The quality of your smile affects many things about your life that you may not even take note of. Quality smiles make you more attractive. In many instances, it is the first thing people notice about you – and it has the potentials to open doors of opportunities for you.
Your smile also affects your confidence. A good smile (which is only possible with sets of attractive teeth) can boost your confidence. With improved confidence, your social life can receive a boost. The positive effects will radiate in other parts of your life.
No matter how happy or excited you feel, the quality of your smile is always linked to the appearance of your teeth. It is impossible to achieve a great smile if your teeth look terrible. If your teeth are chipped, crooked, broken, or discolored, achieving a great smile will be a big challenge.
The good news is that you can always improve your smile. There are several ways to correct dental issues that impact smiles. Veneers happen to be one of the best procedures to improve dental aesthetics, and you’ll learn more about them in this guide.
What Are Dental Veneers?
According to the American Dental Association, a veneer is a permanent change used to correct tooth imperfections, such as stained o shipped teeth. Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that fit over the teeth to correct imperfection and improve their appearance.
In addition to hiding stained, chipped, and uneven teeth, veneers can offer a layer of protection for teeth. They are primarily used to create a beautiful smile, but their protective functions should not be overlooked.
Veneers are regarded as cosmetic dental treatments because they are primarily placed for aesthetic reasons. Some people refer to them as “smile makeovers.” They are becoming very popular, ranking among the commonest cosmetic procedures performed by dentists.
It is possible for patients to get one veneer in a case of a chipped or broken tooth, but most times, patients get multiple veneers to meaningfully enhance their smile. To create an even, symmetrical smile, most patients get six or eight veneers at a time.
What Is The Difference Between Veneers, Crowns, And Implants?
Though they serve almost the same purpose, there are worlds of differences between veneers, crowns, and implants.
The major way to understand the differences between these three treatment options is to consider the area of the teeth each of them can cover. The processes and procedures involved in each treatment option differ significantly too, but we will not delve into that here.
Veneers mainly cover the front of a tooth, while crowns cover the entire tooth, including the front, back, and sides. Implants, on the other hand, replace a missing tooth completely. They are only used after a tooth loss.
While veneers are used to improve the appearance of teeth that are still intact but have suffered a few problems, crowns are mainly used to repair broken teeth. While veneers do not really offer any sort of support to the teeth they cover, crowns ideally strengthen the teeth they cover. Implants are attached to the jawbone to replace missing teeth.
How Do Veneers Work?
Veneers typically work by permanently bonding to a tooth to mask its natural color, shape, or positioning in the mouth. Depending on the reason for getting a veneer, the application and the ultimate function can vary slightly. If you fell and break a tooth, for instance, a veneer may be applied to the broken teeth to make it appear normal.
Veneers may cover only a part of the teeth (partial) or an entire tooth, or even the entire front of your tooth (full). Depending on your specific need, a veneer may correct a problematic tooth, or a set of veneers can correct several imperfections with the teeth in the front of your mouth.
Even when there is no serious imperfection, you can get veneers to improve your smile. You can walk into our Glenbrook clinic and explain to the dentist that you need to improve your smile with veneer. You can discuss your idea of what you need. Dr. Park will work with you to determine what will work best for your face.
Why Do People Get Dental Veneers?
Primarily, people get veneers to improve their smiles. This implies that veneers are recommended when the patient is not satisfied with their smile and want to improve. As you can tell, there are different reasons people may not be too happy with their smiles and seek improvement.
The commonest reasons include:
- A chipped, cracked, or broken tooth that results from injury
- Worn own tooth that results from erosion, tooth grinding, or other habits
- White spots or streaks in the teeth that result from excessive consumption of water too high in fluoride
- Severe tooth/teeth discoloration or uneven coloring that cannot be fixed with teeth whitening
- Gaps in the teeth that are unattractive and unwanted
- Pointed or unusually shaped tooth
- Smaller-than-average teeth
- When a patient is unhappy with the length, color, size, or shape of his/her teeth and wants to improve their appearance in order to achieve an improved smile.
