Dental Veneer 1

Dental Veneer

There are many reasons why you may consider undergoing a cosmetic dental procedure. Of course, the primary reason most individuals undertake cosmetic surgery is because they are suffering from an issue that affects the appearance of their mouth and they want to restore the look of healthy, natural teeth. Once you have decided that you want the help of cosmetic dentistry, the next step is determining what type of dental procedure will work best to fit your needs. In the case of severely stained teeth, chipped teeth or unsightly gaps between teeth, you should consider dental veneers.

About Dental Veneers

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry describes dental veneers as thin pieces of porcelain that are custom-made for the individual’s teeth, and are bonded to the tooth in an effort to create the look of healthy, natural teeth. Where needed, dental veneers can also help to strengthen teeth that have been weakened, as through fracture or chipping. This means that dental veneers can brighten teeth and an individual’s smile and are even an acceptable alternative to dental crowns or braces in some cases.

There are two primary types of dental veneers–the more traditional porcelain veneers and composite resin veneers. Some dental veneers are prefabricated and can be installed by a dentist who will then make minor adjustments prior to bonding them to the teeth. That said, most dentists recommended that an individual receive custom-made dental veneers so as to better ensure proper fit and comfort. The process of having dental veneers made and placed in the mouth includes:

  • Full cleaning of the tooth or teeth upon which the veneer will be placed. If the patient has particularly sensitive teeth the dentist may choose to use local anesthesia to make the process more comfortable. After cleaning the tooth the dentist will determine the color shade that should be used in the dental veneer. They will then remove a small amount of tooth enamel from the surface of the tooth that will be repaired so that there is room for the dental veneer to be placed in the mouth.
  • An impression of the prepared tooth is made. This normally involves a soft, clay-like substance that is put in a mold and then placed into the mouth for a short time. This impression is sent to the dental laboratory so that the permanent veneer can be manufactured.
  • A temporary veneer is placed over the tooth so as to protect it until the permanent veneer is made and installed. This is especially important since some of the tooth enamel was removed to prepare the tooth, and enamel cannot grow back.
  • Once the permanent veneer is received, the patient returns to the dentist. The temporary veneer is removed and the tooth is thoroughly cleaned. The permanent veneer itself is etched so that it will better adhere to the tooth, and then it is also cleaned and dried. The dentist will place the veneer on the tooth, check for fit, and then permanently bond the veneer to the tooth with a curing light.
  • Finally, the dentist ensures that the veneer is fully polished, and any excess material is removed so as to ensure proper bite and comfort. In many cases, they will set another appointment in a few weeks so that the veneer can be checked again, and minor adjustments can be made as needed.

Caring for dental veneers is essentially the same as caring for one’s healthy, natural teeth. This includes daily brushing and flossing, as well as twice annual dental examinations and cleanings. It is also important to limit or avoid consuming any foods or beverages that cause staining, such as coffee and cigarettes.

While they can last anywhere from ten to twenty years, dental veneers are normally costly, and will likely need to be replaced when they do eventually wear down. Furthermore, once they are placed on the teeth, dental veneers cannot be removed. This means that choosing whether to have dental veneers is an important decision and a big commitment, and therefore one you should definitely discuss with your dentist.


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