Everybody wants a bright, beautiful smile. However, all of us don’t possess one naturally. Some of us have teeth that came in slightly crooked. Others of us have missing teeth. Still, some of us have unsightly stains upon our teeth. It’s a great time to be alive, though. Why? Nowadays you don’t have to settle for a less than perfect smile. Instead, plenty of dental procedures exist to help you get the perfect smile that you want. In fact, cosmetic dentistry is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry is basically dental treatment that isn’t always necessary. Instead, patients choose to undergo it in order to achieve the smiles that they desire. One of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments nowadays is dental veneers.
Dental veneers are thin strips that dentists affix onto the teeth to change the appearance of the tooth. Other names for them are porcelain veneers or porcelain laminates. They are extremely thin: wafer-thin to be exact. Dentists make them stay on the teeth by using a special bonding material that hardens. It essentially permanently glues them onto the surface of the tooth.
Just like dentists construct other types of dental appliances from different materials, so do they dental veneers. Porcelain is the material that the most common types of dental veneers are made out of. However, dental veneers may also be made of a composite resin. Porcelain veneers are generally considered to be of higher quality than ones made of composite resins, though. The porcelain tends to resist staining better. It’s also more durable, so it generally lasts longer too.
Dentists and patients alike generally consider the highest quality veneers available on the market to be DaVinci dental veneers. They are equated to a work of art in the dental field, hence their name. Much care and consideration goes into the crafting of DaVinci dental veneers. Dental professionals craft these dental veneers from laminate porcelain. Laminate porcelain mimics the appearance of the natural tooth better than some other materials. It allows light to play off of its surface better. This makes it look more like a natural tooth. It’s also the most resistant to staining of all the materials available.
Dental veneers are oftentimes an alternative to other, more intense types of dental treatment. For instance, instead of getting braces to straighten the teeth, sometimes dental veneers will suffice for crooked teeth. It should be noted that in this instance, the teeth are usually only mildly crooked. They are also usually in such a fashion that the veneer will aptly cover up the crookedness. In more extreme cases of misalignment, orthodontic treatment might indeed be necessary.
Another instance when dental veneers might be appropriate is when you want a more permanent solution to discolored teeth. While you can undergo a teeth whitening treatment, you’ll have to keep repeating the treatment every 6 months to a year in order to maintain the results. With dental veneers, though, you undergo the one treatment. That one treatment solves all your discoloration issues forever. The dental veneers cover the natural surface of your teeth, effectively covering the stains.
Likewise, if you have chipped, broken or worn down teeth, dental veneers might be an option. Depending on the extent of breakage or wear and tear, dental veneers might be good enough to cover the cosmetically undesirable surface. In some instances, dental veneers might even be sufficient enough to cover gaps in the teeth. If you’re missing teeth, though, and want to cover them with veneers, you might have to opt for clip on veneers. Clip on veneers can fill in the space where the missing teeth should reside.
The process for getting dental veneers is relatively straightforward and simple. As with any other dental treatment, you’ll need to have a dental diagnosis and exam to discuss your overall dental health. Generally, ideal candidates are in good dental health. More specifically, you can’t have any type of gum disease or other harrowing dental disease. Expect your dentist to take plenty of X-rays and to conduct other assessments to determine your candidacy. You’ll also need to convey to your dentist just what you hope to accomplish by getting dental veneers. Do you want a straighter smile? A whiter one?
After determining that you are, indeed, an ideal candidate for dental veneers, then your dentist will discuss all the options available to you. Dentists will most likely need to take impressions of your teeth. You’ll also be presented with different shades of whiteness for teeth. You’ll have to select the one that you want your veneers to have. A word of advice, though. When selecting the color that you want your dental veneers to be, many people tend to go for the whitest shade . However, that is not always the most natural shade. Sometimes if you select the whitest shade available, it might give your teeth an unrealistic appearance. Most dentists will advise you of this phenomena and help you select the most appropriate shade to suit your teeth.
The actual process of getting the dental veneer placed consists of dentists first preparing the tooth for the placement of the veneer. Then, they conduct the actual act of bonding the veneer to the surface of the tooth. In order to prepare the tooth, your dentist will usually scrape approximately half a millimeter of enamel from the surface of your tooth. The reason why this must be done is because this is approximately how thick the dental veneer is. You don’t want the veneer to protrude up from your tooth and stick out further than the natural tooth. A local anesthesia might be used to numb the area where the dentist is going to be scraping upon the tooth to remove the necessary enamel.
When it’s time to place the dental veneers, your dentist will place the veneer atop the surface of the tooth and determine the best placement. Dentists tend to remove and reposition the veneer several times. The dentist will also trim it down to best fit the tooth’s surface and so on. Directly before placing the veneer, the dentist will then clean, polish and etch the surface of the tooth to prepare it for the veneer. The dental professional will place the special bonding cement on the roughened surface of the veneer. After it dries, then your dentist will shine a special beam of light onto the veneer. This light reacts with the bonding element and causes it to harden. This cements the veneer onto the tooth. Once all the veneers are properly cemented, then the dentist will clean up any excess cement, and you’re done.
As you’ve probably already ascertained, dental veneers come with numerous advantages. First of all, the process to get them is relatively painless and requires no general anesthesia or sedation. Additionally, dental veneers usually don’t cause any irritation or future dental problems since the tissues of the gums tend to tolerate porcelain very well. Of course, they also provide the natural look and feel of a real tooth, are highly stain resistant and tend to be more durable than crowns and some other types of cosmetic dental enhancements.
However, it should also be noted that dental veneers are not reversible. Once you have them, you have them. Additionally, because some of your tooth’s natural enamel is scraped off, you might become more sensitive to hot and cold beverages and foods. Also, dental veneers do not necessarily protect against tooth decay. Teeth that are covered with veneers are still susceptible to tooth decay if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. You also have to take care not to clench or grind your teeth or engage in other stressful oral habits like nail-biting, chewing on hard objects and so on. This is prevent the veneers from cracking or chipping.
Consumer Guide to Dentistry. “Dental veneers cost and procedure details.” Retrieved on February 28, 2017, from http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/veneer-procedure/.
Consumer Guide to Dentistry
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Academy of General Dentistry. “What are veneers?” Retrieved on February 28, 2017, from http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=w&iid=300&aid=1201.
Academy of General Dentistry
211 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611-6660