Dental veneers are custom-made, very thin shells designed to cover the entire front surface of a tooth. They are made of tooth-colored materials and are specifically designed by a cosmetic dentist to improve your appearance. Veneers are bonded to the front surface of your teeth and can change their length, size, shape, or color.
Dental veneers can be made from resin composite materials, but the most common veneer material is porcelain. Porcelain veneers have light-reflecting properties that more closely mimic the look of natural teeth. Over time, they resist stains better than resin composite veneers. Resin veneers, however, are thinner than porcelain veneers, and require shaving less of the natural tooth’s surface before final placement and bonding.
Both resin veneers and porcelain veneers are designed to hide the following dental problems:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Teeth that are worn down with age
- Irregular, misshapen, or misaligned teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Teeth with gaps between them
Once you and your dentist have decided that veneers are right for you, the first step usually is preparing molds or taking x-rays. In order to prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will shave about a half a millimeter of enamel from your tooth’s surface. Next, an impression will be made of your tooth, which is sent to a dental laboratory. That laboratory then constructs your veneer. As it takes some time (1-2 weeks) for your dentist to receive the final veneer, temporary dental veneers may be placed onto your teeth.
Before the final dental veneer is bonded permanently to your shaved natural tooth, your dentist will check placement and color. He or she may trim and shape the veneer as needed to ensure proper fit. Your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and roughened to allow for maximum bonding. Once the tooth is in place, the bonding agent is set with a special light, activating the chemicals in the cement to make the bond permanent. Excess cement is removed, your bite is checked for alignment, and your new smile is revealed!Read More »