Advantages of Dental Veneers
Dental veneers can give you a fast, affordable and long-lasting smile makeover.
As long as your teeth are basically healthy, these wafer-thin tooth-colored shells can fix several cosmetic issues, including stained or chipped teeth.
A further advantage of dental veneers today is that porcelain laminate veneers can be made thinner than ever, which avoids excessive trimming of the tooth.
Veneers are bonded to the front of teeth to improve the shape, size or color. They’re typically used to enhance the appearance of the front teeth – most visible when you smile. If you have a wide smile, veneers can be placed over other teeth as well.
Being semi-transparent, veneers look natural because they react to light just like dental enamel. Veneers generally last up to 15 years and need no special oral healthcare, although a non-abrasive toothpaste may be recommended to avoid damaging the shells.
What Problems Can Dental Veneers Fix?
Dental veneers can enhance the appearance of teeth affected by a wide range of cosmetic defects, and they’re often celebrities’ cosmetic treatment of choice because they achieve dramatic results quickly.
Hollywood stars who’ve benefited from the advantages of dental veneers include Demi Moore, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Garner, and Emily Blunt.
Cosmetic issues that veneers can fix include:
- Discolored teeth.
- Chipped teeth.
- Teeth that have worn down.
- Teeth with small gaps between them.
- Irregularly-shaped teeth.
- Minor crowding.
- Minor misalignment.
Veneers can also improve appearance in cases of an uneven gum line by creating a neater look more in proportion with the teeth.
Other advantages of dental veneers include:
- Minimal preparation, which helps your teeth to retain their natural defenses against bacteria and decay.
- Durability – porcelain veneers are unlikely to break, chip or sustain any other damage.
Veneers Vs. Crowns and Bonding
Alternative cosmetic treatments to veneers include crowns and tooth bonding.
Crowns can last as long as veneers but are more expensive because they restore the entire tooth, not just the front surface. Crowns are much thicker than veneers and are often used to repair teeth weakened or broken by decay or a large filling. Unlike crowns, veneers don't usually require extensive reshaping of the tooth prior to the procedure.
Like veneers, bonding produces fast results as composite resin is glued to the tooth surface. However, porcelain veneers resist staining and chipping more effectively than tooth bonding and look more natural, closely replicating the light-reflecting properties of teeth. Bonding also needs replacing more frequently than veneers.
Veneers Vs. Teeth Whitening
Whitened teeth can quickly become stained again, while veneers are stain-resistant and can conceal even the most severe cases of discoloration.
Veneers not only give the appearance of whiter teeth but they also address problems such as unsightly cracked or chipped teeth.
In some cases, the most effective smile revamp may be achieved with a combination of whitening and veneers – veneers for your more visible front teeth and professional whitening of adjacent teeth to create a uniform look.
The Dental Veneers Procedure
While some cosmetic dental procedures can go on for months, getting veneers usually only takes a couple of appointments following your initial consultation.
The first visit entails:
- Examination of your teeth.
- Possibly X-rays.
- Tooth surface preparation.
- Taking impressions of your teeth, which are sent to a lab for your veneers to be made.
Your second appointment will involve:
- Making sure your veneers are a good fit.
- Bonding the veneers onto your teeth.
- Using a special light to harden the adhesive.
- Checking your bite and making any minor adjustments.
Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well, and veneers provide a conservative method to enhance the shape and color of teeth.
The shade of veneers cannot be altered once they’ve been placed, so if you’re planning to whiten your teeth, you need to do this before your veneers are fitted.
After Getting Dental Veneers
You shouldn’t need any additional treatment after your veneers have been placed but your dentist may ask you to schedule a follow-up appointment in a couple of weeks to make sure your veneers are staying in place and to check how your gums are responding.
You still need to maintain your regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings – tooth structure beneath veneers can still decay – and your dentist may recommend a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to avoid damage to your veneers.
It’s also recommended you don’t put excessive pressure on the teeth, so you should avoid biting your nails or chewing hard objects such as ice or pencils.
You may notice that veneers can cause a tooth to become more sensitive to hot and cold drinks and foods.
The Technology Behind Dental Veneers
The cutting-edge technology behind modern porcelain dental veneers has seen them become a popular mainstream cosmetic dentistry option – more effective than ever and less costly.
This technology also means that veneers can be made much thinner, which allows most of the structure of the tooth to be preserved.
Veneers look like natural teeth because they’re made from advanced materials that closely resemble tooth enamel, and they’re long-lasting thanks to improvements in the bonding agents.
Are Dental Veneers Right for Me?
Having veneers fitted is an irreversible process and the shells can’t usually be repaired if they crack or chip, although this is unlikely if you take proper care of your teeth.
If you grind or clench your teeth, veneers may not be for you, as the pressure can damage the porcelain shells, although a nightguard can help to protect your veneers and your teeth.
However, the advantages of dental veneers provide an ideal solution for many people whose teeth and gums are fundamentally healthy and who want a Hollywood smile fast and at a fraction of the cost of some other cosmetic dental procedures.
It can be possible to prepare teeth for veneers without anesthesia, and very little tooth structure is lost during the procedure. Another advantage of dental veneers is that they’re more resistant to staining than your natural teeth.
A dentist specializing in veneers can help you decide whether this is the best cosmetic dental procedure for you.