Last Sunday’s Academy Awards marked the end of “Red Carpet Season.”
And while fans and the media were all abuzz about what the stars were wearing, who won what, and their favorite performances that night, many also noticed another celebrity accessory: Their beautiful smiles.
So, how did so many stars get their pearly whites? Great genes? Well, perhaps a few of them are incredibly lucky. But for most, something else is definitely going on.
Today, March 9th, (yes, it’s true) is “False Teeth Day.” And, though, when most of us hear that term, we immediately think of George Washington or dentures floating in a cup, “False Teeth” can also be glamorous. Very glamorous. We’re talking, of course, about veneers.
So, can a regular person get veneers? What exactly are they? How much do they cost? And what kind of difference do they make?
What are veneers?
Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or laminates) are basically super-thin, tooth-colored coverings. They are tailor-made and professionally applied to each tooth with the goal of enhancing each patient’s smile.
While celebrities and many others obtain veneers in order to be picture perfect (straight, white, perfectly-shaped teeth), they can also be utilized to correct teeth that are discolored, worn down, chipped, broken, or have gaps between them.
Veneers can be made from materials ranging from resin composites to high-quality porcelain known to best reflect light and resist stains. Dental professionals help their patients find their best option.
How are veneers applied?
Typically, obtaining veneers requires three trips to the dentist. A consultation followed by two trips for applications.
In the first meeting x-rays and molds are commonly taken/made and a conversation about options, procedures, and costs takes place. Then, once the veneers are returned from the laboratory to your dentist (approximately 2 weeks later), they are gradually and carefully trimmed, fit, polished, etched, and cemented in, with a quick-hardening light beam. Next, final adjustments are made.
An anesthetic is often used, because teeth need to be filed down a bit (about .5 millimeter) to ensure that the veneers fit properly. A follow-up visit is routinely advised. Most patients describe the application as easy and pain-free.
How much do veneers cost?
Based on your dentist, where you live, and what materials you decide upon, costs will vary. Generally speaking, though, patients can expect to spend within the range of $500 to $2,500+ per tooth.
This is a lot of money for most people, and there are payment plans available. To many, though, having an amazing smile for 10-20 years is worth sacrifices in other parts of their lives.
Maintenance is the same as with natural teeth. A healthy diet (be moderate with stain-causing beverages), regular brushing and flossing, and two annual trips to the dentist are encouraged.
Think veneers might be for you? Well, if you have a dental plan or insurance, you’re probably wondering if any of the costs are covered. The short answer is, “it depends.” If you are a DentalPlans.com customer, please call us. We’ll be happy to discuss this with you and answer your specific questions.