What Are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are custom-made shells made out of porcelain or a resin composite and require to be bonded to the front of teeth using dental cement. The dental cement is also adjusted according to the color of the teeth.
What Type Of Problems Do Dental Veneers Fix?
Dental veneers are used to fix problems like:
- Discolored or stained teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Uneven or misaligned teeth
- To close gaps between teeth
What Is The Procedure Of Getting Dental Veneers?
The procedure to get dental veneers usually involves three steps:
This step is usually done in your first visit to the dentist. He or she would ask you the exact shape, color and size you desire and it is imperative you explain that completely in order to minimize any problems. Then the dentist would examine your teeth extensively, the dentist might suggest other options as well as not everyone is suitable for getting dental veneers.
In this step your dentist would prepare your teeth for the application of the veneers. The dentist would remove around ½ millimeters of your tooth enamel, which is almost the thickness of the veneer. Before the preparation process the dentist would also discuss with you if the use of an anesthetic is required to the target tooth area.
Then, upon removal of the enamel surface, the dentist would take impressions of your teeth which would be sent to a dental laboratory for preparing your dental veneers which takes almost a week. The dentist might put on temporary veneers on your teeth till then, but for an additional cost.
Bonding the veneer
In the next visit the dentist would first place the final veneers on your teeth to check if they fit right and that they match the color of the adjacent teeth exactly. The veneers might be trimmed to achieve the best fit. Then the target teeth would be polished and etched for a stronger bond, after which special cement is applied and the veneer is placed. Upon exposure to a special light the cement hardens and there you go, your veneers are fixed and ready. He or she would also ask you to visit for a post-checkup to see how the veneers are holding up and responding to bites and other teeth movement.
The Pros Of Dental Veneers
Best tooth resemblance
Porcelain veneers, in particular provide the best match to natural teeth. They can be easily adjusted to copy the teeth color and their ability to reflect light gives them a shiny smooth look.
Due to the smooth surface of the veneers, they are highly stain resistant and any stains which easily stick to your natural teeth would slip off the veneers. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t brush your teeth or take care of oral hygiene, it is mandatory that you brush and floss regularly for the veneers to last longer.
Flexibility in shades
As there is a lot of flexibility in the shades, porcelain veneers can also be adjusted to make neighboring, darker teeth appear whiter.
Compared to crowns, porcelain veneers don’t really require much adjustment or trimming, in fact ultra thin veneers don’t really require any shaping at all, just that they match the length of your natural teeth right.
People with crooked or misaligned teeth are often less confident, they don’t smile often or laugh heartily so that their teeth won’t show. Dental veneers are an excellent way to gain that confidence back and getting a Hollywood smile.
The Cons Of Dental Veneers
Once the veneers are in place, removal is very difficult, in fact it is not recommended to get them removed due to the effects on the teeth surface.
Although porcelain veneers resemble natural teeth perfectly they are still artificial teeth. As such, they don’t have the natural toughness of teeth. You may not be able to bite into foods as you did before.
Especially porcelain veneers are highly expensive, each veneer can cost somewhere between $675 – $1500, multiplied with the number of teeth and you get a huge bill.
Low fracture toughness
Although veneers are relatively tough, they are prone to chipping or breaking when high pressure is applied. People with the habit of grinding their teeth or habits like chewing pencils should specifically be careful as these habits can crack or fracture the veneers easily and excessively.
As the application of veneers require the removal of a layer of your enamel, this might result in heightened tooth sensitivity to hot and cold beverages or eatables.
Prone to decay
Getting veneers doesn’t mean that you stop caring for your teeth. Poor brushing or flossing habits might result in gradual decay of the veneers. Teeth with veneers can still get decayed so you must continue visiting the dentist regularly.
Are Veneers For Me?
Veneers are probably not the best choice for you if have:
- Unhealthy teeth
- Gum disease
- Excessive filings
- Weakened teeth
- Inadequate enamel
- Bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching)
How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?
With proper dental care, including brushing and flossing regularly, veneers can easily last up to 5 or even 10 years.
Are There Any Alternatives To Dental Veneers?
Fortunately, yes. There are a lot of alternatives to dental veneers like:
- You can go for dental whitening if you are looking to whitening your teeth
- You can go for dental bonding if you are looking to fix cracks or mini-fractures on your teeth
- You can go for dental crowns if you want to fix excessive tooth damage
- You can go for invisalign or six month braces if you want to straighten your teeth.
Although there are a lot of options, your dentist or orthodontist would ultimately decide, depending on your physical and dental health that which procedure is more suitable for you.
Dental veneers are a great way to improve the appearance of the teeth, although there are the pros and cons but there’s a good and a bad side to everything. To those who can afford it and those who are suitable for this procedure, veneers might serve as a great way to improve your smile!