Veneers for misaligned teeth


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Veneers for misaligned teeth – An aesthetic correction option

Have you ever been in this situation?

When I was a child, there was a time when I had to wear a retainer every night to push my growing teeth into the right positions. Back then, I was definitely not pleased with this nightly ritual but when I now look back at that time while checking out my now evenly aligned teeth in a mirror, I find myself feeling very thankful to my parents for “forcing” that retainer into my mouth every night. However, not everybody was lucky enough to receive the “gift” of a retainer as a child. And so, even until the present day, several of my friends find it annoying to show their misaligned teeth every time they smile. “It is probably just a tad bit too late for a nightly retainer but I’m sure there must be plenty of other options to improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth. For example, I’ve heard pretty good things about veneers.” I recently told one of my buddies – Tom – who was looking for a way to “upgrade” his smile.

What are Veneers?

A brief Google search quickly yielded more information about these so-called veneers which are very thin (0.3 to 1.0 millimeters) and transparent pieces of porcelain that are placed on top of a tooth’s enamel and look almost indistinguishable from the surface of a real tooth. Veneers consist of a very durable ceramic material that can also resist virtually any tooth discoloration due to its even and smooth surface. In most cases (90%+), veneers are used for purely cosmetic purposes such as to cover significant tooth discolorations and/or to correct visible tooth misalignments. Sometimes, however, a medical reason requiring the use of veneers can arise – for example the need to repair a chipped or broken tooth. “Alright – sounds like a viable option – let’s find out a bit more.” Said Tom as he was about to call his dentist to book an appointment.

How are veneers placed?

A few days later at the dentist office, we learned that patients generally have to expect 2 appointments for veneer placement:

Appointment 1: Following a detailed examination of a patient’s teeth, the dentist makes dental imprints, selects an optimal veneer color with the patient, and sends this information to the dental lab for the manufacturing of the custom-fitted porcelain veneers. Sometimes, it is necessary for the dentist to remove up to 1.0 millimeters of dental enamel to ensure the accuracy of the dental imprints. In such cases, the patient receives temporary veneers to protect the polished teeth until the second appointment.   

Appointment 2: The temporary veneers are removed and replaced by the finished permanent ones from the dental lab. Once the permanent porcelain veneers are placed on the teeth, they can only be removed via abrasion. Veneer placement usually takes up to 30 minutes per tooth and average durability lies between 5 and 15 years.   

The newest kind of veneer is the so-called “Non-Prep” or “Non-Invasive” veneer that can be placed on a tooth without the removal of any dental enamel. This new veneer type is merely 0.2 millimeters thick and can be installed more quickly which significantly lowers its cost (by up to 80%). For cosmetic purposes, veneers are usually placed along the so-called “smile line” (between the left and the right canine teeth) to ensure an even and symmetrical smile. Veneer placement on individual teeth is usually only done for medical reasons – for example to correct broken tooth edges. “Wow – so you’ll have to grind off the top layer of a handful of my teeth … What other options are there?” asked Tom, clearly concerned.

What are viable alternatives to veneers?
"That’s a good question. Veneers can be viable for many people but there are definitely some for whom I would not recommend them. Let’s first take a look at the inside of your mouth to find out whether or not you’re a veneer-guy.” said the dentist in a lighthearted tone to calm Tom down a bit. Though veneers are proven options to correct tooth misalignments, most dentists would not recommend them to patients to whom one or more of the following apply: 

* Diseased/damaged teeth and/or gums
* Nightly tooth grinding
* Strongly discolored teeth or teeth that have undergone a root canal treatment (crowns and bridges made out of metal or porcelain are better alternatives in these cases)
* Desire for brighter/whiter teeth (dental bleaching would be a more advisable first option)

Since fortunately none of these characteristics applied to Tom, he was qualified for veneers and ultimately opted for the new “Non-Prep” type. “As long as the whole shebang does not involve any abrasion, I’m all for it. Before we start, though, I have one more question – how much will this whole procedure cost?”


How much do veneers cost?
While the costs associated with veneer manufacture and placement depend strongly on the amount of dentist effort required and on the quality of materials used, the following pricing guidelines can provide a solid estimate: 

* Conventional veneer: € 500 - 1.000 per tooth
* Non-Prep-veneer: € 600 - 900 per tooth

“Well, this will be expensive … Let’s just hope for an extra high annual bonus.” Tom joked as he gave his nod to the procedure. Everything went pretty smoothly and pain-free and only a few weeks later, Tom was already admiring his significantly more symmetrical and whiter smile in a mirror.



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All the Best & see you soon, Ace!




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