If you've recently become dissatisfied with the shade of your teeth, you may have begun to investigate dental whitening procedures. But if you're already dealing with weakened tooth enamel (often caused by the same sodas and wines that can stain your teeth in the first place), you may be reluctant to undergo any procedure that may cause further damage to your delicate enamel. In fact, many dentists will refuse to guarantee whitening results performed on patients whose enamel has worn thin.
However, dental veneers can provide you with a strong, white smile -- often at a cost comparable to heavy-duty whitening treatments. Read on to learn more about how veneers can whiten your smile.
What will dental veneers do for your appearance?
Dental veneers are like crowns in that they fit over a damaged or unsightly tooth -- however, veneers are much thinner and lighter than crowns, and require the dentist to shear away far less of your natural tooth (making veneers structurally stronger than crowns). Veneers can be made in a variety of colors. You may wish to go just a few shades lighter than your pre-veneer appearance for a natural look, or you might opt to go with a very white shade. Your dentist can provide samples or can generate a computer model that will help you see exactly what you can expect after your veneers are applied.
How are veneers applied?
To apply a set of veneers, your dentist will measure your teeth and test your bite. He or she will then use these molds to fabricate veneers that perfectly match your smile. You'll have some numbing agent applied and the dentist will rough up the surface of your teeth to allow a good gripping surface for the veneers. Once the veneers have been placed and cemented to your natural teeth, you'll be able to eat, drink, and chew as normal within just a few hours.
How much do veneers cost?
In general, you can expect to pay around $1,100 per tooth for the application of veneers. Unless your tooth is chipped or cracked, it's unlikely that your dental insurance will pay these costs -- however, these veneers will last a lifetime with little maintenance, while traditional whitening products may only last a short time. If the cost of veneers is an issue, you may wish to apply veneers to only the most visible teeth and then use a traditional peroxide whitening treatment on the rest until you've reached a uniform shade.
For more information, contact a dentist like Dr. Robert Petrtyl.