Understanding Dental Veneers
Have you ever looked in the mirror and wished you could enhance the color, shape, size, or length of your teeth to achieve your perfect smile? With veneers, you actually can!
So, what exactly are veneers, what problems do they fix, what is the process for applying them and what advantages are associated with this solution? Read on to find out.
WHAT ARE VENEERS?
Dental veneers are very thin, customized shells that cover the front surfaces of teeth. Typically made with porcelain or resin, they are a durable, long-lasting solution for a number of oral health and cosmetic issues, such as:
DISCOLORED TEETH – Whether teeth are discolored due to wine, coffee, certain prescription drugs, or something else, veneers can brighten your smile.
WORN, BROKEN OR MISSHAPEN TEETH – Instead of extracting worn, broken, or misshapen teeth to insert a dental implant, you can use veneers to cover these teeth and create a new smile.
MISALIGNED TEETH – Veneers can improve teeth alignment and also eliminate gaps between teeth.
Resin-based veneers are thinner and can be applied without having to remove as much enamel, but porcelain-based veneers are often more popular because they resist stains and more closely mimic the natural appearance of teeth. Your dentist can help point you towards the right veneer for you, but either option will provide you with better looking (and better functioning) teeth.
APPLYING DENTAL VENEERS
There are typically three dental visits involved when you're considering veneers:
PLANNING – Your dentist will conduct an initial exam to confirm your candidacy for veneers. If you are eligible, he or she may then take x-rays, photographs and impressions of your teeth and recommend a treatment plan. Many dentists may also provide you with a model of the veneers so that you can get a sense of what they will look like in your mouth.
PREPARING – To prepare your teeth for veneers, your dentist will shave approximately 1/2-millimeter of enamel from your teeth's surfaces. After doing so, he or she will make an impression of each tooth to send to a dental laboratory to get your veneers made.
BONDING – Once the veneers are ready (often 1-2 weeks after your previous visit), the dentist will place and trim them to ensure the perfect fit. Then, he or she will apply each veneer with special cement and secure it quickly with a special light beam. Once all the veneers are applied, your dentist will make adjustments to ensure your bite is comfortable.
ADVANTAGES OF VENEERS OVER ALTERNATIVES
Veneers offer several key advantages:
NATURAL LOOKING RESULTS – With veneers you won't have to worry about a solution that appears fake (specifically in contrast to your natural smile).
QUICK RESULTS – Many patients go in for their consultation and are finished with their treatment in less than two weeks.
COMFORTABLE FIT – Veneers are sturdy yet thin, so they won't just look natural; they'll feel natural too.
ARE YOU READY FOR VENEERS?
If you have dreamt of altering the shape, alignment, or color of your teeth, veneers could be the perfect solution. The best way to begin is with a visit to your dentist. It could be the first step on your path to the straight, beautiful smile you've always wanted!