Dental veneers may also be recommended after a dental procedure results in tooth discoloration or another problem. Root canal treatment, large resin fillings, and even the use of some antibiotics can result in teeth stains and other issues. Dental veneers or other restorative materials may be recommended to correct the problem and improve smile.
Benefits of Dental Veneers
Earlier, we highlighted the benefits of porcelain and composite resin veneers individually. Here, we will briefly discuss some of the most important benefits of dental veneers in general:
They can easily whiten your smile
Dental veneers are the most effective ways to whiten stained or discolored teeth. They are more effective than teeth whitening. Veneers whiten the teeth and improve smiles significantly, regardless of the cause of the stain or discoloration.
They can effectively fix minor cosmetic problems
Veneers can also correct a wide range of minor cosmetic problems in the mouth. Experienced dentists like Dr. Park can use veneers to fix chips, cracks, gaps between teeth, broken teeth, and minor misalignment. They will also correct crooked teeth and teeth that are too small to appear normal and form a great smile. They can take care of minor orthodontic issues.
They can replace damaged enamel
There are a few things that can damage your teeth enamel, including overzealous tooth brushing, eating and drinking highly acidic food and drink, as well as complications from acid reflux disease. Regardless of the cause of enamel abrasion or enamel erosion, a dental veneer is the best restorative procedure for damaged enamel. Tooth enamel does not grow back, and once it is damaged, the tooth will be exposed to further damages. Veneers will replace enamel and avert further damages.
Types of Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are generally classified according to the material they are made of. This means there are two major types of dental veneers – porcelain veneers and composite veneers.
Porcelain veneers are tooth-colored, versatile, and completely customize dental veneers that are made of ceramic materials. At the moment, porcelain is the commonest and most popular material for veneers.
When they were introduced, the primary advantage porcelain veneers offered was the minimally invasive nature of the procedure. A successful shell placement needs less planning, preparation, and treatment procedure than alternative treatment options.
While porcelain veneers are generally tooth-colored, they can be modified to appear whiter to significantly improve smile. Actually, there are as many as 15 different shades patients can choose from to meet their dental aesthetic needs/desires.
Major benefits of Porcelain Veneers
Because of the nature of the material, here are specific benefits that are associated with porcelain veneers:
- They are very strong and durable
- They look very much like natural teeth
- They don’t stain easily
- They require the removal of just a little bit of tooth enamel to correct imperfections, unlike crowns and caps.
Composite Resin Veneers
Composite resin veneers are cheaper alternatives to porcelain veneers but are similar to them in many ways. As the name suggests, they are often made from tooth-colored resin, the same material used for tooth-colored cavity fillings or tooth bonding.
In addition to being more affordable, composite resin veneers are quicker to fabricate, making the treatment option much faster. Direct composite veneers are much faster since they are sculpted on the teeth rather than in a dental laboratory. With them, same-day treatment is possible.
Composite resin veneers are considered more conservative than porcelain veneers. While they may not be as durable as porcelain, they are pretty easier to repair or replace. When they chip, they can be repaired, but when porcelain veneers chip, they will be completely replaced.
Benefits of Composite Resin Veneers
Due to the uniqueness of the material and the processes involved, here are the specific benefits of composite veneers:
- They require minimal removal of tooth enamel to correct imperfections
- Composite resin generally require fewer visits to the dentist’s office – sometimes, the treatment can be completed in just one visit
- They are generally more affordable than porcelain veneers and other effective cosmetic dental procedures
- They can be easily repaired when they chip or break.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Dental Veneers?
While dental veneers are one of the easiest and commonest ways to improve the appearance of teeth and enhance smiles, they aren’t for everyone. Before Dr. Park proceeds, he will ascertain that you are a good candidate for dental veneers.
