Dental veneers are thin shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of the teeth. Dental veneers can change the color, shape, size and length of your teeth. In other words, they can significantly alter how your teeth look.
Dental veneers are a great way to change the color, shape or size of your teeth. You can choose from porcelain veneers that resist stains and mimic natural light-reflecting properties better than resin composite materials.
Types of Problems Dental Veneers Can Fix
Dental veneers are typically used to fix the following:
- Worn down teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Misaligned teeth
- Uneven teeth
- Irregularly shaped teeth
- Teeth with gaps
- Discolored teeth because of root canal treatment, stains, excessive fluoride, and large resin fillings
What Is the Dental Veneer Procedure Like
Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist–one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can undergo this process at once, maximizing your time in between visits.
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
During this stage, you will discuss with your dentist the results you want to achieve. Your dentist will also examine the teeth to ensure dental veneers are the best option for you. The procedure as well as its pros and cons will also be discussed. X-rays may also be taken to create an impression of the teeth and mouth.
To prepare a tooth for veneers, the dentist will reshape it so the surface becomes even. Your dentist may numb you before they trim off any enamel to make sure you are comfortable and not in pain during the process.
Your dentist will take a mold of your teeth and send it off to the lab for production. If you have tooth sensitivity or chipped teeth, temporary veneers can be used for the time being.
Your dentist will place the veneer on your tooth to examine its fit and color. They will remove it and trim off any excess if needed before permanently gluing it onto your teeth. Next, your teeth will be cleaned and polished.
After polishing, a special etching process is applied to roughen up any surface irregularities on or in the enamel of your prepared tooth. The veneer material then gets cemented into place with an adhesive that seals it tight so as not to let anything (like bacteria) seep under its protective coatings.
Once the veneer is properly positioned, your dentist will shine a special light beam on it to activate chemicals in the cement. These activated chemicals make for an incredible bonding that hardens very quickly and leaves you with perfect teeth.
The final steps involve removing any excess cement, checking your bite and making any needed adjustments before placing one of their custom fitted night guards over newly bonded porcelain work to protect from nighttime clenching or grinding.
To make sure your veneer is in the best possible position, you may be asked to come back for a follow-up visit. Your dentist will use an X-ray machine and microscope to examine how much space there is between the gum tissue and teeth below it.
Dental veneers may seem intimidating, but they are surprisingly easy to care for. Just brush your teeth like normal and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash as often as you would without the dental work done.
Porcelain veneers are one of the best ways to cover up tooth discoloration, but even these can’t resist every stain. Your dentist may recommend that you avoid foods and drinks with color pigments in them such as coffee, tea or red wine.