Many patients are discovering the benefits of dental veneers. Unlike a crown, which covers the entire tooth, a veneer is a thin covering that is placed over the front (visible) part of the tooth. Veneers are applied in a simple, comfortable procedure that takes just a few visits.
Veneers are a popular treatment option for several reasons. They generally are placed on upper front teeth that are severely discolored, poorly shaped or slightly crooked. Veneers may be used to lighten front teeth that are naturally yellow or have a gray cast and cannot be whitened by bleaching. Veneers are sometimes used to correct teeth that are chipped or worn. They also may be used to correct uneven spaces or a diastema (a large, noticeable gap between the upper front teeth).
Veneers are no longer just for the celebrities in Hollywood. My patients here in Northern Kentucky are getting the confidence, look, and smile they have always wanted.
TYPES OF VENEERS
There are two types of veneers: ceramic veneers (sometimes called laminates) and resin-based composite veneers.
- Ceramic veneers. Ceramic veneers are extremely thin shells made of a strong and durable dental ceramic. A small amount of enamel is removed from the front and sides of the tooth. This makes room for the veneer and prevents the restored tooth from feeling or looking bulky or unnatural.
- Resin-based composite veneers. Resin-based composite veneers generally are placed in one appointment. After the tooth is prepared or reshaped, the composite material is sculpted in a form and color that matches your other teeth. A special light is used to harden the composite. The veneer is smoothed and polished to look like a natural tooth.
CHOOSING VENEERS: CONSIDERATIONS
Veneers typically require less removal of tooth enamel than do crowns. However, the process is not reversible once the enamel is removed. Patients who clench or grind their teeth are not good candidates for veneers, because the thin veneers may chip, break or peel. Avoid biting your fingernails and chewing on hard objects, such as pencils or ice. Like any dental restoration, veneers can be dislodged over time and with wear. In that case, new ones might be needed.
No special maintenance is needed other than good oral hygiene each day. Look for oral hygiene products that display the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner. Regular dental visits are a must for maintaining healthy teeth.