How Dental Veneers Can Transform Your Smile
If you’re feeling embarrassed to talk, smile, or eat with other people because of the way your teeth look, you’re not alone and dental veneers can help transform your smile. Dental veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded permanently to your teeth. Made from tooth-colored materials, veneers cover the front surface of a tooth to improve its appearance in several ways, including its color, shape, size, and length.
Manufacturers make dental veneers from porcelain or resin composite material. Compared with resin veneers, porcelain veneers are better at resisting stains. Veneers made from porcelain also have light-reflecting properties that make them look like natural enamel.
Not sure if dental veneers are the right solution to transform your smile? Common dental issues that veneers can help with include:
- Tooth discoloration from root canal treatments, stains from tetracycline or other medications, the presence of large resin fillings, or excessive fluoride
- Worn down teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Misaligned, uneven or irregularly shaped teeth
- Visible craters or bulges in your teeth
- Teeth with gaps between them
Veneers have many benefits over other types of cosmetic dentistry, such as dental bonding. Veneers provide a natural tooth appearance, for example, and porcelain veneers are stain-resistant. Gums tolerate veneers very well, so you don’t have to worry about gum irritation.
The Dental Veneers Procedure: What You Can Expect
Getting dental veneers usually requires three trips to the dentist. During the first trip, you will consult with your dentist to describe what you hope to achieve, determine if dental veneers are right for you, and to undergo a dental evaluation.
Your dentist will prepare your teeth during the second appointment. Preparation includes moving 0.5 millimeters (mm) of enamel from the tooth’s surface, which is about the thickness of the veneer. This step provides more room for the veneer. Before trimming off the enamel, your dentist can help you decide if you will need a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area.
During this same second appointment, your dentist will then make an impression or model of your tooth or teeth. Your dentist will send this model to a dental laboratory, where technicians will custom-make your veneers. It will take two to four weeks for the laboratory to create and send your veneers to your dentist. Your dentist may recommend the placement of temporary veneers to cover especially unsightly teeth while you wait for your veneers to come back from the lab.
The third appointment focuses on bonding the veneer to your tooth. Before permanently cementing the veneer onto your tooth, your dentist will place it temporarily on your tooth to evaluate its fit and color. Next, your dentist will repeatedly move and trim the veneer to achieve the proper fit. Your dentist then prepares your tooth by cleaning, polishing and etching its surface. The etching process roughens the surface to help the cement achieve a strong bond between your tooth and the veneer.
During this same third appointment, your dentist permanently bonds the veneer to your tooth. Your Charlotte dentist puts cement on the veneer then applies the veneer to your tooth. Next, your dentist applies a special light beam to the veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement that cause it to harden very quickly. Finally, your dentist will remove excess cement, evaluate your bite, and make any necessary final adjustments to the veneer.
Dental veneers might be right for you if you have severely stained teeth, minor cosmetic imperfections in your teeth, multiple cosmetic imperfections, or slightly crooked teeth. You might be a good candidate for dental veneers if you are in good overall health, have sufficient tooth enamel, do not grind your teeth, and practice adequate dental hygiene.
For more information on dental veneers, contact our team at Providence Dentistry. We can perform the veneer procedure, along with several other dental services and help you transform your smile.