Cosmetic dentistry has found its place in modern dentistry as a serious option for people who are not happy with the way their smile looks. Dentists understand that self-esteem is an important aspect of overall health, and we offer several options for improving stained, crooked or gapped teeth. Some dental procedures offer both structural and cosmetic improvements at the same time, such as crowns, while others are strictly cosmetic. Veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures and can transform your smile completely.
Veneers can be porcelain or composite, but porcelain veneers are definitely superior. They last longer and look much more natural. A veneer is a thin covering that goes over the front of the tooth and wraps slightly around the sides. A good way to understand what veneers are is to compare them to crowns. Crowns cover the tooth all the way around, and offer structural repair to a broken or decayed tooth. Veneers are much thinner and only cover the front of the tooth. They are not strong enough to be considered a repair or replacement for a severely damaged tooth, so they go into the category of cosmetic only. As a prosthodontist (a dentist who specializes in the repair and replacement of seriously damaged or missing teeth and has additional years of dental school training), I can help patients understand the differences between veneers, crowns and other options for cosmetic improvement or tooth repair and replacement, and determine which procedures are best for each patient.
In general, veneers are an option for someone who has slightly gapped, chipped or stained teeth without need for serious repair or replacement of damaged or missing teeth. Veneers can change the shape and the color of your teeth and give you a fabulous-looking smile.
The process of getting veneers takes a few visits to the dentist’s office. During the first visit, the patient is examined and a decision of which teeth are to be veneered is made. It may be just one or two teeth or several. The dentist will prepare the teeth for the placement of the veneers by removing some of the surface of the teeth to help the veneers fit and stay in place. Your veneers will be made to fit your teeth, and you will return to the office to have them placed.
Many people worry about the cost of veneers in Manhattan. Because it is a cosmetic procedure, it is usually not covered by insurance. The price is usually per tooth, each tooth costing anywhere from $500 to $2000. The reason for this long range in price is largely due to location and quality. Where you live will be a determining factor in how much veneers will cost. The experience and qualifications of the dentist are a factor as well.
Barring location, quality veneers placed by an experienced dentist with advanced education in prosthodontics will be a considerable investment. If you see a dentist advertising an outrageously low price for veneers, you should definitely be skeptical. Remember that the phrase “you get what you pay for” is definitely true when it comes to dentistry.
If the cost of veneers seems prohibitive, consider that few things are as valuable as your self-esteem. Anyone who has suffered with a smile that they are ashamed knows the emotional pain of it. As a prosthodontist, I have many times seen the joy of people when they see their new smile for the first time. Improving your smile can change your life