Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells, made to improve your teeth’s overall appearance. They are most often made from porcelain or resin-composite materials and are permanently bonded to only the front surface of your teeth, as opposed to a crown which covers most or all tooth surfaces. One veneer may be needed to fix a single broken or chipped tooth; however, you may also get multiple veneers to create a uniform and symmetrical smile.
Reasons for veneers
- Broken or Chipped teeth
- Severe tooth discoloration that whitening cannot fix
- Gaps in between teeth
- Cosmetic reasons
- Smaller than average teeth
- Pointed or unusually shaped teeth
A few dental visits will be required in the making of dental veneers. First there will be the consultation, where you and your dentist will discuss your options and your veneer expectations. At your following appointments, your dentist will take impressions, make your veneers, and bond them to your teeth.
During your consultation, your dentist will ask you what dental results you are looking to achieve. They will examine your teeth to decide if veneers are the best course of action to take as opposed to say a crown, or dental bonding. Additionally, x-rays may be needed if they have not been recently taken.
Your dentist will numb your mouth to reshape your tooth’s enamel with the amount nearly equivalent to the thickness of the soon to be added veneer. Your dentist will use a shade guide to determine which veneer color is the closest match to your natural surrounding teeth. Multiple shades may be needed to receive the most natural looking end result. An impression will then be taken or the tooth or teeth which have been shaved down. A dental laboratory will then use your impression to create your veneers.
Temporary veneers may be used in the meantime while your veneers are being made. Temporary veneers can be made from dental wax, composite resin, acrylic, or a variety of other materials and are quickly made after the shaping of your teeth.
The temporary veneers will be removed, and a mild chemical will be applied to your teeth. This chemical process is called “etching” and will cause the surface of your teeth to become slightly rough, allowing the porcelain veneers to better stick to your teeth. The porcelain veneers are then glued to your teeth using a composite resin cement one at a time.
- Allergic reaction to the local anesthetic
- Increased dental sensitivity due to the removal of tooth enamel
- An imbalanced bite
- Unnatural-looking appearance
- Veneer breakage
- Tooth infection
Reducing or Preventing Risks
- Prevent veneer breakage by minimizing biting on hard objects
- Taking all prescribed medications
- Practice good oral hygiene to prevent infection and avoid foods high in acid, sugar, or starch
- Wear a night guard if you suffer bruxism to prevent any damage or erosion