What You Need to Know About Dental Veneers

What You Need to Know About Dental Veneers

If you’re looking to make cosmetic improvements to your smile, dental veneers may be the solution for you. These thin plastic covers are a popular choice for dealing with a wide range of dental issues, such as:

  • Stained teeth, or teeth that can’t be whitened by bleaching
  • Chipped or worn teeth
  • Crooked or misshapen teeth
  • Uneven spaces or a large gap between the upper front teeth

Veneers are thin coverings that are fixed to the front part of the tooth. Your dentist can help you select the material that is best for you.

Porcelain veneers

  • Strong and long-lasting
  • Have a natural-looking surface
  • Do not stain easily

Composite resin veneers

  • Require fewer visits to the dentist (sometimes take just one visit)
  • Cost less than porcelain veneers
  • Although they are not as strong or wear-resistant as porcelain veneers, they can be repaired quickly and easily

Procedure

To prepare a tooth to receive a veneer, your dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from its front and sides. For porcelain veneers, an impression will be taken of the prepared teeth to be sent to a dental lab where the veneers will be made. It may take several days for the veneers to be completed, at which time your dentist may place temporary veneers to protect the prepared teeth. During the next visit, the completed veneers will be placed on the teeth to check the fit and shape, with adjustments made as necessary. The teeth will then be cleaned before the veneers are bonded to them.

Composite resin veneers are made from a tooth-colored filling material, which can be applied to the teeth directly after they have been prepared. The material is sculpted to the right shape, and a special light is used to harden the composite and bond it to the teeth. The veneers are then smoothed and polished to look like natural teeth.

Before and after getting veneers

You must have healthy teeth and gums before getting veneers. Any disease or decay must be treated before they can be placed. Patients who grind or clench their teeth may not be good candidates for veneers as they can chip or break. Though veneers can be repaired or replaced, the process is irreversible. After getting veneers, it may take a few days to get used to them. If your bite feels off, contact your dentist to have the veneers adjusted. Avoid biting or chewing on hard objects to prevent chipping or breaking the veneers, and be sure to continue to maintain a good oral care routine of brushing and flossing.

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