What are Dental Veneers?
Porcelain Laminate Dental Veneers
Provide a gorgeous, natural smile, even with the most damaged teeth. One benefit of veneers is that they do not require extensive tooth preparation, a major drawback for patients receiving crowns. Of course, there are other options to improve cosmetic defects, but dental veneers are an excellent solution to restore your smile to a beautiful display of pearly whites.
What are dental veneers?
By definition, a veneer is a small sheath-like cover that conceals a particular entity. In dentistry, a veneer is a small piece of porcelain that fits over a tooth’s enamel, covering teeth abnormalities for a beautiful smile.
Porcelain has long been the material of choice for dental crowns and bridges, and now veneers. Dental professionals around the world rely on porcelain to restore damaged teeth, because the material flawlessly imitates a tooth’s enamel surface. The authenticity of a newly restored smile with dental veneers is contingent on the skill level of the laboratory that creates the veneer itself as well as the precision of the cosmetic dentist performing the procedure.
The dentist is typically in charge of selecting the right shade of porcelain, a skill that requires the perfect combination of porcelain powder. After mixing the powder with water and “firing” inside an oven, the veneer may be coated with additional layers of porcelain to obtain the perfect shade.
A laminate is a material formed by bringing multiple layers of a substance together and bonding them with heat. In dentistry, the lamination process is the technique used to adhere the porcelain veneer to the existing surface of the tooth. Once a veneer is ready to be applied, the porcelain shell replaces the tooth’s enamel and is secured with an adhesive seal generated by the lamination process.
Pre-Examination of Smile
Prior to a dental veneer procedure, a cosmetic dentist will provide a smile evaluation to ensure teeth meet the following criteria:
- Adequate alignment
- Sufficient in size to support dental veneers
- Balanced gum line to ensure a natural contour of dental veneers
Advantages of Veneers
Although there is no substitute for natural teeth, dental veneers correct even the most undesirable dental imperfections. Some of the benefits include:
- Fixing small or medium gaps between teeth
- Correcting slightly crooked teeth
- Improving badly stained teeth
- Adequately reshaping teeth to the proper contour
- Occasionally adjusting minor bite issues
Disadvantages of Veneers
Depending on the circumstances, a patient may not be a suitable candidate for porcelain veneers. Large gaps between teeth, badly aligned tooth position, severe bite problems, and, in the extreme, any other defects listed above are not repairable with veneers. Often times, patients will need braces or some sort of orthodontic correction to properly align and position teeth for adequate veneer application.
Dental Veneer Maintenance
Proper maintenance of dental veneers consists of the same cleanliness habits as natural teeth. Patients should brush with a nonabrasive fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and receive regular dental visits twice a year to protect veneers from a buildup of plaque. Dental veneers may be thin, but they are strong enough to withstand the pressures of chewing most foods in a normal diet.
The best practice to ensuring the longevity of your dental veneers is to exercise common sense. Opening plastic packages with your teeth or chewing on hard candy are definite no-nos. Also, if you have a known problem of grinding or clenching your teeth at night, be sure to consult your dentist, as this can cause your dental veneers to weaken prematurely.