Learn About a New Smile Using Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are an attractive option for a smile makeover for many patients, able to correct multiple issues with one procedure. Discover how this treatment covers stains, damage, gaps, and other tooth problems.
Cosmetic issues that can be corrected with veneers
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that can be bonded to one or more teeth to correct a variety of cosmetic issues. They can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of the smile because the restoration completely covers the front surface of the teeth.
Teeth that have chips, cracks, or stains can be covered. However, because veneers cover, rather than replace teeth, they can only provide a cosmetic improvement. If the function of the tooth is compromised, other treatments may be necessary.
Veneers can improve the appearance of mildly crooked teeth. This may be an option for patients who do not wish to commit to traditional braces or clear aligners.
Misshaped or oddly spaced teeth
Teeth that appear too small, too large or are an undesirable shape can be corrected. Additionally, the treatment can be used to cover gaps between teeth.
Teeth grinding, poor dental hygiene, and some types of over-the-counter whitening products can damage tooth enamel. Damaged enamel can make teeth more prone to decay. Placing covers over teeth with damaged enamel can help protect against decay.
What to expect when getting veneers
The process begins with a preliminary appointment where the dentist discusses the process with the patient. The dentist examines the patient, takes X-rays, and suggests any treatments that need to be performed, such as addressing tooth decay, before the procedure.
To place the veneers, the dentist begins by using a grinding tool to remove approximately half a millimeter of tooth enamel. The dentist then makes impression molds of the teeth and sends the molds to the laboratory to make the shells.
When the veneers are delivered, the dentist cleans the patient's teeth and then uses a grinding tool to create a rough texture on the tooth enamel, so that the shells adhere to the teeth more easily. After checking the fit, shape, and color, the dentist uses dental cement and ultraviolet light to attach each cover to the teeth. Patients can resume normal activities, including eating and drinking, immediately after the procedure.
Most patients do not experience discomfort during the procedure, though some people do have increased tooth sensitivity for a time afterward. Patients should avoid biting or chewing hard food or objects, such as pens, ice, or fingernails, because this may damage the veneers. Additionally, patients should use soft-bristled toothbrushes and nonabrasive toothpaste. People who participate in contact sports should use a mouth guard to protect against physical trauma.
Dental veneers can be used to completely make over the smile of patients with multiple cosmetic issues without having to perform extensive dental work. Talk to your dentist about how this treatment can give you a new smile today.
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