Looking to reinvent your smile? Dental veneers may be an option for you. Veneers are often used to cover stained, misshaped, or chipped teeth. Sometimes they are even used to close small spaces between teeth.
There are several different types of veneers available. Your dentist will help determine if veneers are right for you and which type:
Commonly, veneers are made from a porcelain/laminate material that is matched to the shade of your natural teeth. They typically require your teeth to be prepared before permanently bonded to the surface of your teeth. Your dentist will remove some of the outer surface of your tooth, the dental enamel, to allow room for the veneer to go on top of it.
Composite veneers are also made to resemble your natural tooth and are made from the same material used to fill dental cavities. Composite veneers also require tooth enamel removal before making the veneer. However, the composite veneer is shaped onto the teeth instead of being made in a dental laboratory as with porcelain veneers. In addition, composite veneers are often cheaper and fabricated more quickly than porcelain veneers, but may not last as long.
Lumineers are considered semi-permanent, as they require less tooth preparation and can be easily removed. Therefore, they are much thinner than porcelain veneers. However, they are not able to cover markedly stained or chipped and don’t typically last as long as porcelain veneers.
Removable veneers, sometimes referred to as snap-on veneers, can also be used to cover stained teeth, gaps, and missing teeth. These are similar to mouthguards in that they can be taken on and off when you desire. Removable veneers are typically cheaper and easier since they do not require tooth preparation. Yet, there is not enough research to support their safety nor efficacy. Also, they can increase the risk of food particles accumulating between your teeth and the removable veneers, which can lead to tooth decay.
Palatal veneers can be used on teeth that have suffered damage on the backside of the upper teeth. The tooth is prepared only on the compromised part while the rest of the tooth is left untouched.
What is the procedure for getting veneers?
The procedure for getting veneers will first involve a consultation with your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate for veneers and to inform you about the treatment. They will advise you on their best recommendations, inform you about the costs, and answer any questions you may have.
Treatment for Veneers
Veneers typically require multiple steps before application. If traditional veneers are decided upon, your dentist will remove the surface of your teeth to allow space for the veneers. Once prepared, a dental impression used to obtain a mold of your teeth is taken and the dental laboratory will use this as a template to create the veneers. Temporary veneers will be placed while waiting for the veneers to be fabricated by the dental laboratory. Once received, the veneers will be cemented using a bonding agent onto the teeth.
Aftercare and maintenance
Just like your natural teeth, veneers need to be taken care of by regular brushing and flossing. Veneers have been reported to last approximately 10 years on average but can last longer if well maintained. If veneers become chipped or damaged, they will need to be replaced. You’ll also want to avoid frequent consumption of foods and beverages that are likely to cause staining, like red wine, coffee, and tea. In addition, smoking can also cause veneers to become stained. As with natural teeth, avoid using your teeth as tools or chewing on hard objects such as ice.
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