Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the front, visible area, of the tooth. Veneers are usually only applied to the part of the tooth that is visible when talking or smiling. Here is what to know before you decide if veneers are right for you.
What are Veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are attached to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. They are most commonly made from porcelain or resin-composite materials and are permanently bonded to the teeth. Healthline explains that veneers can be used to treat a number of different cosmetic concerns. These include: chipped, broken, discolored or small teeth. Some patients only opt for getting one veneer in the event of a broken or chipped tooth, however, it is more common that patients get six to eight veneers to create an even, matching smile. Veneers are most commonly applied to the top front eight teeth.
What Can Veneers Help?
Dental veneers can help solve a number of cosmetic dental issues, such as:
- Worn enamel: tooth enamel can wear down over time by what we eat and drink. Veneers can correct smiles that have been affected by worn enamel.
- Wear and tear: as we age, our teeth will naturally begin to wear down. Aged teeth can begin to have cracks, chips, or an uneven appearance.
- Genetics: certain people are born with weird spacing in the teeth that can widen with age.
- Uneven teeth: teeth that aren’t even can be the result of teeth grinding or clenching. This can lead to cosmetic and bite issues.
- Discoloration: stubborn stains may not be fully erased with teeth whitening, however, veneers are a simple solution to brighten a dulled and stained smile.
Types of Veneers
There are two types of veneers: ceramic and resin-based composite. The American Dental Association explains the differences:
- Ceramic veneers. These are thin shells made out of durable ceramic. The dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the front and side of the tooth to make room for the veneer. This also prevents the restored tooth from feeling or looking bulky and unnatural. After this, the dentist will make an impression of the prepared teeth so the shape of the preparations and surrounding teeth can be replicated in the dental laboratory. The dentist will choose a shade that will best match your other teeth. These impressions will be sent to a dental laboratory to make the ceramic veneers to fit your individual teeth. This process can take a few weeks. At the next appointment, the veneers will be applied to your teeth and adjusted to fit comfortably. Once complete, the teeth will be cleaned and the ceramic veneers will be fully bonded to the teeth.
- Resin-based composite veneers. This type of veneer is generally placed in one appointment. Once the tooth is prepared or reshaped, the dentist will. Carefully bond and sculpt the composite material in a color that matches the rest of your teeth. A special light is then used to harden and set the composite. The veneer is smoothed and polished to look like a natural tooth.
Can Anyone Get Veneers?
As with every dental procedure, it may not be right for everybody. To successfully get veneers, the ADA explains, the natural teeth must be healthy and free of decay or active gum disease. Further, patients who clench or grind their teeth at night are often not good candidates for veneers because the thin shells could chip or break.
If you do get veneers, it is important to care for them as you can still experience dental health issues with them. You should relain from chewing on ice or biting your fingernails and continue seeing your dentist on a regular schedule for maintenance cleaning and exams. The good part is, however, no special maintenance is needed for veneers other than practicing good oral hygiene at home and going to your regular dentist visits (which should be every six months).
Veneers, unfortunately, aren’t made to last a lifetime. While they can last a long time, it is normal for veneers to become dislodged and worn down from everyday life over time. Caring for your teeth at home and protecting them by staying away from certain foods and drinks can increase their lifespan.
Renew Your Smile with Veneers at Niles Family Dentistry
Dr. Ashley Niles and our team at Niles Family Dentistry want to give you a smile that you are confident in and feel proud of. If you want to consider the dental veneer treatment we offer, make an appointment with us today to learn more: (720)-744-0001.