Those looking to improve the way their smile looks while also potentially addressing other underlying issues have a few good modern options available to them, and one is dental veneers. Known as a versatile, high-quality cosmetic dentistry treatment, veneers are used for a few different purposes today.
At Bright Side Dental, we’re happy to offer quality dental veneers for clients who are good candidates for them. For those who have never had veneers or known someone who has, you may have several basic questions about what these are, how they work and why they might be a better option for you than certain other dental products. Here are some simple answers.
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry treatment that can be used to change or improve the appearance of someone’s smile. A veneer is a thin, customized cover designed for teeth, made out of durable materials such as porcelain (in other words, a dental “shell”).
Patients often will obtain a single veneer, though there are cases where multiple veneers are required to obtain the desired look. Generally, veneers are designed to mimic the natural appearance of teeth and thus can be used for several cosmetic functions or purposes.
How are Dental Veneers Made?
A dental veneer is made by removing a small amount of enamel from the teeth and then covering them with a customized design. This is done using a computer-guided process, where an impression is taken of the teeth and used in combination with advanced technology to create an individualized design that can be permanently bonded to each tooth.
Do Teeth Need Preparation Before Veneers Can be Applied?
Yes, they do. Veneers are attached to the outer enamel of the teeth, but before this can happen, the teeth must be prepared. This involves removing a small amount of enamel from the tooth, which will then be replaced with the veneer itself.
This removal process involves use of a local anesthetic, which then allows for minimal discomfort during and following the procedure.
How Long Do Dental Veneers Take to Work?
Following the application of a veneer, it takes some time for new enamel growth to occur around the outer surface of the teeth. This is what causes them to become permanently attached after about six or seven months of time.
In the meantime, a temporary restoration is placed over the veneer to help protect it and make sure that your appearance is attractive and can last until new enamel growth occurs.
What Issues Can Veneers Help Fix?
Veneers will be used for a wide variety of different cosmetic functions depending on the way they are designed. Veneers can change or correct:
- The appearance of teeth that have become worn down, either from long-term use or other issues (such as decay).
- Teeth that have become stained or discolored over time for various reasons.
- Teeth that are dramatically misaligned or crooked.
- Teeth that are oddly shaped, excessively large or small for the upper or lower jaw.
- Teeth that have structural weaknesses such as fractures.
In all of these cases and more, veneers provide a highly effective and long-lasting solution to an assortment of different issues patients may experience with their smiles.
Do Veneers Prevent Tooth Decay?
It’s very important that you understand the answer to this question, which is a firm no. Veneers are cosmetic in nature, and while they help fill in important spaces in the mouth, they will not actually prevent tooth decay.
As with most cosmetic dentistry procedures, a veneer is not necessary to address the problem of tooth decay. Instead, you should visit one of our dentists at Bright Side Dental for an exam and consultation in order to discuss whether or not dental veneers are the appropriate solution for your individual needs and concerns.
Are Dental Veneers Permanent?
Veneers are considered a permanent addition, in that they cannot be removed by the wearer like a mouthguard or certain other dental products. With the proper care, veneers will last several decades before needing to be replaced.
However, it is important that you understand that veneers are not “cured in stone.” They can fracture or crack over time, and if this happens then they will need to be removed from the teeth and replaced at a cost of hundreds of dollars per tooth. For this reason, care of veneers is very important.
Basic Care Tips for Dental Veneers
Luckily, it’s very easy to avoid the sorts of damage we just went over through basic veneer care. Here are some basics:
- Don’t use teeth as tools: Don’t use your teeth, or veneers, as a means of removing objects from surfaces or even biting through things. Many times, we bite down on pens, forks, nails and other sharp objects without thinking about the damage this can do to our teeth.
- Avoid chewing ice: Ice is one of the worst substances you can chew on, as it has a remarkable capacity for causing chips and fractures in teeth.
- Brush and floss veneers just like normal teeth: When you brush your teeth, do so the same way you would for a normal set of teeth. However, be sure to only use gentle brushing motions and never scrub at veneers too heavily, as this can cause permanent damage.
- Maintain regular cleaning appointments: Even if you don’t have any problems with your veneers, it’s still important that you schedule regular cleaning appointments. This will help you ensure that veneers are in good condition and avoid more costly damage down the line.