Veneers

A dental veneer is a thin layer that is bonded to the visible surface of a tooth to improve its appearance.

Veneers may be made of very thin pieces of durable, tooth-shaped porcelain made in a professional dental laboratory and then fitted by your dentist. Alternatively, a composite material may be applied directly to a prepared tooth surface and then shaped. Composite veneers may also be prepared in a laboratory.

Veneers offer an ideal solution for many dental problems and can completely reshape your teeth and smile.

Indications

Dental veneers may be recommended to improve the appearance of teeth that are dark, discolored or stained, abnormally sized, crooked, worn or chipped, and with unwanted or uneven spaces. Your dentist will recommend an ideal veneer based on your needs.

Procedure

Porcelain veneers usually require multiple dental visits to complete the process, with little or no anesthesia during the procedure. The teeth may be prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the prepared teeth is taken and an appropriate color shade is chosen by you and your dentist. The veneer is designed in a laboratory on a model of your teeth created from the impression.

On your second visit, your teeth are cleansed with a special liquid to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then used to fix the veneer to the tooth surface and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond.

Composite veneers are more cost effective and less invasive than porcelain veneers. Your doctor places layers of various shades of tooth colored resin directly on the tooth surface and then sets or “cures” the resin. Composite veneers may also be prepared in a laboratory. Like porcelain veneers they can dramatically improve the appearance of teeth that are crooked, chipped, worn or spaced.

You will receive care instructions for your veneers which include proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits to help them last for many years.

Risks and complications

Placing a veneer involves removal of the protective enamel. Your teeth may become more vulnerable so the veneer should be well maintained or replaced if necessary. Some people experience tooth sensitivity after veneer placement which usually subsides in about a week.

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