One of the most common procedures performed in cosmetic dentistry is the application of veneers. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are designed to cover the front surface of the teeth. They are used to change to color, shape, size, and/or length of the patient’s teeth. Veneers can be applied to one or several teeth.
These wafer-thin shells are usually made from porcelain or resin composite materials, although porcelain is the more popular of the two due to its stronger stain resistance properties. For this reason, veneers are sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates.
How are Veneers Installed?
Before veneers can be ordered and installed, the patient needs to schedule an appointment with their dentist. In most cases, it takes three appointments when a patient is getting veneers; one for the consultation; a second for the making of the veneers, and a third for the actual application.
During the visits, the dentist will examine the patient’s teeth to make sure veneers is an appropriate option for what the patient is trying to achieve. X-rays may also be ordered.
Before the veneers are ordered, the dentist will have to remove 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface. This is nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer that is going to be added to the tooth surface. Once this is done, an impression of the patient’s teeth will be taken and sent to the dental laboratory where the veneers are produced. In one to two weeks, the finished veneers will be sent back to the dentist.
During the application, the dentist will temporarily install the veneers to ensure proper fit. If the veneers fit, then the dentist will prepare the teeth for bonding. This process involves cleaning, polishing, and etching the teeth. Dental cement is then applied to the veneer and the veneer is placed on the tooth. Once all of the veneers are in place, a special light is used to activate the hardening chemicals in the cement. A follow up visit is usually required a few weeks later.
Pros and Cons of Veneers
Veneers offer a wide range of benefits that patients will find attractive, but nothing is without its flaws. The pros and cons of veneers include:
- Veneers look like natural teeth
- Porcelain veneers don’t irritate gums
- Porcelain veneers are highly resistant to stains
- Different colors of porcelain are available
- Veneers can easily change a tooth’s color and shape
- Veneers offer a strong, more aesthetic alternative to crowns
- Veneers last anywhere from five to ten years before needing replaced
- Once veneers are bonded and cured, they cannot be easily removed
- Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack
- Teeth can become more sensitive to hot or cold liquids due to enamel being removed
- Veneer color cannot be altered once it is in place
- Although rare, veneers can dislodge and fall off, especially in cases where the patient has a tendency of biting or chewing hard objects or putting excessive pressure on their teeth
- Veneers don’t prevent a tooth from decaying
Is Any Special Care Needed for Veneers?
Dental veneers can be cared for just as you would your regular teeth. No special care is needed other than practicing good oral hygiene, which includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.
Who Shouldn’t Get Veneers?
Not every patient is going to be an ideal candidate for veneers. Those who shouldn’t get veneers include individuals with unhealthy teeth, such as those with tooth decay or active gum disease; individuals with weakened teeth, such as those caused by decay, fracture, or large dental fillings, or individuals who have very little existing enamel left on the tooth surface.
Interested in Veneers? Schedule an Appointment with RB Cosmetic Dentistry Norfolk VA
Veneers can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. If you are interested in getting a winning smile, call for a dental appointment today with RB Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry Norfolk VA and surrounding areas. We have three locations in the Hampton Roads area, so we have an office conveniently located near you. Call RB Comprehensive Dentistry today at 757-466-1700 to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Norfolk VA.