Dental veneers are very thin semi-translucent porcelain or ceramic shells bonded directly to the front surfaces of teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and can be a great option to alter shape and color of teeth. Dental veneers are custom designed and fabricated by a laboratory ceramist individually to match and enhance characteristics of each patient’s smile. Sometimes, in lieu of orthodontic treatment, dental veneers can be placed to help close spaces between teeth and help with “crooked or mal-posed” teeth.
Will dental veneers look like natural teeth?
When bonded to the teeth dental veneers are virtually undetectable and are highly resistant to coffee, tea, wine, and other stains. Due to the nature of their thickness (thin/semi-translucent), light is able to shine through them and allow for a resemblance to tooth enamel by taking on the color of the underlying tooth.
How durable are dental veneers?
With proper home care and scheduled maintenance visits with your hygienist, dental veneers will remain in place and brighten your smile for several years. Being careful not to use your teeth as “tools” to open packages or biting into excessively hard foods, will certainly add to a veneer’s longevity. Patients with clenching or grinding habits may be advised to use a custom made flexible occlusal guard to add another level of protection to their recently placed veneers.
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Veneer preparation procedure
- Diagnosis and treatment planning: This involves evaluation to review a patient’s esthetic desires and determine if veneers are actually ideal treatment to meet their needs and expectations. Study model impressions and diagnostic wax mock-ups are performed by our dental laboratory for patient review of proposed “smile enhancement” with veneers.
- Tooth preparation: This appointment generally takes 2-4 hours depending number of teeth involved. Local anesthesia is sometimes used as a small amount of tooth structure is removed to allow for veneer thickness. An impression (mold) will be taken for our dental laboratory to use in veneer fabrication. Temporary dental veneers will also by placed to protect teeth while awaiting lab return of permanent veneers.
- Veneer placement: Dental veneer fit, contour, size and color are all checked with a “try-in” to allow for patient viewing and approval. Shade adjustment if needed, can frequently be done by altering color of cement used for veneer adhesion. Once approved and ready to be seated, a special chemical is used to clean to inner veneer surface followed by cementing or bonding into place with a special curing light. Home care and maintenance procedures are reviewed along with scheduling a short follow-up visit one-two weeks later.
Veneers often are the “procedure of choice” to help patients achieve and fulfill their aesthetic goals.