Veneers are widely used to fix cosmetic dental problems. A veneer is like a shell that resembles the shape and color of a real tooth, this shell is bonded to the front of a tooth, changing its appearance. If you’ve ever considered getting veneers, you might be interested in learning more about how they’re used and what you can expect during the procedure.
The best way to know whether or not veneers can work for you is to talk to your dentist, but there are a few things that are useful to know beforehand. Because getting veneers isn’t a reversible procedure, you should be sure that it’s really what you want before getting them.
- Gaps – while the procedure isn’t orthodontic, veneers can help your teeth look like there aren’t gaps between them.
- Small or worn down teeth – some patients have teeth that seem proportionally too small. This can either just be how their teeth look naturally or could be the result of tooth wear.
- Tooth chips – dentists aren’t always able to fix chips using fillings or dental inlays and onlays, sometimes chips are too small to really fix properly. If you have such problems, veneers can be an excellent choice.
- Discoloration – sometimes tooth whitening isn’t an option to get rid of tooth discoloration. If you’ve had a root canal or your teeth don’t respond to whitening, porcelain veneers can permanently fix your problem.
- Unsymmetrical teeth – getting veneers is the easiest way to fix teeth that are unsymmetrical. The only other option that really works is getting dental implants, but if your teeth are still healthy, getting veneers is your best bet.
- Bulges and craters – sometimes teeth naturally have bulges and craters in them. In most cases, it isn’t a health concern, but it can ruin the appearance of your smile.
If you’re not sure whether or not your specific problem can be corrected with veneers, the best way to find out it by asking your dentist.
Most patients can get a complete set of veneers in three or four visits to the dentist. During the first visit, your dentist will need to examine the overall health of your teeth. You and your dentist will discuss whether or not getting veneers is a good option for you and talk about how you want your smile to look once the procedure is completed. The first visit is also an opportunity for you to ask your dentist any questions you have about getting veneers.
After the second visit, your dentist will need to remove a thin layer from the surface of your teeth so that there will be space to place the veneers. An imprint of your teeth will be made using dental putty so technicians at the laboratory know what shape to make your veneers. After this visit, your teeth might be more sensitive than usual, but it’s no reason for concern. It will be one or two weeks before you can get your permanent veneers. While you wait for your permanent veneers, you can discuss getting temporary veneers placed with your dentist.
During the third visit, your dentist will carefully fit your veneers, adjusting them wherever necessary. The veneers will be carefully bonded to your teeth once the fit is right. After the veneers have been properly bonded, any excess dental cement will can be removed. This whole process can take quite some time, so you’ll have to be patient.
Patients don’t always return for a fourth visit, but it can be necessary for your dentist to do a checkup after placing veneers. Your dentist might request a last visit if he or she deems it necessary.
The good thing about porcelain veneers is that they’re durable and stain resistant. Once your veneers have been placed, they should last about 10-20 years without staining or breaking. Broken veneers can’t usually be fixed and will have to be replaced. However, taking well care of your veneers should help them last longer.