Dental Veneers – What Are They All About?
We all envy those movie star smiles…. the ones who seem to light up a room with a smile with their perfectly aligned, white, straight teeth that almost seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, no matter how well one takes care of their teeth, a variety of cosmetic issues may still exist. Drinking soda, wine, coffee or tea, smoking, and certain medications can all stain the enamel of teeth, causing the teeth to look worn, dull or discolored.
In addition, the color and appearance of the teeth, as well as the spacing between the teeth, can also be affected by genetics. Any number of causes could exist for why your teeth do not project the confident, beautiful image you aspire to.
While tooth whitening is one option in cosmetic dentistry, those with a more severe case of dull, discolored, or uneven teeth may wish to get dental veneers. They provide long lasting results and can completely change the overall appearance of one’s smile, often making the face look more youthful and vibrant overall. Cosmetic dentistry has perfected the quality and appearance of dental veneers so that today they look completely natural and beautiful, while remaining durable.
One of two types of dental veneers is generally used: resin composite and porcelain. Resin ones are typically thinner and require less removal of the tooth surface prior to placement. However, porcelain ones tend to resist staining better than resin composites and may look more natural as they tend to reflect light in a similar way to natural light. Of the two types, the porcelain kinds are longer lasting and tend to be more expensive. Consult with your cosmetic dentist to determine which type of veneer would be best for you.
Once you decide to get this kind of coating in order to enhance your smile, the procedure usually takes three to four trips to the dentist. The first trip is for an initial consultation. During this meeting, you will discuss your expectations for results with your dentist as well as the type of veneer that would be most appropriate.
During this appointment, the dentist may choose to take an impression of your teeth and/or complete X-rays. During the second trip, the dentist will prepare your teeth for veneer by removing approximately half a millimeter off the surface of the tooth and take impressions of each tooth in order to send to the dental laboratory. The final step, after the veneers are constructed, is the bonding. The dentist will use a special cement to permanently secure the veneer onto your natural teeth. A final appointment may be needed in order to check how the gums are responding and to examine if they have been properly placed.
While dental veneers may require an initial commitment, for those who have always wanted that 1000 watt movie star smile and never dreamed it could be theirs, the results are well worth it in the end!