For many people, dental veneers offer the perfect, permanent solution for gapped, chipped, or stained teeth. Before deciding if veneers are the correct choice for you, you should learn more about how they work, the dental problems they solve, and what you can expect when it’s time for placement.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are custom-made, wafer-thin, perfected replicas of teeth made from either porcelain or resin composite. Veneers are designed to cover the front surface of teeth to change their length, size, shape, or color. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry notes that the materials used to make veneers are very thin — creating natural-looking teeth while providing additional resilience and strength comparable to natural tooth enamel.
To determine whether you’re a good candidate for dental veneers, your dentist will evaluate your oral health and lay out all available treatment options to you. Candidates for dental veneers need to have healthy teeth and gums, and shouldn’t clench or grind their teeth heavily. Your dentist may discuss veneers vs crowns with you, and you’ll want to consider any other alternatives suggested since veneers are irreversible.
Cosmetic Dental Problems Solved by Veneers
Veneers can solve a variety of different cosmetic dental issues, such as:
- Chipped or Broken Teeth – Chips and cracks can happen over time, and veneers can help restore the natural appearance of a youthful, healthy smile.
- Uneven or Misaligned Teeth – Uneven teeth may occur due to general wear and tear or even from grinding. This can lead to bite issues, along with cosmetic concerns.
- Discolored Teeth – Tooth discoloration isn’t always correctable, even with teeth whitening procedures. Veneers offer an easy, cosmetic solution that covers stains from eating, drinking, smoking, and age for the appearance of whiter teeth.
- Gaps Between Teeth – Some people have abnormally spaced teeth, and those gaps can leave them hiding their smile.
- Teeth with Worn Enamel – Tooth enamel can wear away or start looking dull over time. Translucent teeth caused by enamel wear and acid erosion can be fixed with veneers.
The Veneers Process
Wondering what to expect from the veneers process? The process to get your perfect veneers smile is virtually painless and will leave you with beautiful, healthy-looking teeth. The preparation and application steps for veneers include:
- Step #1 – First, your dentist will clean the teeth, and then decide on the right shade for your veneers. About ½ millimeter of your tooth enamel will be safely filed away. This allows enough room for the veneers to fit over your teeth.
- Step #2 – After the filing is complete, an impression of the teeth you are getting veneers for will be made. Then, temporary veneers are often placed on the tooth while you’re waiting for your permanent veneers. Temporary veneers will help protect your freshly filed teeth from sensitivity and damage.
- Step #3 – In about two to four weeks, you’ll head back to the dentist to have the temporary veneers removed (if used), and your permanent veneers adjusted. Your dentist will take this time to ensure that your veneers fit as accurately as possible, and look natural.
- Step #4 – On your final visit, your teeth will be cleaned, polished, and etched. Similar to having your enamel filed, the etching helps the veneers fit snuggly. Finally, your veneers will be permanently bonded to your smile so your teeth function normally.
Your dentist will be able to discuss whether veneers are the right restorative, cosmetic treatment for you. Once you have your veneers, you can treat them just like regular teeth. Be sure to floss and brush regularly, use non-abrasive toothpaste, and try limiting stain-inducing drinks and foods to prevent staining of your veneers. With good oral hygiene, veneers are a cosmetic solution that can keep your smile looking beautiful for years.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.