What are veneers?
Dental veneers are custom-made, long-lasting, thin porcelain shells that dental lab technicians create and your dentist permanently bonds to your natural teeth. Veneers are a way to improve teeth that are chipped, broken, slightly crooked, misshapen, or out of proportion. Dental technology has made the new types of porcelain stronger and more reflective to light, so that veneers are nearly identical to natural dental enamel. Veneers can be made in any shade so that, in the event you are having only a few applied to mask a cosmetic flaw, the porcelain may be made to match your natural teeth. You may be familiar with veneers due to their popularity in the entertainment business — many celebrities have veneers applied to quickly straighten, brighten, and whiten their smiles.
How are veneers applied and how long does it take?
Receiving dental veneers typically takes 1-2 appointments. During your first appointment, your dentist will prep your teeth and take an impression that will be used to make the porcelain shells. Prepping teeth for veneers is a typically a painless procedure. Your dentist must create a small amount of space on the front, bottom and sides of your tooth by shaping your tooth and removing a thin layer of enamel. This shaping ensures that veneers can be bonded to the tooth without appearing unnatural. While you can expect minimal discomfort during the preparation stage, the dentist can always numb the tooth area; our patients’ comfort is our number one priority!
After the tooth is prepared, you will wear temporary veneers to cover your teeth while the permanent veneers are made. During this time, patients should be careful to avoid hard foods, chewing, or excessive force on their veneers.
Once the veneers are made and ready to be applied, you will return to have them attached. You will then be free to enjoy your new, beautiful smile!
Why should I consider dental veneers?
Veneers are typically a cosmetic fix to smile imperfections, but they can be used in an impressive number of cases. Your dentist might recommend veneers to:
- Make orthodontic adjustments to close gaps and spaces between your teeth
- Whiten stained or discolored teeth, especially if they’re beyond whitening treatments
- Correct irregularly shaped or slightly crooked teeth
- Restore teeth that are broken, chipped, worn, or fractured
- Serve as an alternative to large fillings
How do you care for veneers?
Veneers require your commitment to proper oral care and hygiene. They aren’t indestructible and won’t last forever (experts say anywhere from 10-20 years can be expected). In some cases veneers may be stronger than natural teeth. Veneers can become worn just like natural teeth. You should avoid chewing on ice, biting fingernails, hard foods, or using your teeth like a tool (i.e. biting open a bag of chips). If a veneer needs to replaced, the procedure is much like the one in which it was first put on.
Why are veneers popular?
Porcelain veneers are an excellent cosmetic solution. Porcelain is stain resistant, so your smile will be white for years to come! Although veneers can cost more than other cosmetic procedures, much of their benefit comes from their application in a single procedure. It’s like having orthodontic treatment, dental crowns, and whitening done all in one!