If you have healthy gum tissue and good oral hygiene, you stand a good chance of qualifying as a good candidate for dental veneer if you don’t like the appearance of your teeth or overall smile. However, it is most suitable for people who want to correct an issue.
We have already highlighted the commonest reasons for veneers, so you can refer back to see if it is a good solution for the issue you want to correct. In addition to having an issue that can be corrected with dental veneer, the patient must have healthy teeth and gum. Our dentist may have to treat an underlying disease of decay before applying a dental veneer.
Patients who clench and grind their teeth are not considered good candidates for dental veneers. This is because the veneers, which are really thin, can chip or break due to clenching and grinding. A dentist can proceed with a veneer procedure when he/she ascertains that it is the best option for the patient. However, the patient may have to wear a plastic dental night guard while sleeping to manage clenching and grinding.
During your consultation, an experienced dentist will ask several questions to ascertain your suitability for dental veneers. It is important that you answer all questions honestly. You will also discuss your expectations with the dentist for him/her to understand if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
What to Expect When You Go For Dental Veneers
Depending on the condition of your teeth and your needs, getting dental veneers can take between two and three visits to the dentist’s office. The first trip is the consultation, while the second and last ones are for making the veneers and applying them.
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
Your first visit to the dentist’s office will be used for diagnosis and treatment planning. The experience at this point will depend on your condition and expectations. The dentist will observe your teeth to be sure that dental veneers will deliver the results you need.
You need to tell your dentists your expectations. Afterward, an experienced dentist will discuss the procedure and explain the limitations. The dentist of his/her staff may take X-rays and make impressions of your teeth and mouth.
Preparing For Dental Veneers
There is no special way to prepare for dental veneers. Most of the preparation will be done by the dentist, but you may be given a few instructions on what to do on the day of the procedure. After the diagnosis and treatment planning phase, the dentist will likely trim down about a half-inch millimeter of your tooth with a grinding machine before taking an impression (mold) of your teeth.
The removal of your enamel before taking the impression of your teeth is done to obtain accurate sizing of your veneers, which are mostly customized in dental labs. It is also done to make the teeth look natural after the veneers have been applied. The veneers will be available for fixing on your next visit.
Dental Veneer Procedure
The actual dental veneer procedure will depend on your specific need and the type of veneer to be used. Mostly, it is a straightforward procedure after the dental impression (mode) has been made in the previous appointment. We will discuss the procedure for the two major types of veneers.
In the previous appointment, the dentist must have prepared your teeth for porcelain veneers, removing a small amount of enamel from the front side. He must have made impressions or molds of the prepared teeth and sent them to a dental lab, also. The shade of your veneers will also be decided before sending the impressions to the lab. Some dentists will give you temporary veneers to wear till the permanent veneers return from the lab (this can take several days).
During the actual porcelain veneer placement, the dentist will first place them on the teeth to check that they fit the shape. A few adjustments will likely be made before they fit properly. Afterward, the teeth will be cleaned before veneers are bonded to them. Of course, the procedure can be as simple as bonding a single veneer on a tooth. In some instances, there may be a need for a follow-up appointment to make further changes.
Composite Resin Veneers
The composite resin veneer procedure is a little simpler than what obtains in the porcelain procedure. After the teeth are reshaped and prepared, the dentist will carefully bond and sculpt the composite material, using a color that fits you best. A special light will be used to harden the composite material and bond it to your teeth.
After bonding the composite veneer to your teeth, the dentist may use a few other instruments to smoothen and polish them. The goal is always to make them look like natural teeth, and dentists will polish the composite resin properly to achieve that.
How to Take Care of Your Veneers after Placement
Recovering from dental veneer treatment does not take too long. However, you will need to follow your dentist’s instructions diligently to ensure that your recovery proceeds smoothly without any incident.
As stated earlier, dental veneer treatment is a minimally invasive procedure. Local anesthesia may be used to numb the area during the procedure to make it as painless as possible. As the anesthetic wears down after the procedure, be careful and conscious not to chew your tongue and cheeks.
