Do you ever wish you had that Colgate smile? You know the one: with beautiful, shiny, white teeth which also happen to be perfectly straight and flawless. Well, natural dental veneers are one of the best ways to achieve those perfectly white and straight teeth while also improving the overall appearance of your mouth. Let’s delve into the details down below.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are also referred to as porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates. Basically, they are thin shells of tooth-colored materials that are custom-made for your teeth in order to fit perfectly. Their purpose is to cover the front surface of the teeth, which gives the appearance of brand new, white teeth.
The dental veneer shells are bonded to the front of the teeth and they can change color, shape, size, or length.
According to the American Dental Association, a veneer is a permanent change used to correct tooth imperfections, such as stained or chipped teeth. They are a good solution for correcting stained, chipped, decayed or crooked teeth. Veneers are made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by your dentist.
Types of Dental Veneers
Dental veneers can be made from different types of material, depending on what it is you’re looking for. The most common types are made out of porcelain or resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers. They also better mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth.
Before making a decision, you can discuss the options with your dentist and determine what works best for you. As natural veneers are permanent, it is essential to get all the right information about them before making a decision to get them.
What Problems Do Dental Veneers Fix?
The purpose of dental veneers is to fix issues like discolored teeth. There are several reasons that can cause discolored teeth. These include:
- root canal treatment
- stains from tetracycline or other drugs
- excessive fluoride
- large resin fillings
Moreover, apart from that, dental veneers can also be used to fix teeth that are:
- worn down or dull in appearance
- chipped or broken
- misaligned, irregularly shaped, or uneven
- have gaps between them
Dental Veneer Procedure
When it comes to getting dental veneers, it can require about three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can undergo the veneering process at the same time.
The procedure in itself is usually about a 4-step process. This begins with making the right diagnosis, then preparing for veneer application, designing the right veneers for your teeth, and then followed by bonding. After bonding the veneer(s) to your teeth, your dentist may do some follow-up adjustments to ensure that everything is in place.
Diagnosis and Treatment (What Kind of Dental Veneers?)
You will tell your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are right for you and discuss the procedure and some of its limits. They may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.
Preparation for Treatment
To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will:
- reshape the tooth surface, to make it nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer that will be added to your tooth surface
- probably numb the area before trimming off the enamel
- make a model or impression of your tooth
- send this model out to a dental laboratory, which will make the veneer(s)
After this process, it usually takes 2-4 weeks for the veneers to be created until they are ready to be applied. In the meantime, your dentist may recommend using temporary dental veneers.
Bonding in Dental Veneer Procedure
The bonding process is one of the most important steps in the dental veneer procedure. This is what ensures that the tooth veneers are properly bonded to the front surface of your teeth (usually done with a formula called dental cement). The steps would be as follows:
- Your dentist will position the natural dental veneer on your tooth to assess its fit and color. They can remove and trim the veneer more than once until they have the proper veneer size for you. This is important to do so before your dentist permanently cements it to your tooth.
- The dental veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used.
- Your dentist is likely to clean, polish, and etch your tooth (or teeth) before preparing the veneers to be applied. Etching roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process.
- Your dentist will apply a special (dental) cement to the veneer then apply it on your tooth.
- Once the veneer is properly positioned, your dentist will shine a special light beam on it to activate chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden very quickly.
- The final steps involve removing any excess cement, checking your bite, and making any needed adjustments.
After the procedure has been done, your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check your gums and the veneer’s placement.
Why Should You Get Dental Veneers?
If you have been thinking about getting natural dental veneers for your teeth but are not sure, here are some things you may want to consider.
1. Dental Veneers Whiten Your Teeth
Years of drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, or eating highly pigmented foods can eventually take their toll on your teeth, turning them an unattractive shade of yellow or brown. Stained enamel can be bleached at home or by your dentist, but can also become stained again. If you’re looking for an easier way to whiten your smile for good, dental veneers may be a great fit for you. Veneers are mostly stain-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about discoloration or needing to have your veneers whitened.
2. Dental Veneers Can Fix Cosmetic Dental Issues
Veneers can fix chips, cracks, gaps between teeth, minor misalignment, and/or discoloration — they help correct many cosmetic dental issues!
