A dental veneer is a prosthetic device consisting of a layer of material, either porcelain or composite, that is placed over a tooth. You can think of veneers as tooth-coloured shells that cover teeth and improve their appearance.
Since veneers are bonded to teeth, they can be used to alter the tooth’s shape, size, length and colour, as needed. Specifically, veneers are used to close any gaps between teeth, as well as correct weakened or broken teeth.
In addition to their cosmetic purpose, dental veneers also protect the surface of the tooth from damage. Dental veneers are easy to customize to ensure a perfect and comfortable fit. Veneers can be personalized to give your teeth a natural look. In addition, they are relatively low maintenance, as long as you have an excellent dental hygiene routine.
It would help if you discussed different options with your dentist, including the choice of material and the exact shade or colour that is best suited for you. There are two main kinds of veneers: porcelain and resin composite veneers.
Porcelain is a common material used in dentistry, as it is more robust than other materials, stain resistant and gets along great with your gums.
Resin composite is an excellent material to personalize the veneer, match your smile, or change your smile’s look. While very durable, it is not stain-resistant like porcelain, so it will darken at the same rate as your natural teeth. Whether you opt for porcelain or resin composite, dental veneers are not permanent, and you will be able to change or replace them if they wear out. Dental veneers typically have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years, depending on your oral care habits.
You can decide to complete the whole process for one tooth or several teeth at a time. It will be entirely possible if you want to get it all done at once. Either way, you will likely need to attend your dental clinic three times.
Your first visit will be a consultation to determine which teeth need to be treated, as well as the material and shade used. Your dentist will explain the process and make recommendations based on your specific circumstances and goals. You will likely need to take x-rays as well.
During your second visit, your dentist will prepare the surface of each tooth that will be covered by trimming off some enamel. This step is necessary to ensure that the veneer fits perfectly and to avoid any discomfort in your mouth immediately after your last visit. Your dentist will discuss whether it is necessary to administer a local anesthetic before preparing your tooth. The dentist will then take an impression of the tooth or teeth that have been prepared and send the impression to a dental lab, which will fabricate the veneer. You should expect to wait a few weeks before it is ready to be applied.
On your last appointment, your dentist will apply the veneer after ensuring that it fits well and that the colour is right for you. Don’t be surprised if your dentist has to remove and trim the dental veneer a few times before bonding it, as it may be necessary to fully customize it so that it sits comfortably in your mouth. Your tooth or teeth must also be thoroughly cleaned and polished before bonding the veneer with special cement. The dental veneer will then be exposed to a special light to cure or harden it quickly. After a few final adjustments, you can go home with a brand new smile!
Contact us today if you have any questions about dental veneers or if you would like to schedule your consultation today.