Dental veneers which are sometimes also called porcelain laminates or porcelain veneers — are thin, custom-crafted appliances attached to the front surface of a person's teeth. This is almost always done to improve the appearance of the teeth. Sometimes, it is done to even out teeth which may be chipped or cracked, to fill gaps between teeth or to improve the color of the natural teeth.
Dental veneers can be made either from porcelain or from resin materials. Though resin veneers may be more affordable, porcelain veneers are better at resisting stains. Porcelain veneers also look more natural, as they are closer in appearance to natural teeth. When considering what kind of veneers one may wish to get, it is best to discuss available options with a qualified dental professional.
Dental veneers are most often used to restore a bright, white appearance to natural teeth that have become discolored. Veneers are also sometimes used to cover the appearance of fillings that have been applied on a surface of a tooth that may be exposed to view.
Veneers can improve the appearance of teeth that have become worn down or are otherwise chipped or broken. They can also help even out teeth which may be irregularly shaped or misaligned.
During an initial consultation, a dentist will discuss with the patient what outcome is desired, and examine the teeth to make sure veneers are an appropriate procedure. The dentist will discuss the various steps involved in the procedure to be sure the patient understands everything that is involved. At this time, the dentist may also decide to take x-rays of the patient's teeth.
When preparing a tooth to receive a veneer, the dentist first needs to remove a small amount of enamel from the tooth's surface. This is almost always a very slight amount — just enough to accommodate the veneer that will later be attached. A local anesthetic may be used at this step, though in some cases it is not necessary.
The next step usually involves making an impression of the patient's teeth, which is then sent to a dental laboratory. The dental laboratory manufactures the veneers based on the impression and ships them back to the dentist. This process typically takes a few weeks.
When the veneers are received from the laboratory, the dentist will place them on each tooth to determine proper fit and color. The dentist may repeatedly trim or adjust the veneer as needed to be sure the fit is precise and accurate. The natural teeth that will receive the veneers are then cleaned, and the surface is roughened or etched to allow the veneer to bond more completely. Next, a type of dental cement is applied to each veneer, and the veneers are then placed on each tooth, one by one.
When considering ways to improve one's smile, dental veneers are a fantastic option. If you are interested in receiving dental veneers, we invite you to contact our office today for a consultation.