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Veneers are a cosmetic dental treatment that creates a beautiful, natural-looking smile. They can fix imperfections like tooth discoloration, gaps and spacing, chips, and worn-down teeth.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain, ceramic, or composite that cover the anterior face of teeth. They can adjust the shape and shade of a natural tooth to improve its appearance.
The procedure for installing your veneers may vary depending on the type you choose. If you need teeth whitening done, it should be performed before your veneers to avoid color discrepancies. You cannot whiten veneers.
The process typically goes as follows:
At your first visit, your dentist will take intraoral photographs and X-rays. They will also complete an examination to determine if you are a good candidate for veneers. Before starting the procedure, they may use an intraoral scanner and specialized dental software to show you the intended end result.
Traditional dental veneers involve tooth reduction. Your dentist trims your enamel to make room for the veneers. This permanent, sometimes painful procedure may require a local anesthetic.
Your dentist creates a mold of your teeth using a traditional putty impression or an intraoral scanner.
You and your dentist use a shade guide to choose a natural color for your veneers.
The impression and shade are sent to a laboratory to create custom veneers that fit precisely to your teeth. It may take 2 to 3 weeks for your veneers to be made.
Your dentist may create a temporary veneer chairside to give you a restoration to wear until your permanent veneers are ready.
At your second visit, your dentist fits and adjusts your permanent veneers until they are properly placed. They check your bite and ask for feedback before bonding.
If you’re happy with the results, your dentist permanently bonds your veneers to the front surface of your teeth. Excess cement is cleaned off.
Like any treatment, dental veneers have their pros and cons. It’s essential to understand the positives and downsides before you get veneers.
Before the veneer procedure, you and your dentist will discuss your veneer options. Some types of veneers include:
Most dental veneers require a laboratory to fabricate a custom restoration. This means your dentist will create a temporary veneer until the permanent one is ready to be cemented.
Some offices use CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics). This advanced 3D dental technology creates custom porcelain veneers in one day.
No, veneers typically don't fall off since they're permanently cemented. However, as veneers age, they slowly detach from the teeth as the bonding weakens.
They can fall off if they're not bonded properly or made poorly. Composite veneers are more likely than porcelain veneers to chip or fracture if you bite into a hard substance.
No, veneers do not hurt. You may feel pain if your dentist needs to grind down your teeth in preparation, but they will numb you with a local anesthetic.
The application of the veneers themselves is painless, and you should feel no pain or discomfort after they are installed.
Possible side effects of the dental veneer procedure include:
Most of the side effects result from the removal of your enamel in advance of the procedure. Contact your dentist immediately if you experience these side effects for longer than a few days.
You can eat and drink as soon as your porcelain veneers are bonded.
Caring for your veneers like you would your actual teeth is essential. If you want to increase the longevity of your veneers, you should:
Veneers are the ideal solution for people who want to make conservative and minor changes to their teeth. The issues veneers can resolve include:
Ideal candidates for veneers include people with:
Not everyone is eligible for veneers. People who should not get veneers include those who have:
If you have any of these issues, you may not be a current candidate for veneers. Your dentist can then create a treatment plan to address these issues before you consider veneers.
While veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry treatment, you must know their risks and limitations. These include:
Veneers are a safe, effective option for improving your smile and confidence.
Porcelain veneers give you a new and improved smile that can last 10 or more years with proper care. They can be expensive, but if you are prepared to invest in your oral health and self-confidence, they can be worth it.
You may not be a candidate for veneers, or you might want a different price point. You’ll find many alternative treatments that can offer you a similar outcome.
Snap-on veneers (also called temporary veneers) are a removable, non-permanent alternative to traditional porcelain veneers. You can put them on and take them off at any time.
Snap-on veneers don't require tooth reduction, which makes them a less painful alternative to permanent veneers. They are also much more affordable.
Teeth whitening may be appropriate if your primary concern is tooth discoloration or staining. There are many ways to whiten teeth, including in-office or at-home treatments.
Teeth whitening can be very affordable and accessible. You can even buy whitening kits over the counter. Talk to your dentist to see which product makes the most sense.
Dental bonding is affordable for chipped, cracked, or damaged teeth. It involves filling in the damaged areas with tooth-colored restorations.
If you care for your teeth properly after dental bonding, the treatment can last up to 8 years.
If you have significantly crooked or crowded teeth, you might need braces or aligners before exploring veneers. These treatments can be expensive, but they have a better chance of being covered by insurance than veneers.
Dental crowns are fitted caps that cover your teeth to change their appearance. Your dentist will likely recommend a crown when the issue is structural rather than cosmetic.
Veneers cover the front of your tooth, while a dental crown will cover the entire tooth.
Dental veneers are a permanent cosmetic treatment to improve the aesthetics of your smile. They are ideal for people with minor dental flaws such as stains, chips, and gaps.
Dental veneers involve tooth reduction, impressions, and the application process. They can be expensive and aren’t right for everyone, but there are alternatives to explore.
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