What Are Veneers?
Dental veneers are sheer-thin shells that are used to cover a tooth's surface. The purpose of using veneers is strictly aesthetic, and subsequently, only dentists who specialize in cosmetic dentistry give dental veneers.
Based on the material utilized, there are two types of dental veneers: the composite resin type and the porcelain type. Both can be manufactured and customized to the desired color and fit.
Porcelain dental veneers, however, have a natural luster that is similar to natural teeth. Porcelain veneers also last longer than composite resin ones. Regrettably, porcelain veneers are more expensive. Composite resin is more affordable, but using it would require the dentist to scrape off a half millimeter of the tooth surface. If the worn tooth cannot withstand losing that much enamel, porcelain veneers might be the only option.
Why Dental Veneers are Considered
Dental veneers can make a smile much whiter. However, cosmetic dentists may not recommend dental veneers for some cases of teeth discoloration. For example, if the discoloration is mild, a simple teeth-whitening process will be performed. But if the discoloration is severe, dental veneers may be needed to rejuvenate a smile.
Other problematic symptoms that necessitate dental veneers are chipped, cracked, and broken teeth, uneven shapes, worn out enamel, and obvious gaps between teeth.
The Dental Veneers Process
The treatment procedure for dental veneers has three major phases. The first phase is called the evaluation phase. The cosmetic dentist will diagnose the problem, and based on the wishes of the patient, will create a treatment plan. The evaluation phase will involve the use of x-rays and the creation of impressions of the teeth.
The second phase is simply called preparation, in which the cosmetic dentist lays the groundwork for the dental veneers. This is where the dentist will remove some parts of the enamel to allow space for the dental veneers. To prevent pain, a local anesthesia is used before the dentist works on each tooth. Then, a second impression of the teeth will be taken. If the teeth have become overly sensitive, the dentist will give temporary veneers.
The third and last phase is called bonding. There is a two-week wait period between the second and third phase while the dental veneers are created. In the third phase, the dentist will, at first, place the veneers temporarily, just to see how they look. Wherever needed, the dentist will trim and make adjustments to the veneers. Once the desired appearance is achieved, the dental veneers are bonded to the teeth using permanent cement. Lasers will be used to complete the process. The cosmetic dentist may require additional visits so that he can check the reaction of the gums to the dental veneers.
Dental Veneer Results
The final result of dental veneers is a restored smile. The teeth are whiter, more even, and without any chipping or cracking. Dental veneers add a more youthful appearance to the face. At the same time, they augment the strength of the teeth, preventing further damage and decay.