Dental veneers are customized, thin, and long-lasting porcelain shells that cover the front surface of a tooth. They can effectively enhance the look of teeth that have chips, cracks, or stains, as well as rectify minor misalignments or irregular shapes. Additionally, veneers are capable of closing small gaps between teeth.
For those seeking a natural-looking and straightforward solution for a more uniform and radiant smile, veneers have become a popular choice. The process of veneer application typically spans several appointments:
- Consultation: You and your dentist discuss your desired outcomes and determine if veneers are a viable option.
- Examination: Your teeth and gums are thoroughly examined, and measurements, X-rays, photographs, and impressions are taken as necessary.
- Preparation: A small amount of enamel is removed from the tooth’s front to ensure a flush fit for the veneer. An impression is made of the prepared tooth and the adjacent teeth, and the porcelain color is chosen.
- Fabrication: The veneers are custom-made in a lab to the exact shape and size specified by your dentist, using the impressions and detailed instructions.
- Application: At the final appointment, your dentist checks for proper shape, color, and fit, and makes any necessary adjustments before bonding the veneers in place with dental cement after cleaning the teeth.
To determine if veneers are the best cosmetic restoration option for you, it’s important to consult with your dentist. Here are some factors to consider before deciding on veneers:
- Veneers are a permanent solution that requires the removal of a small amount of enamel, meaning they will need replacement if damaged or dislodged. Proper dental care is necessary for maintaining the appearance and longevity of veneers.
- Veneers are not suitable for everyone. Healthy teeth and gums are essential for the procedure. Severe orthodontic misalignments and habits like teeth grinding and jaw clenching may make veneers impractical.
- Veneers offer several advantages over other cosmetic restoration options, such as bonding or whitening treatments. For instance, veneers can cover staining that whitening treatments alone cannot eliminate. The semi-translucent porcelain used in veneers resembles natural enamel, providing a more natural appearance than bonding. Additionally, veneers are more stain-resistant than bonding and are less prone to chipping or other damage, offering a longer lifespan of 10 to 15 years with proper care.
Veneers and crowns are comparable in cost, but veneers tend to preserve more of the tooth’s underlying structure than crowns do. If chips, gaps, stains, cracks, misshapen teeth, or other minor imperfections are affecting your confidence, veneers may be the ideal solution to restore and enhance your smile. Consult with your dentist to explore how veneers can help you achieve your cosmetic goals.