There are many reasons why an individual may consider getting dental veneers, whether it’s for functional or aesthetic purposes. Regardless of the exact reason, however, there’s no doubt that there is a lot to know about veneers and much to think about before getting started.
In this article, we’ll discuss how veneers can improve dental health and appearance, as well as what the process looks like for getting them. From initial consultation to final bonding session, this article has the information you need to make an educated decision about dental veneers.
What Is A Veneer?
A dental veneer, also called porcelain laminates or porcelain veneers, are custom-designed tooth-like shells that function to improve the appearance of one’s teeth. They are generally made to match the natural color of the recipient’s teeth, as well as custom-tailored to correlate with size, shape, and length of the teeth. When properly fabricated and bonded, veneers can last between 7 and 15 years.
Although they are generally referred to as porcelain fabrications, dental veneers may also be made from a resin composite base. However, porcelain tends to fare better in stain-resistance and mimicking the natural reflectivity of organic teeth. Depending on your individual needs and budget, you’ll discuss with your dentist and discern the best course of action to take.
What Do Veneers Help With?
Veneers may be used to help with a number of dental issues, both to improve functionality and cosmetic appearance.
When teeth are discolored from lifestyle habits like smoking or from past surgery, such as root canal treatment, veneers can be a great option for improving their appearance.
Other reasons you may consider getting veneers are to mitigate the natural wear and tear of teeth (i.e. erosion) or chips and breakage. Sometimes, if teeth are misaligned, uneven in length, shaped in irregular ways, or separated by gaps, veneers may be recommended and implemented.
How To Get Veneers
In most cases, you’ll undergo the process of getting veneers by seeing your dentist for three separate appointments. The first visit will be an initial consultation, the second to make the veneers, and the third to apply them.
To go into more detail, during the first appointment, your dentist will ask you questions about what you’re hoping to achieve with the application of veneers, whether it’s to cover and protect a chipped tooth or simply to improve your overall coloration and the whiteness of your smile. If applicable, the dentist informs you of the potential risks and limitations of veneers, and from there, you can work together to determine if this is the right fit for you. If so, the dentist or an assistant such as a dental hygienist may make impressions of your teeth to create a working template for the future set of veneers.
During the second appointment, your dentist will help prepare you for the veneer application process. If necessary, the dentist may reshape the surface of your teeth or trim back excessive enamel. After this process, another impression of the mouth will be made. This impression is then sent to a dental laboratory so that an appropriate veneer can be fabricated.
At the third and final appointment, your dentist will place the veneers and ensure that they fit properly. Once confirmed, they will bond the veneers to your teeth; bonding is the process that “cements” the veneers and permanently holds them in place. If coloration adjustments are needed, those will be taken care of at this time. A specialized light beam is used to cure and harden the cement adhesive, rapidly speeding up the bonding process.
Finally, your dentist will assess your bite, the fit of the veneers, and may schedule a follow-up appointment several weeks in the future to check in on how the set is working for you.
Veneers are a big decision and can be a costly investment, but most individuals who get them agree that they are worth the time and effort. Veneers, whether porcelain or resin-based, offer a highly effective, near-permanent way to ensure the longevity of your teeth’s form, function, and appearance.
For more information about veneers and whether they’re a good fit for you, please get in touch with Federal Hill Smiles today. We serve the Baltimore area with professional dental services ranging from general and clinical dentistry to sedation and cosmetic dentistry. Call now!