Veneers are thin, and custom-made coverings that bond to the front of teeth to improve the appearance, colour and shape. Dental veneers are usually used for front teeth that show when a person smiles and talks. Dental veneers may be recommended if there are any discrepancies with the shape or colour of teeth, or if a patient is interested in improving the aesthetic. Dental veneers may also benefit the function of a tooth by reducing fractures and correcting shape. A veneer can be completed for a single tooth, but often are recommended for several teeth to give a more even and uniform appearance.
The process of getting a veneer (or several veneers) typically takes place over three appointments. The first appointment will consist of the consultation. At this time, treatment will be discussed and the dentist will get an idea of what the client is looking for. The dentist will discuss recommendations, the cost will be discussed, and a plan will be set in place. Also, x-rays and impressions may be taken. At the second appointment, the teeth receiving the veneers will be prepared. This means that about half a millimetre of tooth structure from the front of the teeth will be polished down to allow room for the veneers to sit. Impressions will be taken to send off to the lab where the veneers will be fabricated, which will take a couple of weeks. During the third appointment, the veneers will be tried in and adjusted. When both client and dentist are happy with the result, they will be cemented in. A follow-up visit may be recommended a couple of weeks later to make sure everything is feeling and looking good.
Types of Veneers
Generally, veneers will be made from porcelain and be fabricated at a lab. Alternatively, a process called “bonding” can be completed using a material called composite resin. Both veneers and bonding have their pros and cons. Porcelain veneers are much stronger and have a longer life span than composite bonding. They are also fabricated in a lab so they have a more perfect appearance. Composite bonding has a higher risk of chipping, fracturing and staining, and may not look as perfect as porcelain. Consequently, porcelain veneers are much more expensive than composite bonding.
Caring for Veneers
Dental veneers require caring for just like natural teeth. It is recommended to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, as well as use a fluoridated toothpaste. If not well cared for, veneers can become susceptible to cavities along the margin, so it is especially important to brush well at the gum line. It is also recommended to maintain regular dental cleanings and checkups to reduce bacteria and make sure everything is healthy. Periodic x-rays of the veneers make be advised to check the health and integrity.
If you believe you may benefit from dental veneers, or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.