Dental veneers also referred to sometimes as porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates are wafer-thin like, bespoke shells of tooth-colored materials that have been designed to serve as a cover for the front surface of the teeth in order to enhance facial appearance. Usually bonded to the front of teeth, these shells have the ability to change teeth shape, size, color, or length and have become one of the most effective and popular innovations in cosmetic surgery today. Dental veneers can be made from different materials which are inclusive of porcelain and also resin composite materials. Veneers produced with porcelain materials will usually resist stains better than resin composite veneers. Also, porcelain veneers give off a better mimicry of the light reflecting properties of natural teeth than resin composite veneers.
Because of their aesthetic appeal, veneers can be employed to fix a range of teeth problems. Some of these include;
- Discolored Teeth – Teeth that have been discolored probably due to stains from the drug, root canal therapy, fluoride in excess, or a number of other causes or factors can be remedied by using veneers.
- Chipped or broken teeth.
- Teeth that are worn out.
- A set of teeth that is not properly aligned, irregularly shaped or that are uneven can be fixed with the use of veneers.
- Gapped teeth – Veneers can be used to cover the gaps.
Procedure for Fixing Veneers
If you want to have a veneer fixed for you, the procedure takes 3 major steps that can be carried out between 2 or 3 visits to the dentist. The first visit is generally for consultations and then the remaining two visits are for the installation of the veneer itself.
The first stage has to do with getting a correct diagnosis and also the creation of your treatment plan. You will have to take an active part in this phase as you have to make some explanations to your dentist pertaining to what you hope to see when the process is over. Your dentist follows this us up with a thorough evaluation of your teeth. This is to determine how appropriate dental veneers will be for you. After this, your dentist will have another discussion with you to intimate you with the procedure and also any possible limitations that may come up. An X-ray may be taken by your dentist and also, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and mouth.
The next step to be carried out is the preparation of the tooth. This will entail that the dentist will take out about half millimeters off the surface of the enamel. This amount that is taken off the surface is practically of the same thickness as that of the veneer. Just in case of any discomfort that might occur, a local anesthetic will be used by your dentist to numb the area before trimming of the tooth enamel is carried out. Your dentist will then proceed to make a model of your tooth after trimming it. This model is then taken to a dental laboratory so that your custom made veneer can be produced. Since it might take up to 2 – 4 weeks for your new veneers to become available, your dentist can arrange for a temporary veneer for you, especially if your tooth is not in good shape and is very unsightly.
The last phase is the bonding stage. Before the veneer is permanently bonded to your teeth by cementing, your dentist will first place it on your tooth and then check for if it fits in seamlessly and also checks if the color blends in with your natural teeth color. If there is a need to make changes so it can fit in properly, the veneer will be trimmed until the desired fit is attained. For the veneer color, however, if there are changes to be carried out the shade of the cement to be used in bonding will be used to effect the change. Next, your tooth will be prepared to receive the veneer by cleaning, polishing and then etching it to roughen the surface so that bonding can be perfect. A bonding cement is then applied on the veneer and it is fixed on your tooth. The moment that the veneer is in a perfect position, a beam is applied to it to activate the chemicals so that the bond can quickly become hardened. Any excess cement is removed and your bite is evaluated so that if there is a need for any adjustments to be made, they are immediately made. You will be invited by your dentist to come for further check-ups in the near future so that your gum reaction to the new veneers may be assessed.
Advantages of Veneers
With veneers, the following advantages can be noticed;
- They are stain resistant, especially porcelain veneers.
- They have a very natural looking and feeling and cannot be distinguished as synthetic.
- Generally, the gum tissue is highly tolerant of veneers.
- You can decide on the shade of color you want, so you can use veneers to lighten up your tooth shade and increase brightness.
- Veneers are a conservative method of improving teeth shape and color. It does not require some excesses reminiscent of some other cosmetic dentistry methods. And they are long lasting.
Generally, veneers can last for long periods of time from between 7 – 15 years which means they are durable, although, they have to be replaced after that time frame. After fixing, veneers require no special care of any sorts. All you have to do is just to carry on with your normal good oral health hygiene practices such as flossing, brushing and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash. It is best to reduce or avoid food that can stain your teeth such as coffee, tea or black currant.
Veneers generally cost between $1000 – $2000. But the cost is dependent on some factors such as how extensive your treatment is. Veneers are not covered by all insurance dental plans but a discussion with your dentist regarding costs will enlighten you on the best options available for you.