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Dental Veneers: Overview, Procedure, Types And Maintenance

Veneers are shell-like restorations bonded to your existing teeth. Unlike dental crowns, dental veneers do not require an overall change in the original tooth's shape. Veneers only cover the visible side of the tooth.

What are Dental Veneers?

Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells. These shells are then applied to the front of the teeth to form a uniform, attractive appearance. The primary purpose of veneers is to cover imperfections on a tooth, such as streaking, slight chipping, or discoloring.

Dental veneers can vary in width, length, shape, as well as color. 

They are made either from resin composite material or porcelain. Resin veneers are thinner, last 4 to 8 years, and lower-priced compared to porcelain veneers. However, porcelain veneers reflect light more naturally and are more resistant to stains. They also last longer, usually 15 to 25 years.

What do they do?

Veneers enhance the shape, color, size, and length of the tooth and fix dental problems like teeth discoloration, worn-down teeth, broken or chipped teeth, and irregularly shaped teeth.

What Happens When You Get Veneers?

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

Examination and Treatment Planning

The patient discusses their goals with their dentist. The dentist does a comprehensive review to see if the patient is eligible for veneers. If they are, the dentist will present a recommendation for the patient. 

Preparation

The second phase of the procedure includes removing about 0.5 millimeters of enamel from the tooth surface. Impressions are taken and then sent to a dental laboratory. After two to four weeks, the lab sends the veneer back to the dentist. During this waiting period, temporary dental veneers will be used in place to protect the teeth.

Placement

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 strong bonding. The veneer will be positioned over the tooth surface using special cement. Afterward, a special light beam will be applied to the dental veneer to activate the cement's chemicals. The activation will harden and cure the adhesive quickly.

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 treatment's progress and the response of the gums and oral cavity to the veneer.

Veneers are unrepairable, so avoid subjecting your teeth to hard foods and objects. 

How can I maintain my Dental Veneers?

Fortunately, veneers are easy to maintain. Veneers only require proper brushing at least two times per day, daily flossing, and a follow-up visit with a cosmetic dentist. Because they are more resistant to stains, porcelain veneers are easier to care for and keep in spiffy condition.

What are the problems with Dental Veneers?

While veneers come with many advantages, there is a period of adjustment before they can adapt to their new teeth. Apart from the application of the veneer, the tooth requiring a veneer must be reshaped. 

It is normal to encounter slight sensitivity after the teeth have been prepped for the veneers. Some patients may also experience a slight lisp during or after veneer treatment. The cosmetic dentist may correct this by performing adjustments if necessary.

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