According to a recent study by the ADA an astounding 28% of adults feel embarrassment due to the condition of their teeth. Veneers are a great option for achieving a picture perfect smile by overlaying a lab-created tooth façade overtops the natural tooth.
Veneers, also known as porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates, are thin custom-made shells that are designed to bond over the surface of teeth to improve the appearance. Veneers are tooth-colored and are made to match your natural teeth.
What is a dental veneer?
Dental veneers are usually made of porcelain or resin composite. There are pros and cons to each type of veneer; porcelain is more stain-resistant while resin veneers look more like the natural surface of the teeth. The veneers are cast to fit atop the surface of existing teeth to create a smooth, even bite. In many cases the tooth to which a veneer is attached must be shaved or reduced in size so that the veneer will fit snuggly and in alignment with surrounding teeth. The results of veneers are transformative, since veneers are crafted in a dental lab to look natural but also free of most imperfections.
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What do veneers fix?
Veneers are a great option to fix teeth that are discolored or stained, teeth that are worn down, chipped or broken, misaligned, uneven or irregularly shaped, teeth that have imperfections like bulges or craters, or gaps between teeth. Veneers are applicable to one or multiple teeth, as many as are in need of a veneer to achieve the look that the patient wants. Opting to have veneers placed over the teeth is one way that many patients can finally have the near-perfect smile that they’ve always wanted.
Unfortunately, veneers don’t treat tooth decay or active infections in the teeth and gums. Veneers are also not a good fit for people who experience bruxism (tooth grinding), since this activity puts strain on the veneer. If you are in poor oral health, your dentist may need to treat underlying oral health issues before proceeding with the veneer process.
About the veneer process
The veneer process requires more than one visit to the dentist; for initial consultation, preparation, bonding and follow up. The first step is consulting with your dentist to discuss your desired results. During this time your dentist will review your options, evaluate whether veneers are an option for you and discuss your individual treatment plan. Your dentist will take x-rays and measurements of your mouth, as well as impressions of the area. The impressions are sent to a lab to be shaped into the veneer. Your dentist will also use a color guide to determine the shade of tooth enamel that best matches the natural color of your teeth.
Your dentist will need to minimally shave down some of your existing tooth so that the veneer will fit appropriately over the tooth and in the space between other teeth. A local anesthetic numbs the area so that you will not feel the procedure. During the placement appointment, your dentist will check the color and size of the veneer for accuracy prior to bonding the veneer to your tooth. Special cement is used to adhere the veneer to the tooth, and then a UV light is used to quickly harden the agent. You may need a follow up appointment to check on the fitting and placement of your new veneers. It is also important to call your dentist immediately if you notice that your veneer is ill-fitting or if you feel pain.
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Dental veneer care instructions
Dental veneers are made to look and function just like your natural teeth. You should be able to chew, speak and eat normally. It is very important to maintain good oral health through a routine of twice daily brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash. It is also important to see a dentist for an exam, x-ray and cleaning every six months. It is also important to remember that the materials that veneers are made of can be porous and vulnerable to stains from coffee or wine, just as your natural teeth are. Most veneers will last for 5-10 years with good dental hygiene and care.
Jefferson Dental offers highly-trained dental staff to help guide you through every step of the dental veneer process. Achieve the improved smile that you envision. Click to make an appointment