completely broken down and needs major reconstruction. Whereas a veneer a term suggests is a very thin layer that fits just over the front of the tooth, almost like a false fingernail and it overlaps the edge of the tooth. So, in essence, the bulk of the tooth structure is still intact.
And veneers sometimes require very, very little or and in some cases no tooth reduction or tooth preparation, but in most cases a very minimal tooth reduction, whereas a cap very often requires a lot of tooth structure to be removed. So, the cost of veneers depends on a lot of factors. There are quite a few variables. There are two main types of veneers. Those that are made by porcelain and they’re made in a dental laboratory with a dental technician, and then there are veneers that are made chairside using composite resin often done purely by the dentist directly on the tooth. So, laboratory-made veneers will carry an extra cost because of the fee that the dental technician will charge, whereas composite resin veneers often don’t carry that fee and are usually about 50% of the cost of the porcelain veneers. The composite veneers can also be done in one visit usually. So, you’re not paying for as much of the dentist type. The cost will also depend very much on quality. That might be the quality of the craftsmanship. So that could be the dentist, their skill and their experience in doing that particular treatment, or the craftsmanship and quality of the dental technician or the ceramist who makes the porcelain veneers. And as in all professions, there are very highly skilled masters in those fields and those that are less experienced. The desire of the patient to look as perfect as possible, and the complexity or the difficulty of the case for that particular patient will also have a bearing on the cost. And often the number of veneers done per procedure will have some bearing on the cost. So, for example, if you’re having multiple teeth veneer, usually the individual cost of the veneer comes down. And the single tooth that has to be matched perfectly to a natural tooth next to it can be almost as costly as having two teeth done because of the difficulty in doing that procedure. So, it really varies and it will vary from person to person.
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