Veneers are attached to the front surfaces of your teeth — so while they don’t change the position of your teeth, they do camouflage minor orthodontic problems once they’re applied. Your natural teeth may still be gapped or crooked, but nobody will know aside from you and your dentist.
Veneers can’t always replace orthodontic treatment, and your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist instead of placing veneers.
3. Dental Veneers Replace Damaged Enamel
Enamel is strong but not indestructible. Your enamel may still be worn down from overzealous tooth brushing or eaten away by highly acidic foods and drinks. The stomach acid associated with acid reflux disease can also damage your enamel. Damaged enamel can become a cause for concern because lost enamel doesn’t grow back. Fortunately, you can replace it. Veneers are an excellent treatment for teeth with enamel abrasion or enamel erosion — and they look great, too.
Dental Veneer Benefits
In summary, natural (dental) veneers offer these advantages:
- They provide a natural tooth appearance.
- Gums tolerates porcelain well.
- Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant.
- It can help whiten teeth.
- They generally don’t require as much shaping as crowns do, yet they are stronger and look better.
What Are The Side Effects Of Dental Veneers?
There are not many disadvantages or side effects of dental veneers apart from the fact that it is permanent and that it may lead to increased sensitivity.
1. Dental Veneers Are Permanent
Your dentist will need to change the structure of your natural teeth to place them properly. It’s permanent because you can not restore the enamel shaved down before placement. However, also keep in mind that many veneers will eventually need to be replaced — they last, on average, for about 10 years — or you can choose a different restoration option to take their place.
Dental veneers are an excellent way to hide discolored, crooked, or damaged teeth, but it’s important to consider the pros and cons that come with the territory before getting them. Make an appointment with your dentist to find out if dental veneers are the right solution for improving confidence in your smile.
2. Natural Veneers May Increase Sensitivity
Some people experience an increase in tooth sensitivity after getting veneers. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, you may feel sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures for the first few days after your procedure, but it usually goes away. Tooth sensitivity can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, but you can manage it with right products.
Dental Veneer Risks
That aside, there are, however, a few risks associated with getting a dental veneer. These primarily have to do with the permanence of dental veneers:
- Veneers usually cannot be repaired if they chip or crack.
- Veneers may not exactly match the color of your other teeth. Also, the veneer’s color cannot be altered once it’s in place. If you plan on whitening your teeth, you need to do so before getting veneers.
- Though not likely, veneers can dislodge and fall off. To minimize the chance of this occurring, do not bite your nails, chew on pencils, ice or other hard objects, or otherwise put too much pressure on your teeth.
- Teeth with veneers can still experience decay, possibly necessitating full coverage of the tooth with a crown.
Who Should Get Natural Veneers?
Veneers are not a good choice for people with unhealthy teeth (for example, those with decay or active gum disease), weakened teeth (as a result of decay, fracture, large dental fillings), or for those who don’t have enough existing enamel on the tooth surface.
People who clench and grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers, as this can cause the veneers to crack or chip.
How Much Do Dental Veneers Cost?
Dental veneers are usually significantly expensive, based on where you live and the kind of dental clinic you go to. Price may also vary depending on the dentist or the number of teeth you want to get restored. The average cost of a single veneer is around $1,300 and because veneers are cosmetic, they usually are not covered by insurance.
Despite the high cost, natural veneers can prove to be worth the money as they dramatically improve the appearance of your teeth.
How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?
Typically, natural dental veneers tend to last between 7 and 15 years. After this time, the veneers would need to be replaced.
What Can I Expect After Getting Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers do not require any specific aftercare. As long as you continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash, it will be fine.
Even though porcelain veneers resist stains, your dentist may recommend that you avoid some foods and beverages that may stain or color your teeth. This can include things like red wine, coffee, or tea. Installing veneers is usually a permanent process because it’s necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your tooth to accommodate the shell.
What Are Alternatives to Dental Veneers?
If you want to fix damaged teeth or whiten them but natural veneers are not the best option for you, there are other solutions available. Most commonly, alternatives to dental veneers are plain bondings or crowns. Veneers are a good middle ground option, which remains effective for a long time.
Veneers may be your best choice if you want to change the shape of your teeth, as is done with bonding, but not enough to require a crown.
Meanwhile, if you need any more information on natural dental veneers, feel free to contact our clinic.