porcelian-veneersDental veneers also called porcelain veneers are thin custom made shells. They are usually used to cover the front of the tooth changing its color, shape, size, length or correcting uneven spaces, crooked or misshapen teeth. They can be use to improve the aesthetics of a tooth or multiple teeth or to protect the tooth’s surface from damage.

Types of dental veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of glazed tooth-colored materials which are attached to the front surface of your teeth. These are made to match the normal color, reflection and contour of your natural teeth and they are more stain resistant than composite veneers. Porcelain veneers can be used to treat a wide range of cosmetic problems involving your precious smile. Because it is multifunctional, it is a very useful and proficient option.

Composite veneers are used to improve the color, shape, size and texture of teeth to make them more attractive. Composite veneers require little tooth preparation and the treatment can be completed in a single visit. However unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers can be prone to staining and may not last as long. To create composite veneers, composite material is applied to the front surfaces of the teeth and sculpted to the desired shape and finish under the hands of an experienced cosmetic dentist.

A composite veneer is thinner and requires removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. It may be directly placed, or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory, and later bonded to the tooth. In contrast, a porcelain veneer may only be indirectly fabricated. Porcelain veneers are more durable and less likely to stain than veneers made of composite.

The procedure

Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers.

Diagnosis and treatment planning. This first step involves your active participation. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.

Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 2-3 days for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory.

Bonding . To prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, it will be cleaned, polished, and etched – which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Once properly position on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary.

Video animation of the procedure of installing dental veneer


Do dental veneers require special care ?

Dental veneers do not require any special care. Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash as you normally would. Even though porcelain veneers resist stains, your dentist may recommend that you avoid stain-causing foods and beverages (for example, coffee, tea or red wine).

Please have in mind that adding veneers is irreversible. It is important if you envisage dental whitening, you need to do it before the veneer adding. Veneers are just like natural teeth, so they are vulnerable at the same level. They may broke or chip. They are replaceable, but you need to know that once you have added veneers, you could not take them off, you may just replace them.

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