Veneers are one of the most versatile cosmetic dentistry procedures. Veneer placement is relatively simple and can produce dramatic results in both smile functionality and appearance.
Whether your dentist has already recommended dental veneers or you wonder if this procedure could help you achieve your ideal smile, it's important to approach this treatment in an informed manner. In this blog, we guide you through the basics of dental veneers and what they may do for you.
What Are Dental Veneers?
In everyday language, you may use the terms veneer or façade primarily when talking about decorative pieces of outer architecture used to beautify buildings. Dental veneers have a similar purpose, just on a smaller, more personal scale.
Each veneer consists of a thin piece of dental porcelain. This material is used due to its strength and opaqueness, which allows it to last over a significant period of time and resemble the color of natural teeth.
Dental veneers are typically only applied to the front teeth since they primarily serve a cosmetic purpose and would not be seen on the back teeth.
However, your dentist may use a veneer to strengthen or repair other teeth as well, as we'll discuss in the section, "When Do Dentists Use
How Does Veneer Placement Work?
Dental veneers adhere directly to the surface of the teeth using a specially designed oral cement. Because this process would make the teeth feel bulky without proper preparation, your dentist first removes a thin layer of enamel.
Once this layer is removed, your dentist etches or abrades the exposed enamel slightly. This textural alteration ensures that the cement, and by extension the veneer, attaches firmly to the surface of the tooth.
A specialized light is used to complete the bonding process and ensure that the cement hardens completely. After this placement appointment, you should be able to eat, speak and smile normally with a small amount of tenderness as your mouth adjusts.
When Do Dentists Use Veneers?
Veneers have a wide range of uses that sometimes overlap with the uses of other dental appliances, like porcelain crowns. Generally, your dentist will recommend veneers to address the following types of dental issues:
- Breakage, such as chipping
- Discoloration that does not respond to whitening
- Inappropriate texture, such as pitting
- Incorrect shape
- Irregular spacing, such as large gaps
While veneers can be used for all of these issues, your dentist may suggest a different treatment if you are not a good candidate for veneers, as we'll discuss in the next section.
Who Can Receive Dental Veneers?
The primary characteristic of a good candidate for dental veneers is adequate enamel thickness since a portion of enamel must be removed to place the appliances. Your dentist will evaluate your overall health, medical history and tooth enamel to decide if you are a good candidate for veneers.
Additionally, your dentist may discuss your insurance coverage and budget when determining whether or not to proceed with veneers. You should expect to hear about alternative, less invasive solutions first since enamel removal is permanent and may not be necessary for all patients dealing with the dental concerns in the previous section.
If you have additional questions about veneers or the placement process, talk to your dentist. You should also schedule a consultation if you think that dental veneers could be the right choice for your cosmetic or functional oral health concerns.
Use the information in this blog and the points you discuss with your dentist to determine the best steps to take as you work toward your ideal smile.
For expert cosmetic dentistry, including dental veneers, trust the team at King Dentistry.