Veneers can be a great way to improve your smile by hiding tooth blemishes and imperfections.
If you are considering veneers, you should book an appointment with your dentist so that they can determine if veneers are a good choice for you.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers consist of a thin ceramic shell, which is used to cover the front of your existing tooth, improving its appearance. Veneers are a cosmetic solution to common tooth imperfections such as chips, stains, small tooth gaps, and misaligned teeth.
What Types of Veneers Are There?
Veneers can be made from either porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are more durable and are less prone to staining than composite resin veneers.
The Veneer Application Process
The application process varies depending on which type of veneers you choose. Composite resin veneers can typically be applied in one session, while porcelain veneers generally take two sessions.
Before your dentist applies your porcelain veneers, they may treat your tooth with a local anesthetic. Once your tooth is sufficiently numb, your dentist will gently remove a thin layer of enamel from the front of your tooth to make room for the veneer.
Next, your dentist will take a mould of your tooth. This mould is used to create your custom made porcelain veneers. Since your porcelain veneers are custom made for you, they won’t be ready right away and will need to be applied during your next visit.
Before you go home, your dentist may fit your tooth with temporary veneers to replace the enamel that had to be removed. You will wear these temporary veneers until your permanent, custom made veneers are ready to be applied.
Temporary veneers are fragile, and not designed to stand up to strong wear and tear. To avoid accidentally damaging or dislodging your temporary veneers you should exercise caution when eating and while cleaning your teeth.
During your second appointment, your dentist will remove your temporary veneers, then treat your teeth with a mild chemical solution. This chemical treatment roughens the surface of your tooth, making it easier for the porcelain veneers to adhere to your teeth. Finally, your dentist will place your permanent veneers on your teeth one by one, and fix them in place using composite resin cement.
Before they begin applying your composite resin veneers, your dentist will determine which shade of resin best matches your natural teeth. This will ensure that your veneer blends in with the rest of your teeth.
When it is time to apply your veneers, your dentist will begin by treating your tooth or teeth with a mild chemical solution. This chemical treatment roughens the surface of your tooth and makes it easier for the veneer to adhere to your teeth. Next, your dentist will carefully apply the composite resin to your tooth in thin layers, using a bright light to fully harden each layer before applying the next.
Once the final layer has been applied and fully hardened your dentist will shape and polish your veneer so that it conforms to the form of your natural tooth. Composite resin veneers can provide you with a smooth, blemish-free, natural looking tooth cover that blends in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth.
What Makes Me a Good Candidate For Veneers?
Veneers are not a suitable choice for everyone. In order to be a good candidate for veneers you should:
- Have gums that are free of disease. Your gums need to be healthy before veneers can be applied.
- Have teeth that are free from decay. Any tooth decay will need to be treated before veneers can be applied.
- Have sufficiently thick enamel. Veneers require sufficiently thick tooth enamel to adhere properly.
- Have mostly intact teeth. Chipped or broken teeth can be treated with veneers. However, if your tooth is too damaged your dentist may suggest a crown instead of veneers.
- Not clench your jaw or grind your teeth. Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw can chip or break porcelain veneers.
How to Care for Your Veneers
Veneers are permanent and cannot be removed. Teeth that have been fitted with veneers need to be cared for just like your natural teeth. Make sure you are flossing at least once per day and brushing at least twice per day.
You should visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. During your exams your dentist will check to make sure that your veneers are still in the correct position, and that they remain fully sealed. If your veneers are not placed correctly or not fully sealed to your tooth, then the natural tooth under your veneer can become stained or decay.
You should always be careful when biting or tearing into chewy or hard foods. Avoid biting into hard foods, like ice cubes, and do not bite your nails. Hard or chewy foods, or biting your nails, can damage your veneers.
If your veneers become damaged, chipped, peel off, or have a cavity form underneath them, they will need to be removed and redone. If you decide not to have your veneers redone your tooth will need to be fitted with a crown.