Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are cemented to the existing tooth. They are often used to address physical or cosmetic issues. Feeling good about your smile can do a lot for your self-esteem and veneers are a great option for many people. However, they are permanent and irreversible, so being informed before making the decision to get veneers is imperative.
What are veneers?
The term “veneer” refers to a thin covering, usually used to make something appear more decorative or beautiful. In dentistry, a veneer is a thin layer of porcelain placed over an existing tooth that is used to recreate the natural look of teeth. Veneers are often used to cosmetically enhance the look of the teeth, thus the term “veneer”.
Veneers are custom-made to the contour of the wearer’s natural tooth. Porcelain is the most commonly-used material and is used to mimic the enamel’s natural strength and resilience. Veneers are attached to the tooth’s original enamel during in-office dental procedures.
What is the process of getting veneers?
The process of having veneers placed usually takes only one or two appointments with your dentist. If the veneer is prefabricated, it usually takes one appointment; if the veneer is being created by a laboratory, it takes two appointments.
The dentist will clean the area and determine the correct shade for the veneer, and the veneer will be cleaned and prepared. A very small amount of enamel will be removed from patient’s tooth to provide room to place the veneer. Depending on the patient’s sensitivity, local anesthesia may be used if desired.
Adhesive is placed on the veneer, and the veneer is cemented to the tooth for an exact fit and contour. The veneer is cured for 60 seconds to attach it to the tooth. The dentist will remove any excess material and polish the veneer.
The dentist will educate the patient on proper veneer care and likely schedule a follow-up visit to check for comfort.
How do you take care of veneers?
Veneers typically have a life-span of 10-20 years, so it’s important for consumers to know that they might need to be replaced at some point. That said, proper oral hygiene can certainly make them last longer.
Most dentists will recommend caring for your veneers the same way you would your original teeth, with daily brushing and flossing, and regular dental visits. Because most veneers are chosen for cosmetic purposes, many wearers choose to limit coffee and other stain-inducing foods.
Do I need veneers?
The right veneers are a quick and effective way to get the smile you want, and this treatment is great for many people. Patients with teeth that are stained or discolored, chipped or broken, or have gaps might all consider veneers.
Veneers can be used to serve a similar purpose as crowns or braces, but veneers are a less intrusive option. Veneers can be used to close gaps or correct misalignments and are often used as a cosmetic solution for people who want to enhance their smile.
Before you decide if veneers are right for you, make sure to talk to your dentist. While veneers are a great option for many people, they are an irreversible treatment, so having them placed is a big decision. Be sure to talk to your dentist about your particular situation and be informed about all of your options.
Learn more about how dental veneers fit into cosmetic dentistry as a whole by reading our e-book, The Complete Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry.
For additional info, check out our cosmetic dentistry page: http://www.wrdental.com/restorative-dentistry