What are veneers?
A veneer is a light, tooth-colored shell that is attached to the front of the tooth to improve the appearance of the tooth. They are often made of porcelain or resin composites and are permanently bonded to the tooth.
Veneers can be used to treat a variety of cosmetic problems, including chipped, cracked, discolored, and undersized teeth.
Some people can only get one veneer for a broken or missing tooth, but for many people he does 6-8 veneers to achieve an even and symmetrical smile. The top eight front teeth are the most commonly used veneers.
What types of veneers are there?
Dental veneers are most commonly made of porcelain or composite resin and require extensive preparatory work. However, there are also “no preparation” veneers that are applied using a different method.
Installing a conventional dental veneer usually requires grinding down the tooth structure and sometimes removing part of the tooth beyond the enamel. While this allows for correct placement, it is also a potentially painful and often irreversible procedure that requires local anesthesia.
Tooth reduction depends on the dental problem and the number of teeth affected. If multiple teeth are affected, your dentist can order wax models to show you what the veneers will look like.
No-prep veneers, on the other hand, may require tooth preparation or modification, but these modifications are minimal.
Some dentists start by taking impressions of the teeth to make molds after the teeth have been ground down. The mold is then sent to the lab where the porcelain veneer is made.
Once the veneer is complete, the dentist can place it over the prepared tooth and cement it. Temporary veneers can be used until permanent veneers are returned from the lab.
Meanwhile, other dentists may use her CAD/CAM skills to allow the computer to design the veneers. Your dentist can actually make the actual veneers in person.
composite resin veneer
If a composite resin veneer is selected, the dentist will etch the tooth surface before applying a thin layer of composite her material to the prepared tooth.
Additional layers of composite may be required to achieve the desired appearance. Your dentist will cure or harden the composite veneer with a special light.
No prep veneer
These include options such as Lumineers and Vivaneers, specialty brands of porcelain veneers. It takes less time and is less invasive.
Instead of removing the layer of teeth underneath the enamel, no-prep veneers work only on the enamel. In many cases, no-prep veneers require no local anesthetic or temporary veneers.
What are the benefits of dental veneers?
The greatest benefit of veneers is to improve the appearance of teeth and provide a brighter, more even smile. Veneers are commonly used to handle the following cosmetic appearances:
- Broken or chipped teeth
- When discoloration or color unevenness that cannot be corrected by whitening is severe
- Tooth gap
- Smaller than average teeth
- Pointy or oddly shaped teeth
Depending on the type of veneer you choose, the veneer can last 10 years or more, making it a semi-permanent investment that will leave you feeling confident in your smile.
How to prepare your appointment
Before you receive your veneers, make an appointment with your dentist in advance to discuss options that are right for you and how many veneers to place. Bracing may be required prior to application.
Your dentist will take x-rays at this stage to assess the health of your teeth. They look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or the need for a root canal. If you have any of these conditions, you may not be a candidate for veneers.
To get the exact size of the veneer, at your next appointment, your dentist will cut approximately 0.5 mm from your tooth (remove the enamel with an abrasive tool) before taking a mold (impression) of your tooth. This mold is sent to the lab to create the veneers.
How are veneers attached to teeth?
It usually takes 1-2 weeks for the dentist to make the mold and for the veneer to be returned from the lab.
Once the veneers are in, you can make an appointment to have them fitted. At this appointment, your dentist will assess the fit, shape and color of your veneers to ensure they are the right fit for you.
The dentist then thoroughly cleans your teeth. This is important as it prevents bacteria from becoming trapped under the veneer and causing rot.