Many patients come into the office asking about dental veneers and if they will work for them. The truth about veneers is that they are not for everyone. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when deciding if veneers are the best option for you.
A veneer is a thin covering that is bonded onto the front of the tooth which can help cover/correct many dental issues. I like to compare them to a ‘press on nail’. The dentist will remove a very small amount of tooth structure (approx 0.5mm) from the facial portion of the tooth to allow for the veneer to be placed and bonded. In some instances even less tooth structure can be removed.
Veneers can be used to correct issues such as:
– Dark or internally stained teeth that cannot be whitened through bleaching.
– Some chipped or worn teeth.
– Gaps between teeth also known as diastemas.
– Large tooth colored fillings on front teeth that tend to stain or chip through time.
By having a conversation with your dentist, you can determine if veneers will be best to correct your dental issue. In some cases a patient’s bite or oral habits may be detrimental to the life of a veneer. For most patients, we recommend a night guard to be fabricated for use after the veneers are placed as a way to protect them from biting and grinding forces while you sleep.
There are 2 types of veneers; Ceramic and Composite veneers. The benefits of a ceramic veneer are strength, resistance to staining, and its smooth, translucent, natural appearance. Composite veneers may require slightly less removal of tooth structure. They can be done in a single visit since they are frequently done chair side by the dentist. They tend to cost less and are easier to replace or fix if damaged.
For the success of a veneer or any restorative dental case, we must make sure your gums, bone and teeth are healthy and strong. The patient must understand that once any tooth structure is removed for veneers or any restoration it cannot be reversed. It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene and have regular checkups with your dentist. It may take some time to get used to the way your new teeth look after the veneers are placed. Many steps are taken to ensure that you have the look, length, shade and shape you want, but sometimes it takes some time to adjust to the look and feel of your new teeth.
Since veneers are made of ceramic or composite and look very similar to a tooth’s enamel you must be very careful with particular oral habits, such as; biting/chewing your nails, pencils, ice, hard foods or any foreign objects. As with any dental restoration they may wear, chip or come loose over time and need to be replaced.
Veneers are a great option for many patients. The results are esthetically beautiful and can restore a healthy happy smile for many people who are conscious about their smile. As with all your other dental care, be sure to talk about expectations and other treatment options before you get started.