Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster has put together an essential guide to the different types of veneers available. Discover the advantages and disadvantages associated with them before making any decisions. If you have been considering getting dental veneers, do a little research on the options available to you and talk to your dentist.
What Are Dental Veneers?
It is a thin layer of material placed onto the surface of a tooth to improve its appearance. They can be made from very durable porcelain or a composite resin material. Dental veneers are considered a cosmetic prosthetic, as their function is to improve the appearance of the tooth. They can help to strengthen the tooth if it has been cracked or damaged, but their primary purpose is aesthetic.
A crown veneer is applied when the entire surface of the tooth requires restoration, but more commonly, a laminate veneer is applied. The laminate veneer is very thin and covers just the front surface of the tooth. Veneers can be applied to the top and bottom teeth, but are most commonly used on the incisors, canines, and premolars that are visible when you smile.
Why Choose Veneers?
Veneers are a good option for patients who want to improve the appearance of one or multiple teeth. Teeth that have irregular shapes and contours, stubborn stains, chips or cracks can be covered by veneers. Sometimes if teeth are unevenly spaced, slightly crooked or have moderately sized gaps between them, a veneer is the quickest, easiest and most affordable way to improve their appearance. The dental veneer layer can be shaped to cover the entire front side of the tooth, evening out any irregularities and concealing permanent stains or discoloration.
Heavily stained teeth can be a result of smoking or regular consumption of beverages such as coffee and red wine. Usually, the first step to treat stained teeth is to get them professionally cleaned by your hygienist and adjust your own oral hygiene routine. If this does not result in improvement, conventional whitening treatments can be tried. For very stubborn discoloration, veneers can be used very successfully. The layer of porcelain is very thin and reflects light very similar to your natural enamel.
For crooked or unevenly spaced teeth, veneers are an attractive solution. Usually, in younger patients, teeth can be straightened using orthodontic methods such as braces. Orthodontics can offer successful and permanent results with just the natural teeth, but they are usually significantly more expensive than getting veneers and take much longer. Many adults who want the appearance of straight, even teeth prefer veneers over the time commitment and expense of orthodontics.
The most common type of veneer used in cosmetic dentistry is the porcelain veneer. Porcelain is a very suitable material to improve the appearance of your natural teeth because of its durability and resistance to wear and tear. Porcelain has a light reflecting property very similar to that of tooth enamel. This means that veneer covered teeth will have a very natural texture and appearance. They should not be dull or have an overly shiny plastic look to them. Usually, only dental professionals can tell the difference between natural teeth and veneers. In addition, porcelain ceramic is highly resistant to stains.
Dentists can apply porcelain veneers with specialized training in cosmetic dentistry. The process of measuring, prepping and applying the veneer can take two or three visits to the dentist's office. The first step is to simply make an appointment with your dentist to talk about altering the appearance of your teeth with veneers. The dentist will examine your teeth and advise you on the suitability of veneers for the tooth or teeth you are interested in improving. They may take some x-rays to check for any internal problems in the teeth and make a full or partial mold of your mouth.
The next step is to prepare the tooth or teeth before the veneer is applied. The dentist will remove around half a millimeter of enamel from the surface of the tooth. This is to make room for the veneer so that the result does not appear too bulky. Depending on your preferences and the advice of your dentist, the area around the tooth may be numbed while the enamel is being filed down. With the tooth prepped, your dentist can create a mold to be used in the creation of the veneer.
The dental veneer itself is composed of several thin layers of porcelain ceramic painted onto the mold of your prepped tooth. This process may take a few weeks for the laboratory to complete. Next, an adhesive layer of light-sensitive resin is applied to the prepared tooth. This adhesive layer will form the bond between the natural tooth and the veneer. The veneer is fitted on top of this adhesive layer, and a curing light is used to harden the resin that holds the veneer to the tooth.
There is an alternative to porcelain veneers that require less modification to the natural enamel of the tooth. 'No-prep' veneers are made from a composite material and are even thinner than the classic porcelain veneers. This means they do not require the tooth to be shaved down or modified at all. They are simply placed on top of the existing tooth. Some patients prefer this method as it is faster and less invasive. Not all teeth are suitable candidates for composite veneers, so it is best to ask your dentist for a professional recommendation.
Drawbacks of Veneers
The main downside to opting for dental veneers is that once you have the procedure done, it is not possible to have it reversed (at least not for porcelain veneers). Due to the removal of the enamel, you will need to maintain the tooth with a veneer forever. Although porcelain is very strong, in the same way, that your natural enamel is strong, it is also brittle and can eventually chip or break. After 10 years of wear and tear, there is a 50% chance that a veneer will require some additional touch-ups or repairs.
Are you considering dental veneers. The first thing you should do is talk to your dentist about your options. At Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster, Colorado, a full range of cosmetic dentistry services are available, including porcelain veneers. If you want to modify your smile while maintaining the look and feel of real teeth, you can count on the team at Bertagnolli Dental to get the job done professionally.