At your initial consultation you should speak to your dentist about what you are unhappy about and ask what your options are – you may not even need veneers. Do not be pressured in to anything you are unsure about as you will regret it later.
If you do need/want veneers, your dentist may be able to give you a computer generated design of your new teeth at this stage. You should have as much or as little input as you want into the design of your new teeth and you should specify the look of your new teeth, if you have an idea in mind. If you think the new design makes your teeth look too long or bulky then you should say so now.
Take any pictures with you of smiles that you like and ask if your dentist can replicate that look for you. It may/ may not be posisble depending on your mouth.
You may also be required to have gum reshaping to make your new smile look more aesthetically pleasing – this is an extra cost.
You should ask to see previous examples of work that your dentist has done so you can see the standard of work. If they don’t have any – RUN.
You should ask if their veneers are guaranteed and if so, for how many years. Ask what happens if any veneers fall off or break in that guaranteed time and what happens when the guarantee runs out – do they give a discount? If you can find a dentist that guarantees their work for 5 years or more, that is best. If they do not guarantee their work, you should be wondering why and RUN.
Ask what their veneers are made of. You can get composite or porcelain. Composite is cheaper, but are a little tougher and can be often be repaired rather than replaced so save you money. However, they look less realistic than porcelain. Porcelain are more expensive. They are a little more fragile so can they be damaged more easily but ultimately look more realistic.
You should ask any questions you are worried about at this stage, whether it be about injections, pain, cost etc. If you are unhappy with any of the answers, tell them or find another dentist.
If you have underlying dental problems: rotting teeth, gum problems (dark gums are a tell tale sign) these issues should be rectified FIRST before you go ahead with veneers. If the dentist ignores these problems – RUN. Any decent dentist will fix these problems first rather than mask them with veneers. If you have a cavity or gum problem, it will only get worse underneath the veneer. Make sure your dentist is aware of any problems you already know about at this stage.
If you grind your teeth or clench you teeth, you may not be a good candidate for veneers. You should let your dentist know if you do groind or clench your teeth.
You will be given a quote at this point. Ask if this is negotiable if the cost is too high for you, you will find that many dentists are accomodating. Both of mine were 🙂
If you are happy to proceed, you will be booked in for another appointment to have numerous xrays, impressions and photographs taken. This will take about 30 minutes and will not hurt. No drilling or filing should happen at this stage. If you have any changes you want to make about the shape of your new teeth, you should discuss it with your dentist. If you have any more questions, ask them.
The next appointment will be to fit your temporary veneers. You will be given injections to numb each of the teeth you are having replaced. In some cases you may given 2 or 3 injections to each tooth if you can still feel anything. Most dentists have a numbing spray which they use before your injections, to reduce the pain.
Depending on how many veneers you have, this process will take between 1 – 3 hours. I had 16 veneers which I did over 2 sessions in 1 day. The top 10 took 2. 1/2 hours and the bottom 6 took 1. 1/2 hours. Any gum reshaping will be done at this time so that they heal in time for the final veneers.
At this stage, your dentist will basically file away a thin layer of the front of your teeth and a little at the bottom. The thickness removed should be exactly the same thickness as the new veneers, so that the new veneers feels the same depth as your old teeth and do not push your lips out. This procedure is uncomfortable and can be stressful, but is not painful providded you are adequately drugged up!
More impressions will be taken once your teeth have been filed down so that the new veneers can be made exactly to the right specification. This does not hurt.
Once your temporary veneers are fitteed, you will be asked to open and close your mouth, to see if you can bite properly. If you have any areas/ teeth that don’t fit together properly, your dentist will lightly file these until you can bite down properly. In some cases, only so much can be ground away at this time, so your bite may not be perfect.
The temporary veneers give you an opportunity to see what your new veneers will look like. If you are unhappy about anything, you MUST speak to your dentist about it.
You will wear these veneers for aprox 2 weeks. Some dentists may have a slightly shorter or longer time until they fit the final veneers.
They feel awful. Fact.
Click here to read about the fourth appointment