South Florida Cosmetic Dentist Answers FAQs about Porcelain Veneers

If you’re considering getting porcelain veneers to improve your smile, you probably have a lot of questions.  Below, Dr. Charles Nottingham a Boca Raton cosmetic dentist with South Florida Cosmetic Dentistry, answers the most frequently asked questions about porcelain veneers.

Q. What are porcelain veneers?

A. They are thin pieces of porcelain which are permanently attached to the fronts of individual teeth.  Because of the way they reflect light, the veneers look like natural teeth.  While many patients have veneers attached to each tooth, some might only use a veneer to correct a flaw on one tooth.

Q.  Why do people get veneers?

A. Veneers can address a number of cosmetic issues with patients’ smiles.  They can correct mildly crooked teeth (severely crooked teeth probably need braces or instant ortho), gaps between teeth (diastemas), chips in teeth, and discoloration. 

Q. Who shouldn’t get veneers?

A.  Most people are good candidates for porcelain veneers, but patients with tooth decay, gum disease, gingivitis, or severe misalignment of teeth are probably not good candidates.  Patients who grind their teeth a lot may end up cracking their veneers, although if you only grind at night you can wear a mouth guard to protect the veneers.

Q. How are veneers attached?

A.  First the dentist must shave off a little tooth enamel on each tooth that will have a veneer.  This usually doesn’t usually hurt, but some patients prefer a local anesthetic.  Then the dentist takes a mold of your teeth which is sent to a lab where they create veneers customized to your mouth.  Once the veneers are available (generally 2-3 weeks later), the dentist will do what’s called a try-in.  This is where they literally try-in the new veneers to check the fit, color, shape, shading, etc.  Then on either the same visit or a separate visit, the dentist will bond them to your teeth with special cement.  You will have a follow-up visit with the dentist a week after the veneers are attached to make any necessary adjustments, take after photos, and deliver the night guard (if applicable). 

Q. How do I care for the veneers?

A. You can brush and floss as you usually would.  Also, you should have regular dental hygiene checkups.  Veneers are strong, but brittle – a lot like glass.  You should avoid breaking nuts with your teeth, chewing on ice, or other activities that might crack your veneers (or your teeth).    Be sure you see a dental hygienist that is properly trained to clean teeth with veneers.  A good dentist and hygienist should instruct patients on how to best keep their veneers looking beautiful and having the best durability.  There are even special motorized toothbrushes that are best to clean the porcelain gently such as a Rotodent.  We do not typically recommend the Sonicare because it can cause abrasions (rough surfaces) on the teeth and veneers.

Q. How long do they last?

A. Generally most veneers need to be replaced after 10-15 years, although some patients’ veneers last up to 30 years.  Although they are very durable, sometimes veneers show wear around the edges or the patients’ gums recede and expose the edges of the veneers.  If an individual veneer chips, cracks, or comes un-bonded, it can be replaced.

Q. Do porcelain veneers get stained?

A. No.  Veneers are resistant to coffee, tea, and wine stains. Once a patient selects their desired shade/color, the veneers will stay this way forever. (Important Note: if a patient sees a dentist that uses a low-cost lab, especially ones that get their veneers from China, these can stain, discolor, and in some instances cause future health issues.)

Q. How much will veneers cost?Dollar-Sign-with-Question-Marks

A.  It’s impossible to quote a one-size-fits-all price because each patient is unique and the costs differ from person to person.  For most procedures you can expect to pay anywhere from $800-$2,000 per tooth to get your dream smile.  The range is based on how many teeth you get done, which lab is selected, how complicated your case is, and more.  Can you find it for less? Absolutely. But remember, you get what you pay for, and there’s a reason approximately half of all cosmetic dentistry must be redone. High quality veneers require high quality, costly, material and the services of a well-trained cosmetic dentist, dental lab, and dental staff.  You may pay more upfront, but you can be confident of satisfactory results.

Q. Are veneers covered by dental insurance?

A.  Veneers are generally considered completely cosmetic in-nature so insurances do not cover veneers unless there is an issue with a tooth that the insurance company considers medically necessary to treat.  The insurance companies generally need to see an x-ray of the tooth with a narrative of the reason for treating it.  The insurance company then takes 4-6 weeks to review the case and decide if they will cover a small portion of treatment.  Most patients should expect to pay out of pocket and then have the insurance company directly reimburse them if anything is covered later. 

Learn More:

To learn more about South Florida Cosmetic Dentistry, visit www.smilesouthflorida.com or call (954) 721-6950 to speak with a team member to learn more about South Florida Cosmetic Dentistry’s complimentary cosmetic consultations.

About South Florida Cosmetic Dentistry:

The cosmetic dentists at South Florida Cosmetic Dentistry have offices in Broward County and West Palm Beach and provide Boca Raton Dentistry, Fort Lauderdale Dentistry and Miami Dentistry. They specialize in dental aesthetics including porcelain veneers, dental implants, extreme makeovers, Invisalign, and sedation dentistry.

About Dr. Charles Nottingham:

Dr. Charles Nottingham is the lead cosmetic dentist and partner for South Florida Cosmetic Dentistry.  In practice since 1974, Dr. Nottingham earned his dental degree from New York University (NYU) and later went on to graduate from the world renowned Pankey Institute for Continuing Education in Key Biscayne, Florida. Today, he continually updates his clinical skills through research and continuing education courses at several prestigious institutions. He is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the American Dental Association (ADA), the Florida Dental Association (FDA), and he has received a Fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD).

Dr. Nottingham is internationally and nationally renowned for utilizing a unique combination of dental expertise, technology, and artistry to give patients their dream smiles.  He is recognized as "Florida's Extreme Makeover Dentist" by da Vinci Dental Studios, the dental lab featured on ABC's Extreme Makeover and Fox's The Swan.  Dr. Nottingham has also been showcased in Dentistry Today Magazine, Contemporary Esthetics, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Town & Country, and has appeared on CBS Miami and Plum TV.