What are Veneers?
When attempting to replace teeth and fix the alignment of a smile, many feel like dentures are the primary and only way to go. However, there are plenty of treatment options that are available to those that need help correcting and replacing teeth when they are too far gone. These options can sometimes be quite expensive, such as dental implants and full mouth reconstruction. Everyone hopes to not break the bank when correcting their smile.
That is where veneers come in to play. Veneers are easy to manage, and one of the most versatile options that can be used when you need a simple fix for some of the more common problems.
What are Veneers?
Veneers1 are something close to corrective dentures, yet much more subtle. Dental veneers are made of a thin cover that adheres to your teeth to give your teeth a more classic and corrected look. They are one of the more popular choices when it comes to fixing chipped teeth, gaps between teeth, or misshapen teeth. They can be made out of a few different materials, such as composite resin, or even porcelain.
Composite Vs. Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are an upgrade on the regular veneers that you may want to get if regular composites aren’t enough. Porcelain veneers have all the benefits of regular composite veneers, except that they are custom-made to fit on the tooth, as well as give a dose of other benefits, such as:
- Lasting longer than composites.
- More natural-looking surface.
- Less prone to staining.
- Less enamel needs to be removed when being applied.
As stated above, porcelain veneers tend to be a much sturdier option between the two types. However, composite veneers do bring their own host of benefits to the table. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite resin veneers tend to cost quite a bit less than the porcelain veneers. If they are damaged, such as with heavy eating or getting them chipped through activities, they are relatively easy to fix and repair. This is because they are simple to make and apply, which also means fewer visits to the dentist, and can even sometimes be applied with just one visit to the dentist.
Getting Veneers Applied
There are a few steps to getting veneers applied on to your teeth. When it comes to composite veneers, the dentist prepares and reshapes the tooth or teeth, usually by removing a small amount of enamel off of the front of the teeth. Then, they will carefully bond and sculpt the composite material to both fit your tooth, as well as look as natural as possible. Using a special light to quickly harden the compound, the veneer is then smoothed and polished to bring out the best quality look that you can get with the composite.
For porcelain veneers, it is a bit more tasking to get them applied. Just as with the composite, the teeth are prepped and cleaned prior to applying the veneers. The dentist then makes an impression, or mold, of the prepared teeth to ensure a proper fit for the porcelain layer veneer, as well as the best shade of the veneer that will fit your smile. From there, the impression is sent over to a dental lab that will create a custom-made porcelain veneer to fit your teeth. This can take up to several days, which can make the entire task a bit more expensive. Usually, the dentist will give you a set of temporary veneers to wear during the downtime. Once the custom veneers are made, the dentist will apply them and bond them to the teeth, making any adjustments necessary to help make the veneers look as natural as possible.
Why get Veneers over other Dental Options?
Although veneers may not be for everyone, they are a great go-between from either a very expensive dental implant, to doing a home whitening tray or home dentures. Both of the other options can come with heavy price tags without the actual benefits at points and may end up damaging your teeth more than you expected, or your wallet.
Not only that, veneers are much more unnoticeable. They do not have all the gaudy wires like many dentures may have, and they do not require as much attention and post-visits as a major surgery might.
Drawbacks of Veneers
This does not mean that they are perfect for everyone. Before you get veneers or attempt to get them, you must make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy. If they are minorly decayed, or have a minor disease, your dentist can help treat them. Also, veneers are not the best option if you tend to clench or grind your teeth. This is because the veneers tend to be thin, which means they can chip or break under continuous pressure applied through grinding or clenching.
It is possible for veneers to also become loose over a long period of time. Although this is quite rare, with time, veneers may become unbonded and may require a bit of treatment to be reapplied. Also, the process of removing the enamel to apply the veneers cannot be undone once they are completed. This means that you need to be careful, and, if the veneers do come off, understand that your teeth do not have the same protection as they once did as before the veneers were applied.
Caring for your Veneers after the procedure
As always, when getting veneers, make sure to consult your dentist on the proper way to take care of your veneers. This includes during and after the entire process is completed. Once the veneers are applied, it is important to take the necessary steps and to understand what you will go through when they have been applied.
To start, you may take some time trying to get used to the feeling of having veneers on. This is extremely common and can take upwards of a few weeks to fully get used to them.
Avoid applying undue pressure to the veneers, such as biting on hard objects, fingernails, or ice. This can possibly chip or break the veneers.
Keep your teeth and gums clean2 by brushing and flossing every day. Since the enamel is scraped away a bit, it is important that you keep the gums and teeth naturally clean as well. So, always make sure to clean your teeth and smile by brushing and flossing.