Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic dental solution, offering a quick route to a brighter, more uniform smile for those unhappy with the appearance of their teeth. Whether it’s discoloration, gaps, or chips that you’re looking to address, dental veneers can provide a transformative solution. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about dental veneers, from what they are and the types available to the procedure, care, and considerations involved.
Understanding Dental Veneers
What Are Dental Veneers? Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed to cover the front surface of teeth. Made from porcelain or composite resin materials, they aim to improve your smile by altering the color, shape, size, or length of your teeth.
Why Choose Dental Veneers? People opt for veneers for various reasons, including:
- To correct discoloration that can’t be fixed with whitening
- To repair chips or minor fractures
- To close gaps between teeth
- To correct minor misalignments
- To enhance the appearance of teeth that are worn down, uneven, or irregularly shaped
Types of Veneers
- Porcelain Veneers:
- Made from high-quality ceramic
- Require some removal of the tooth’s surface
- Offer a natural tooth appearance
- Generally stronger and last longer
- Composite Resin Veneers:
- Made from a tooth-colored filling material
- Less removal of the tooth surface needed
- Easier to fix if damaged
- Less expensive but not as long-lasting as porcelain
- These are not commonly placed
The Dental Veneer Procedure: What to Expect
- Consultation: The process begins with a consultation where your dentist will assess your teeth, discuss your goals, and determine if veneers are suitable for you.
- Preparation: The dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the surface of your teeth to make space for the veneers. The dentist will also remove some of the enamel from the biting edge and side of the tooth so that the veneer will have a cleaner, more snug fit. An impression of your teeth is then taken and sent to a lab where your veneers are custom-made. Temporary veneers may be placed in the meantime.
- Bonding: Once your porcelain veneers are ready, your dentist will check the fit and color, make any necessary adjustments, and then clean, polish, and etch your teeth to prepare them for the bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer, which is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned, a light beam is applied to activate chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden quickly.
Caring for Your Veneers
To ensure the longevity of your veneers:
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily.
- Avoid using your teeth as tools to open packages or bite hard objects.
- Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth at night.
- Regularly visit your dentist for check-ups and professional cleanings.
Considerations and Risks for Dental Veneers
- Irreversible Process: Enamel removed during the procedure cannot be replaced.
- Sensitivity: Teeth may become more sensitive to hot and cold due to enamel removal.
- Damage: While strong, veneers can chip or crack if subjected to excessive force.
- Color Match: Veneers are stain-resistant, but the surrounding teeth are not, which may lead to color mismatches over time unless you opt for teeth whitening treatments.
Dental veneers can be a life-changing investment, offering a durable and aesthetically pleasing solution for various dental imperfections. If you live near Olney and are looking for a cosmetic dentist to place dental veneers, we welcome you to book a consultation.