Dental Veneers are a quick and easy way to a pearly white smile. Veneers are a popular choice for individuals with stained, chipped, or misshapen teeth. However, veneers are predominately a permanent solution, having them placed is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Before deciding if this procedure is right for you, it is imperative to have the correct information regarding veneers and the appropriate way to care for them.
What are Dental Veneers?
A veneer is an ultra-thin, tooth-colored shell that covers the front of the teeth to improve smile appearance as well as provide strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel. These shells are custom shaped for the patient’s teeth and then bonded to the tooth’s original enamel.
Why Dental Veneers?
Veneers are a far less intrusive option than crowns or braces. Patients have the option to use veneers to correct slight misalignments or close small gaps but also possess the capability to enhance an entire smile. The cosmetic benefits for veneers include improving smile brightness, straightening their smile, and correcting other issues such as stains, fractures, and chips.
How are Dental Veneers Placed?
Dental veneers commonly require a few trips to the dentist, a consultation visit, a visit where the veneers are made, and then finally an appointment to apply them. During the consultation, the patient will explain their desired results while the dentist establishes if veneers are right for them and explains the process. The dentist may also take X-Rays or make impressions of your mouth for future use. For porcelain veneers, the dentist will remove a half millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, this is about the same size as the veneer that will be added. After the teeth are prepared, the dentist will take an impression which is sent to a dental laboratory for assembly. After approximately 2-4 weeks, the custom veneers are sent back, where your dentist will make certain that the color matches the patient’s teeth and trim the veneer until the appropriate fit is achieved. Next, teeth will be cleaned, polished, and etched to provide a stronger bond. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on the tooth. Once in the correct position, the dentist will use a special light beam to activate the chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden quickly. Lastly, the dentist will remove any excess cement and evaluate your bite, making any necessary adjustments. Your dentist will likely check-up with you soon after to monitor how your gums respond and analyze the veneer’s placement, making any adjustments accordingly.
Porcelain versus Composite Veneers
Dental veneers can be manufactured from either porcelain or resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers are preferably used for correcting tooth color or shaping and last 10 to 20 years on average. Porcelain veneers also require the reshaping of the patient’s natural teeth to fit the veneer. In contrast, Composite veneers can typically be constructed while you wait, making it a same-day treatment. As a result of not having to reshape the teeth, Composite veneers offer the ability to take the veneers off and return to your regular teeth if you choose.
Caring for Veneers
You should brush and floss just as you would normally. Using non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste, limiting coffee and other stain-inducing foods, along with consistent brushing, will allow the veneers to look their best for as long as possible. Patients should also be aware that veneers will need to be replaced at some point regardless of how well they are taken care of. If you are considering veneers, ensure that you understand the process fully and remember that a beautiful smile can increase your health and confidence!
When your smile isn’t at its best, it can inhibit your desire to smile around others. It not only makes you unhappy, but it can also have negative impacts on your health. Thankfully, we have a solution! We hope this blog helps you understand the process and see the benefits of veneers! If you’re ready to enhance your lifestyle with veneers, Dental Arts San Diego can help! Give us a call at (619) 444-1001, or click here to schedule an appointment. We are located at 707 Arnele Avenue, El Cajon, CA 92020.