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Dental Veneers: Overview, Procedure, Types And Maintenance

Written by Danica Lacson on September 28, 2018

What are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are wafer-thin, prosthetic devices that are custom-made and designed to cover the surface of the teeth.

What do Dental Veneers do?

Veneers enhance the shape, color, size, and length of the tooth. They give a natural appearance and a much more conservative approach to changing the color and shape of a tooth without extensive shaping.

They fix dental problems like teeth discoloration, worn-down teeth, broken or chipped teeth, misaligned, uneven or irregularly shaped teeth, and teeth gaps.

What are the Types of Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are typically crafted from porcelain or resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers are more recommended as they withstand stain and imitate the light reflecting properties of the natural teeth better compared to the resin veneers.

How is a Dental Veneer Procedure done?

Getting dental veneers involve three stages: the examination and planning of treatment, preparation, and the placement of the veneer.

First Phase

During the diagnosis and treatment planning phase, the patient must inform his or her dentist of the result he or she desires. The dentist will examine to see if dental veneers are the best treatment to consider. An X-ray will be conducted.

Second Phase

The second phase of the procedure includes the removal of about 0.5 millimeters of enamel from the tooth surface. A portion of the enamel is removed to give way to the veneer. Impressions will then be made which will be sent to a dental laboratory for the construction of the veneer. It mostly takes two to four weeks for the veneer to be sent back to the dentist. During this waiting period, temporary dental veneers will be used in place to protect the teeth.

Final Phase

The final phase of getting dental veneers is the bonding. The dentist will test the fit and color match of the veneer to the tooth before permanently cementing it. Trimming and color adjustment may be made to achieve the right fit and color.

The tooth will then be cleaned, polished, and etched for a strong bonding. The veneer will be positioned over the tooth surface using a special cement. Afterward, a special light beam will be applied to the dental veneer to activate the chemicals in the cement. The activation will harden and cure the cement quickly.

To finish off the process, excess cement will be removed, and your bite will be evaluated. Final adjustments, if needed, will also be made.

A follow-up appointment may be needed to check the progress of the treatment and the response of the gums and oral cavity to the veneer.

It must be noted that the procedure is irreversible and a part of the enamel is removed along with the process. It is best to ensure that you wanted to get veneers and to note on the pros and cons of the dental treatment before subscribing to it.

Veneers are unrepairable, so avoid subjecting your teeth to hard foods and objects. It is also not suggested for individuals with an inadequate amount of enamel, or those who clench and grind their teeth.

How long do Dental Veneers last?

Dental veneers last an average of seven to 15 years before a replacement be needed.

How can I maintain my Dental Veneers?

Maintaining your dental veneers does not need much work to be done. To make the most out of your veneers, it is imperative to practice proper oral hygiene which includes brushing, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash, and visiting your dentist at least twice a year.

What are the problems with Dental Veneers?

While veneers have a lot of pros including providing additional strength for the teeth, the patient can experience a bit of sensitivity during the first phase of the procedure and while on temporary veneers as removal of some parts of the tooth's enamel is required.

Minor difference in sound pronunciation can also be observed especially in "f" and "s" sounds.


Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.

References:

  • https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/veneers
  • https://www.dentalhealth.org/veneers
  • https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/veneers/dental-veneers-pros-and-cons-0515
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