Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are contact lens thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.
What Types of Problems Do Dental Veneers Fix?
Veneers are routinely used to fix teeth that are discolored, either because of root canal treatment or stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes. As well as the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth. Veneers also can be used on teeth that are worn down, chipped or broken, misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them) or have gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)
What’s the Procedure for Getting a Dental Veneer?
Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below. Diagnosis and treatment planning. This first step involves active participation between you and Dr. Deem. Explain to him the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment he 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 also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth for study models. Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove from no prep at all up to about ½-1 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, he 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 around 3 weeks to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. For teeth that require more reduction, temporary dental veneers can be placed for no additional cost. Bonding. Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. He will remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit; the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used.
Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned on the tooth, your dentist will use a curing light, like the one he uses to harden composites (tooth colored fillings) to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how everything looks and how you are doing with your new improved smile.