A veneer improves the appearance of a tooth by covering the visible surface with a custom-made, tooth-colored overlay. Generally, our dentists will suggest applying veneers only on teeth that show when you talk or smile. The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that we have to remove much less tooth structure. We recommend veneers for teeth with large fillings or little tooth structures. The veneers can be done in the office where a thin layer of material is placed over the front of the tooth to improve esthetics and/or to help protect the tooth’s surface. The direct technique is usually called “bonding.” In it, our dentist places a composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding material. The second option is to make an impression and that will be sent to the lab to fabricate a labial veneer.
Veneers look just like your natural teeth and can be used to alter the shape, size, and color of your teeth. Veneers can be used to address a wide range of dental issues including:
- Unsightly, stained or discolored teeth
- Deep stains that don’t respond to traditional whitening techniques
- Broken, chipped, or cracked teeth
- Crooked or misshapen teeth
- Uneven spacing or gaps between the teeth
What to expect when getting veneers:
- We will perform a thorough examination including x-rays to determine if you are a viable candidate for veneers.
- A very thin layer (about ½ millimeter) of enamel is removed from the tooth giving the veneers a place to sit.
- We will make an impression of your teeth and send them to the lab to have your customized veneers crafted.
- In about two weeks your veneers will be ready. In the meantime, your dentist will place temporary veneers on your teeth.
- Before adhering the veneers to your teeth, your dentist will ensure they are the proper fit and shade to match your natural teeth. Next, your teeth will be cleaned, polished, and roughened. The roughening of the tooth allows for a stronger bonding process. A special cement is then applied to the veneers for bonding. Once properly positioned on the tooth, your dentist will use a specialized light to activate the cement, causing it to harden very quickly.
- The last step is cleaning away any excess cement, evaluating your bite, and making any final adjustments necessary.
Veneers do not require any special care beyond your normal oral hygiene regimen. With proper care, your veneers can last up to 15 years before needing to be replaced.
To schedule a consultation about porcelain veneers, please call our office or request an appointment online.