What are Veneers?
Dental veneers are a cosmetic solution to help you achieve the smile you want. Veneers are an option for patients with chipped teeth, misshaped teeth, or to close the gap between teeth. This is a permanent solution, so having them placed on your teeth is a huge decision.
Unlike implants, dental veneers are thin covers that adhere to the teeth to give them a more uniform appearance. They are a strong and resilient solution that is similar to your tooth’s natural enamel. Veneers are custom-made to fit the contour of your teeth.
This is a less intrusive option to perfecting your smile as opposed to crowns and braces.
Types of Veneers
The two most common veneer materials are porcelain and composite. Talk to your dentist about which option is best for you. If the changes are minor and your natural teeth function correctly, then cosmetic bonding is a great choice. However, if the teeth are broken, discoloured, or the patient grinds their teeth, then porcelain veneers are highly recommended.
- Porcelain: Porcelain veneers are constructed in a lab and are more resilient and resistant to stains and damage. These can last between 10 and 20 years.
- Composite: Composite veneers are made of resin and is adhered to the tooth to simply enhance the appearance of your smile.
Getting veneers typically takes two appointments. Getting porcelain veneers is a longer process, since they are custom-made to fit your teeth. The first step is a consultation where your oral health will be examined and X-Rays and/or impressions will be taken. The second step will be preparing your teeth for the veneers. A temporary veneer is placed on your teeth while the final veneer is being made. The temporary veneers are removed and your teeth are cleaned with pumice and water. The final veneers are adhered to your teeth using dental cement. A special light is used to cure the veneer to the tooth. Any excess material will be filed and polished off.
Composite veneers are a much simpler process, however they do not last as long and are not as strong as the porcelain version.
Maintaining Your Veneers
Although they are strong and resilient, veneers can chip or break. This is especially common when there is pressure constantly applied. Avoid chewing on hard objects like ice or pen cap, pencils, or even biting your fingernails.
Because veneers are applied to the surface of your natural tooth, it may take a few days to get used to the feel of your new appearance. If your bite is severely altered, tell your dentist so it can be corrected. An altered bite can negatively change your jaw structure and affect the position of your teeth.
Keep your teeth and gums cleaned by following proper brushing and flossing routines. Cavities can form under veneers if not cleaned properly. Ask your dentist for products that are approved for use with veneers to keep them looking their best.
Not everyone is a good candidate for veneers, so have a discussion with your dentist to explore all your options for achieving the smile you’ve always wanted.