During recovery and afterward, you will have to take some cautions to prolong the lifespan of your dental veneer. Your dentist will give you relevant instructions, but here are some of the most important ones to keep in mind:
- Avoid chewing on hard objects like ice, pens, and even your fingernails
- Never attempt to use your teeth to open cans, packaging, or condiment packages
- As much as possible, avoid chewing with the front teeth that have veneers attached to them. Use your back teeth to bite and chew hard foods
- Wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth when you engage in your favorite sporting activities
- Use a splint or retainer to protect your veneers if you clench or grind your teeth.
Side Effects and Risks of Veneers
Undoubtedly, dental veneers offer lots of benefits, especially when performed by experienced dentists like Dr. Park. Like other dental procedures, however, they are not risk-free procedures. While these risks are never life-threatening, it is important that we discuss them briefly:
Tooth sensitivity is the commonest side effect of dental veneer. Considering that the tooth is prepared by grinding out little enamel, this is understandable. Tooth sensitivity may be experienced in the first three weeks following the procedure – this is considered normal.
If tooth sensitivity lasts longer than 3 – 6 weeks after dental veneer placement, it may be an indication of a deeper problem like infection. If you experience such a problem, you will need to contact your dentist for treatment options to treat the problem and stop the sensitivity.
The risk of tooth damage following a dental veneer treatment is very small, but it happens in rare cases. It normally happens during the enamel removal stage –when the tooth is being prepared for the veneer.
Besides the possibility of dentine damage during enamel grinding, a poorly fitted veneer can change the alignment of the patient’s bite and cause other problems like sensitivity, jaw pain, or bruxism. When the procedure is handled by an experienced dentist, the chances of tooth damage is almost non-existent.
It is possible for dental veneers to fail, although it rarely happens. Veneer failure is normally caused by untreated dental conditions before veneer placement. After a veneer failure, veneer replacement may be recommended. In some cases, alternative restorative treatments like crowns and cosmetic bonding may be recommended to replace the failed veneer.
Q: Are veneers permanent?
Veneers are generally regarded as permanent cosmetic treatments, but they do not last forever. While porcelain veneers can last between 15 and 20 years, composite veneers can last between seven and ten years. Some can last as little as five years.
Q: Do veneers stay white throughout their lifespan?
Most veneers do not stain easily, meaning they will keep looking great for years. While they should last a very long time, you’ll need to regularly take care of them similar to your natural teeth (brushing them and so forth). Please ask Dr. Park for more details about the care of your veneers.
Q: Where should I go for dental veneers?
Q: Are veneers safe?
Yes, veneers are very safe dental devices. The entire process of applying them is also very safe, especially when handled by an experienced dentist.
Q: Is the veneer procedure a painful procedure?
Typically getting veneers is not painful. While the procedure is not totally painless, dentists use local anesthesia to ensure that you don’t feel any pain throughout the actual procedure. You may feel some sensation during the process and tooth sensitivity a few weeks following the procedure, but everything will be okay in about three weeks.
Q: Do I need to brush veneers?
Yes, you’ll need to take care of your teeth with veneers just as you will take care of your natural teeth.
Q: Can you still get cavities with veneers?
Unfortunately, veneers do not stop cavities. While they offer some level of protection for the front of your teeth, they do not protect against decay and cavity. Take good care of your teeth and mouth to avoid dental and oral health issues.
Q: Can I fix my teeth without veneers?
There are alternative treatments you can choose to correct dental issues, but the benefits of choosing veneers are enormous. If you are a good candidate, choose veneers over crowns and dental implants. Dr. Park will tell you the best procedure for you.
Q: Can I pay for veneers with my insurance?
It depends on the insurance provider and plan you have. If you’d like us to check to see if you’re covered for veneers, please feel free to give us a call at (587) 483-9900; Marj will be happy to assist you.
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