Dental veneers function as a thin shell of composite resin or, more often, porcelain that are custom designed to fit over your teeth so that you can enjoy a natural and uniform smile. These are typically used in cases where teeth are stained, chipped, misaligned, or where there are abnormal spaces between teeth. Dental veneers can help create a pleasing smile, brighter and whiter than natural teeth.
What are veneers?
Simply put, veneers are a layer of restorative dental material which replaces the enamel on your teeth and is bonded to the remaining, underlying part of your tooth. You can not only improve aesthetic abnormalities, but get a brighter smile if regular whitening has proved insufficient. Veneers require a minimal amount of preparation which means they are a safer and faster alternative to procedures like dental crowns.
How do I know if I need veneers?
There are many cases where you might need dental veneers.
- Stained teeth—if you have severely stained teeth, normal teeth whitening treatments might not work. Porcelain veneers can cover up your stains rather than try to whiten them.
- Cosmetic imperfections—if you have chips, cracks, or otherwise misshapen teeth, a veneer can cover that. Veneers give you a more lifelike correction than dental bonding.
- Cosmetic issues—if you have cosmetic issues you want to fix, turn to veneers. Mildly crooked teeth, stained teeth, even a chipped tooth can all be remedied with veneers.
Your dentist will discuss veneers with you happily, and help you decide if you should get them. Each person is different but veneers can help rectify a multitude of issues. If you have more than one problem, like stained teeth and one crooked tooth, you can avoid two dental procedures and fix both problems with veneers.
The Veneers Procedure
When you get a dental veneer, the veneers procedure is a dental procedure which typically requires three trips to your dentist. The first is a consultation and the second and third are to make, then apply your veneers. This is the same whether you are having all of your teeth treated for one tooth treated. The cost will vary based on how many veneers you need, but the number of appointments is the same.
The first step requires an appointment with your dentist wherein the dentist will examine your teeth just to make sure your dental veneers are an appropriate solution. During this time your dentist will discuss the procedure itself and which limitations you might face. They might also take x-rays or impressions of your teeth.
In order to prepare your tooth for a veneer during your second appointment, the dentist will remove roughly ½ mm of the enamel from your tooth. This is approximately the same thickness of the veneer and by filing it down, the veneer will fit perfectly in the newly created space. Prior to trimming off any enamel your dentist will decide which local anesthetic to use so that the area can be properly numbed. Once this is done the dentist has to create a model or impression of your tooth, or teeth. This model is then sent to a dental laboratory and in approximately 2 to 4 weeks the veneers are sent back. If the situation is dire you can have temporary dental veneers put into place during the interim.
Once it is time for your third appointment, your dentist will temporarily put the veneer on your tooth simply to check that it fits and is the appropriate color. If it needs to be trimmed in any way to properly fit these adjustments can be made immediately. The color can also be changed based on the shade of cement that your dentist uses. Your dentist will need to prepare your tooth by cleaning it, polishing it, and preparing it to bond with the veneer. A special cement is applied to the veneer which is then placed on your tooth. Once it is in position, your dentist will use a light to activate the chemicals inside of this cement which causes the cement to harden immediately. Upon completion your dentist will remove any excess cement and make final adjustments as necessary. You will likely return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks just to verify that your gums are responding well to the veneers and to make sure that their placement is perfect.
How long do veneers last?
Well, veneers typically last between 7 and 15 years. After this, you will have to get them replaced.
With proper dental care you can make your veneers last longer. The length of time they will last is truly contingent upon the damage they incur. You might need cosmetic repairs or replacements.
There are habits which can shorten the lifespan of your veneers. They function just the same way that natural teeth function so if you bite down hard foods it can cause damage like chips or cracks. They can be stained the same way your normalcy can be stained so those people who get veneers to cover the damage brought about by coffee, wine, or tea, must protect against repeated exposure if they want the veneers to last longer.
Veneers are not a permanent fix but they are a long-term fix. In order to get your money’s worth out of this dental investment you want to follow good oral hygiene.
- Avoid stains on your veneers the same way you avoid stains on your normal teeth.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste.
- Floss your teeth regularly.
- Visit your dentist for your semiannual checkups.
- If you play sports, where a mouth guard. In past your face can ship or crack your veneers.
- Avoid using your teeth as a tool. Everyone has, at one point or another, used their teeth to open a package without scissors, or untie a knot. But this can invite germs and chip your veneer.
- Try to avoid grinding your teeth. If you grind your teeth while you sleep, get a night time mouth guard from your dentist.
Book an appointment today for your dental veneers. Through this practice, there are great finance deals available when you use the Vitality Plan. Set up this monthly plan to not only receive regular dental care but to get 15% off veneers and other dental procedures in the future.