Veneers are custom made tooth colored gels that are bonded to your teeth with dental cement or bonding adhesive. They cover the front surfaces of your teeth and can help improve your appearance and smile by covering up the tooth that is discolored, misshaped, or worn down. Veneers can also close gaps between teeth or repair a chipped tooth.
Veneers can be made from several different types of materials. Generally, your dentist will help you decide what type is best for you.
- Porcelain Veneers
- Composite Veneers
Porcelain Veneers are the most common type of veneers. Porcelain has a very shiny surface that closely resembles your enamel and will give you a more natural and translucent appearance. In addition, porcelain is stain resistant and it is also very friendly to your gums.
It normally takes two visits for your dentist to complete your veneers. If preparation is necessary, on the first visit your dentist will use a dental hand piece to shape and prepare the teeth so the veneer s will properly fit over them.
Next, an impression of your teeth is taken and temporary veneers may be placed to protect the prepared teeth. The impression of your teeth is then sent to a dental laboratory where custom fit veneers are made.
During this first visit, your dentist will also help you choose the proper shade for color of your veneers.
In most cases, on your second visit the veneers are placed and if necessary adjusted to created a proper fit. If the fit, shape, and color of the veneers are satisfactory your dentist will proceed with permanently cementing them into place.
Keep in mind that in some incidences the veneer received back from the laboratory may not fit as expected. In these cases, your dentist may have to take second impression or readjust the tooth in order to fabricate a veneer that fits just right and creates the beautiful smile you want.
Even though rare, during the first few days with your new veneers, you may feel some discomfort or sensitivity to temperature changes. As advised by your dentist, you can take over the counter pain medicine to alleviate the discomfort. If your symptoms persist more than a few days, visit your dentist.
Sometimes your newly cemented veneers may feel too tall. In this case, you should also contact your dentist for further adjustment of the veneers. Porcelain veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack so you should attempt to avoid biting directly on small, hard items, such as, hard candies, your fingernails, or pens. You should never chew on anything cold or hard, such as, ice.
If you grind your teeth during the day or night, your dentist might recommend a night guard to protect your veneers from this grinding force. A night guard is a plastic cover that fits over your teeth to deflect hard forces. Night guards will also increase the longevity of your veneers.
Finally, it is important to keep up with your daily brushing or flossing to avoid getting cavities in your teeth with veneers as well as your other teeth.
If you have any additional questions, please consult your dentist.