What Are Tooth Veneers?
Tooth veneers are also known as porcelain veneers, dental veneers, or dental porcelain laminates. They are tooth-colored custom-made shells that are wafer-thin. Designed to cover the front surface of teeth, teeth veneers are used to improve their appearance.
Tooth veneers are bonded to the surfaces of teeth, altering their size, shape, color, and length.
Since veneers are permanent, you must understand the pros and cons before you decide to get them.
Types Of Tooth Veneers
Veneers are made from two materials, namely –
- Resin composite
Between the two, porcelain veneers are more stain-resistant than resin veneers. Furthermore, they mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth much better.
Why Would One Require Tooth Veneers?
If a person experiences any of the following dental issues, they could opt for dental veneers –
- Discolored teeth (due to root canal treatment, excessive fluoride, stains, etc.)
- Worn-down teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Misaligned, irregularly shaped, or uneven teeth
- Gaps between teeth
Pros Of Tooth Veneers
Whiten Your Smile
As mentioned earlier, veneers are capable of changing a tooth’s color. Consuming coffee, tea, red wine, etc., or habits like smoking mess with the natural color of the teeth. They lead to staining and discoloration, turning them unattractive.
While bleaching an effective way to get rid of discoloration, veneers are a permanent solution to the problem. This is because veneers are stain-resistant.
Fix Minor Cosmetic Issues
Veneers are capable of fixing cracks, chips, gaps between teeth, discoloration, and minor misalignment. While they might not change your tooth’s position, they camouflage tiny orthodontic issues once they’re attached.
Replace Enamel Damage
Enamel might be one of the strongest substances, but it isn’t invincible. Enamel can be worn down due to –
- Overzealous or improper tooth brushing
- Consumption of highly acidic drinks and food
- Acid reflux disease
Aside from the aesthetic angle, worn-down enamel can lead to increased sensitivity. And since enamel can’t grow back, it needs to be replaced. Tooth veneers are an excellent option for teeth witnessing enamel erosion or abrasion.
Cons Of Tooth Veneers
The price of tooth veneers depends on your location, the dentist performing the procedure, and the number of teeth requiring veneers. However, one thing stands true – they are often expensive.
Tooth veneers being a part of cosmetic dentistry, might also not be covered by your dental insurance plan. But check with them to make sure.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry states that some people experience increased sensitivity after the placement of tooth veneers. While a pretty uncomfortable feeling, the sensitivity subsides over a few days.
Tooth veneers involve prepping of the teeth – i.e. enamel shaving to create space for the shells. This makes the change permanent and there is no going back once it’s done.
Dental veneers last for about an average of 10 years. However, they still need to be replaced over time.
Tooth Veneers – Procedure
Veneers involve visiting your dentist at MPLS three times – once for consultation and the other two to make and fit the veneers. Multiple teeth can undergo the veneer process at one time.
In the first visit, your dentist at MPLS will determine whether you’re a good candidate for veneers. Patients with severe gum disease and habits like teeth clenching aren’t recommended veneers.
Your dentist will perform oral exams along with digital imaging.
The tooth surface is reshaped to prepare it for a veneer. The amount of enamel shaved off is nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be attached. Your dentist will decide whether or not to numb the area before trimming the enamel.
After the shaving down, your dentist will take impressions of your upper and lower jaws. The model is then sent out to a dental lab that makes the veneer. It takes about 2-4 weeks for the manufacturing process. Your dentist might apply temporary veneers in the meantime.
The veneer returned from the lab is placed onto the tooth to examine the fit and color. If required, the veneer will be trimmed to achieve an adequate fit. The color can also be adjusted with the shade of the cement used to fix the veneer.
The tooth in question is prepared by cleaning, polishing, and etching. Etching makes the tooth surface rough and allows for strong bonding. The cement is applied to the veneer, which is then placed onto the tooth.
Once properly positioned, your dentist will cure the cement to harden it using a special light beam. The final step involves checking the bit, removal of any excess cement, and performing any required adjustments.
You will be asked to return for a follow-up to check the status of your gums and the placement of the veneers.
Do Tooth Veneers Make Your Teeth Healthier?
Veneers are made of porcelain, which is a strong material. The use of porcelain helps strengthen weak teeth, thereby making them healthier.
As stated earlier, enamel that has sustained damage reduces the tooth’s overall strength and makes it prone to breakage. Since they can’t be replaced naturally, veneers can take their place and rehabilitate the tooth.
In conclusion, yes, tooth veneers make your teeth healthier.
Can Tooth Veneers Make Your Teeth Look Straight?
Dental veneers are cemented to the front surfaces of teeth – making them appear straighter. However, even though they are referred to as “instant orthodontics”, veneers are far from acting the way orthodontic treatments do.
This means that tooth veneers only camouflage any orthodontic issues you might have. They do not change the alignment of your teeth. And while they can make your teeth look straight, the teeth underneath remain crooked.
Hence, tooth veneers are recommended for aesthetic concerns and not functional ones. In cases of severe misalignment, your dentist might recommend orthodontic treatment.
To ascertain if you’re a good candidate for tooth veneers, come on over to MPLS Dental. Achieve your Hollywood smile today – give us a ring at (612) 332-1255 to book an appointment.