Dental veneers are a custom fitted coating that covers teeth in order to hide imperfections. The thin shells are designed to mold to the front of the teeth and are made out of tooth colored materials such as resin or porcelain. Veneers are used to improve a number of issues, including discoloration, chips or breaks, and even gaps. There are two types of veneers. One is made of porcelain and the other is made of composite resin. Both have pros and cons when considering getting veneers. Before deciding on if and what kind of veneers would work for your needs, you will meet with a dentist to discuss your desires and eligibility.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Although paper thin, once bonded to healthy teeth, porcelain veneers are incredibly strong and durable. They have a lifespan of 10-15 years provided you take good care of them and avoid chewing on hard objects. Porcelain veneers take greater craftsmanship to make, making them more expensive. However, they are by far the highest quality veneer option. Many prefer a porcelain veneer because the translucent color causes the veneers to look more natural. One downside is the inability to repair a broken porcelain veneer. Once damaged, it must be entirely replaced rather than repaired.
How Do Veneers Work?
In order to get veneers, you are looking at several trips to the dentist. The first step is to determine if you are even a good candidate for veneers. During the consultation, you and your dentist will discuss the process and decide what kind of veneers are right for you. Some instances, veneers are not recommended. Things like decaying teeth, weakened teeth, heavy clenching or grinding and not enough enamel can exclude someone from getting veneers.
Once your dentist decides you are a good candidate, however, you can now begin the process. Additional visits are required to make and then apply the veneers to your teeth. The good news is that multiple teeth can be treated simultaneously. Your dentist scrapes a portion of the front enamel off your teeth in order to successfully bond the veneer securely to the front of the teeth. Local anesthesia is used to lessen the discomfort during the procedure.
It’s important to discuss the end result you are looking for with your dentist so the veneers can be created specifically to address your areas of concern. Veneers are made in a dental laboratory which is often off site so it’s important to have exact measurements and desired outcomes specified for the job. During the initial visit, the dentist may take x-rays or even take tooth impressions. It may take a few weeks or more to construct your veneers since each job is highly customized.
Once the veneers are bonded to your teeth, the dentist will take time and care to examine the fit and check your bite. Minor adjustments can be made at this time to make sure the fit is perfect. The dentist will give you instructions on taking care of your veneers and avoiding damage. It is also important to go to all the of the follow-up appointments to make sure the veneers adhere properly and to double check your bite.
Veneers are a great solution for those looking to improve the overall appearance, color, and symmetry of their teeth. It is important to locate a qualified dentist to guide you through the process. Doing so ensures that your tooth and gum health is not compromised in the process of getting veneers. Make sure to continue exercising proper hygiene and get regular checkups with your dentist.