Porcelain veneers, also known as dental veneers, are thin, tooth-colored, porcelain shells that are placed over your preexisting smile. Dental veneers are a permanent solution to several cosmetic dental problems, are easy to care for, and will last a lifetime with proper care. Veneers can improve the cosmetic appearance of your smile, and ultimately your confidence.
Reasons to Get Veneers
Patients often have a multitude of reasons behind their decision to get dental veneers. Here are some of the most common reasons to get veneers:
Veneers address a wide range of cosmetics problems that affect your teeth, like a dull smile. Teeth are easily stained from years of drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, or eating acidic foods. This is why cosmetic dentists recommend following these guidelines to keep your smile bright at home. While professional teeth whitening can remove these stains, they will come back as you continue to indulge in teeth-staining foods and behaviors. Veneers are stain resistant, According to the National Institutes of Health, dental veneers are stain resistant. Veneers will be just as white a decade after you get them, as they were the day you left your cosmetic dentist’s office.
Crooked or Gap Teeth
If you have slightly crooked or gapped teeth, dental veneers provide an attractive, permanent solution. When you get veneers, the cosmetic dentist will place the dental veneers over the surface of teeth in a way that camouflages the crooked teeth or fills in the gaps. Crooked, gapped, or other minor cosmetically flawed teeth are one of the leading reasons patients seek out dental veneers.
Tooth enamel is the hard, outer layer of your tooth. Once your tooth’s enamel is damaged, it is gone for good. Poor dental hygiene, teeth grinding, and certain DIY teeth whitening treatments can wear away enamel. Damaged or lost enamel leaves your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay. Porcelain veneers can be used to protect your teeth from further enamel damage.
Veneers vs. Lumineers
Your cosmetic dentist may offer both lumineers and veneers as cosmetic solutions. Lumineers are a type of veneers, so there are several similarities between the two. Both veneers and lumineers correct cosmetic dental problems, such as discolored teeth or teeth that are slightly crooked or gapped.
Lumineers, in comparison, to veneers, do not require extensive preparation. Lumineers are much thinner, so the dentist does not have to remove as much tooth surface as with veneers.
The main reason Lumineers are not as recommended to patients as veneers are is that they can provide results that may be less than perfect. Poorly positioned Lumineers can scrape against the gum line to cause irritation and inflammation, for example, which can lead to gum disease. Because of this, many cosmetic dentists recommend veneers over Lumineers.
What to Expect When Getting Your Veneers
Before you get veneers, you will have a preliminary appointment with a cosmetic dentist in which you will discuss the dental veneer process. It is important to find a cosmetic dentist that is qualified to perform the veneers procedure. You will decide how many teeth you want to have placed, for example, and whether you would benefit from teeth straightening before getting veneers. The dentist will order x-rays and examine your mouth to identify and correct any dental conditions, like tooth decay, that might affect your veneers.
During your next visit, your dentist will use a grinding tool to remove about half a millimeter of your tooth enamel to provide more room for the veneer. Your cosmetic dentist will then take impression molds of your new smile that are then sent to a laboratory, where technicians will make your veneers.
Your dental veneers will arrive in one to two weeks. At the next appointment, your dentist will evaluate the shape, fit, and color of the veneers to ensure they are right for your teeth. Your cosmetic dentist then cleans your teeth thoroughly to prevent bacterial growth beneath the veneer. A grinding tool will then be used to create a rough texture on your enamel, which helps the veneer stick to your tooth.
Finally, your cosmetic dentist uses dental cement and ultraviolet light to bind the veneer to your teeth. You will be able to eat, smile, drink, and enjoy your new smile immediately after your appointment.
Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers
There are many different considerations patients weigh out when deciding whether to get dental veneers or another cosmetic fixture. The positive aspects of dental veneers are that they offer a permanent, attractive cosmetic solution. Dental veneers also function like natural teeth, and don’t affect eating habits like other dental appliances. Not only are porcelain veneers stain resistant and easy to care for., they also protect teeth that are susceptible to damage due to enamel loss from infection and cavities.
However, there are some potential drawbacks to using veneers over other cosmetic services, such as dental bonding. Veneers tend to be more expensive than other cosmetic services due to their quality and appearance. Removing the enamel during the installation process may increase tooth sensitivity for some patients. Because small amounts of enamel must be removed during the process, dental veneers are considered a permanent fixture and cannot be removed.
Caring for Your Veneers
While veneers are considered to be a strong cosmetic fixture, they must be treated gently. Veneers are made of thin porcelain, and can be damaged or broken from physical trauma. To keep your veneers in good condition, avoid chewing or biting on hard food or objects, such as ice, pens, or your fingernails. Never use your teeth to open packages, such as condiment packages, or bottles.
If you grind your teeth at night, wear a dental guard to protect your veneers. Made from soft plastic, a dental guard creates a protective barrier around your veneers. It is also recommended that you protect your veneers during sports with a durable mouth guard.
Serving the North Raleigh area for 18 years, VP Dental is dedicated to treating each patient as an individual and focuses on total body health. The team stays current using the very latest in dental technology, wellness practices, and concierge dental care practices. Our goal is to create relationships that make people look and feel their best.