It’s important to have teeth that are healthy, fully functional, clean, and free from decay and cavities. But it’s also undeniable that the appearance of our teeth can be just as important to us. If your smile feels tainted by cracks, discolorations, chips , stains or any other imperfections, the boost in confidence you can receive from cosmetic dental treatments can be a game changer. One of the most common cosmetic treatments are veneers, so let’s explore what veneers are and why they may or may not be right for you.
What are veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, customized shells made from tooth-colored materials. They’re usually made of porcelain, but several other kinds exist that are made from resin composite materials. Veneers are designed to cover the front surface of your teeth in order to improve their appearance. Their main function is cosmetic, but they also offer extra strength and resilience to your tooth enamel, making them a win-win for patients.
What kinds of dental issues do veneers cover?
Veneers are a great option for anyone who wants to enhance the cosmetic appearance of their teeth. They are often used for patients who have:
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Teeth that are too small
- Stains that can’t be fixed through whitening
- Gaps or spaces between teeth
Veneers are not good options for patients who need extensive dental work. If you have any kind of gum disease or have severe or numerous cavities, you’ll want to get those taken care of before looking at a cosmetic treatment option like veneers.
What is the process for getting veneers?
There are three primary steps to the veneer installation process:
- Consultation and planning – Start by scheduling an appointment with your dentist. During the consultation, explain what problems you’re trying to solve and what goals you have to improve your mouth’s appearance. They’ll help you decide if veneers are right for you and teach you more about the procedure. They also might take x-rays and make impressions of your teeth.
- Preparation – In order to create a veneer that molds perfectly to your teeth, your dentist will need to make a model for your tooth or teeth. They’ll start by scraping off a tiny amount of enamel from the teeth, then use a special kit to make the mold. They’ll then send the mold to a special dental laboratory where the veneer will be custom made.
- Installation – It typically takes between two and four weeks for the lab to receive your mold, make a veneer, and send it back to your dentist, so you’ll need a follow up appointment. Before installing the veneer, your dentist will place it on your tooth to make sure you’re both happy with the fit and appearance. Small adjustments can be made if needed. Your dentist will then clean, polish, and roughen your teeth to make it easier to bond. Once positioned, your dentist will apply a light beam that activates chemicals which trigger bonding. Lastly, any excess material will be removed.
- Enjoy your new smile! -Results will be noticeable immediately, but your dentist may or may not request a follow-up appointment to check on your veneer. There usually isn’t much more to do than enjoy your new confidence!
How long do veneers last?
If you care for your teeth properly, porcelain veneers can last anywhere from ten to thirty years. However, they aren’t indestructible, so it’s important to be aware of them when you eat and clean your teeth. You can crack or break a veneer if you bite down on something hard like ice, your fingernails, or a bottle cap. If you grind your teeth at night, you can extend the life of your veneers by wearing a night guard. Treat your veneers with the same care you would your natural teeth.
What are the advantages of dental veneers?
- Can easily enhance the cosmetic appearance of your teeth
- Last for a long time with proper care
- Don’t require special maintenance
- They resist staining better than natural teeth
- Aren’t noticeable
What are the downsides of dental veneers?
- You’ll lose some natural enamel during the process
- Can crack or break if not treated with special care
- Not always covered by insurance due to being a cosmetic procedure
- Some patients find their teeth become more sensitive to heat and cold
Cobblestone is your home for cosmetic dentistry
No matter how you want to improve your smile, Cobblestone Park Family Dental can help you achieve your goals. We offer porcelain veneers among a host of other cosmetic dental services like at home or in office whitening and tooth-colored fillings.
Even if you just need a checkup and cleaning, contact us today to make an appointment. Our friendly staff will be happy to discuss any cosmetic options you might be considering.