Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of custom tooth color designs that are put over the surface of the tooth to help improve the appearance of the color of one’s teeth. The shells are then bonded to the teeth to help improve the size, shape, or color (overall appearance) of the teeth.
Dental veneers are made of either porcelain or sometimes resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than the resin composite materials so generally wind up being more popular materials of choice. It’s best to discuss the material you choose with your dentist.
Dental veneers are used to fix many problems people may have with their teeth. Those problems include things like discoloration of the teeth, as a result of root canal treatment, stains from drugs like tetracycline, excessive fluoride or exposure to other types of chemicals, or large resin fillings from previous fillings that tooth may have had.
Veneers are also used to treat things like teeth that are worn down, teeth that are chipped/broken, misaligned/uneven/irregular teeth, or teeth with gaps between them that leave them looking unsightly.
Veneers will require three trips to the dentist. The first trip will be when the dentist meets with you to determine what you are trying to accomplish and what you want the veneers to do for you. They will also take x-rays and scans of the teeth so they can determine how to fit the veneers to your teeth.
That way they understand your needs better. The second appointment will require about ½ of millimeter of enamel to be removed from the teeth that the veneers will go on. The dentist will provide a numbing agent before taking off the enamel so you feel no pain. About 2-4 weeks later your veneers will be created and it will be time to go back for the final appointment. If your teeth are particularly unsightly then they will be able to put temporary veneers in to help improve your look in the meantime.
The final appointment will require the bonding of the veneers to be permanently cemented to the teeth. The excess cement will be removed, and the veneers will be trimmed to fit the teeth appropriately. A few weeks later a follow-up appointment will occur to ensure that the veneers have stayed in place properly.Once veneers are on the teeth some benefits you may notice are that they improve the tooth’s natural appearance and the porcelain veneers will be much stronger and the aesthetic will be pleasing. The gum tissue will tolerate the porcelain or resin will. These materials will also resist stain from using your teeth every day well so they last longer.
Veneers do have some downsides as well including that once they are put onto the teeth they are irreversible and you cannot put the enamel back on the tooth once its removed. The process is largely irreversible. Veneers are rather costly and sometimes insurance may not cover them if they are put on for purely aesthetic reasons. If the veneers do not exactly match the other teeth you have you may have them look rather unsightly. Also, veneers may dislodge and fall off. To avoid this issue habits like chewing your nails or on other hard objects should be broken, and you should avoid putting excessive pressure on your teeth in the future after the veneers are placed. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaws a lot you may be a poor candidate for veneers.
Veneers will generally last 7 to 15 years, dependent on the way they are treated over the long term. Generally, every 15 years or so the veneers will need replaced, if not more often. Veneers do not require special care as just following general good health practices are enough to keep the veneers healthy. It is recommended, however, that even with the stain-resistance the veneers have it is recommended to avoid consuming large amounts of staining liquids like teas, red wines, or coffee.
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