What types of problems do dental veneers fix?
Veneers are routinely used to fix:
- Teeth that are discolored by root canal treatment, tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride, large resin fillings, or other causes
- Teeth that are worn down
- Teeth that are chipped or broken
- Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (have craters or bulges in them, for example)
- Teeth with gaps between them (veneers close the space between these teeth)
Whatâ€™s the procedure for getting a dental veneer?
The procedure usually requires three trips to the dentist â€“ 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 your dentist. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment, your dentist 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 or she may also takeX-rays and make impressions of your mouth and teeth.
Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about ½ 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, your dentist 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 one to two weeks for your dentist to receive your veneer back from the laboratory. For very unsightly teeth, a temporary dental veneer can be placed for an 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 or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit. The veneerâ€™s color can be adjusted with the shade of cement used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched, which roughens the tooth to allow strong bonding. A special cement is applied to the veneer, and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once the veneer is properly positioned on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, activating chemicals in the cement that cause it to harden, or cure, very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite, and making any adjustments in the veneer as necessary. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple weeks to see how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer’s placement.
What are the advantages of dental veneers?
- They provide a natural tooth appearance.
- Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.
- Porcelain veneers are very stain resistant.
- Porcelain veneers can make dark teeth appear whiter.
- Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape. Veneers generally don’t require the extensive prior shaping that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative to bonding.
What are the disadvantages of dental veneers?
- The process is not reversible.
- Veneers are more costly than composite resin bonding.
- Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack.
- The veneer’s color cannot be altered once in place. If you plan on whitening your teeth, you need to do so before getting veneers.
- Individuals who clench and grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers, as these activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip.
On average how long do dental veneers last?
Veneers generally last between five and 10 years. After this time, the veneers need to be replaced.
Do veneers need special care?
No. Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing, as you normally would.
What is the difference between a crown and a veneer?
- A veneer is placed only on the front of a tooth, whereas a crown is placed over the entire tooth.
- A veneer requires preparation or grinding of only the front part of the tooth.
- A crown requires preparation or grinding around the entire tooth. This, however, provides more protection and strength.