Veneers (Porcelain Veneers)
In dentistry, veneers are dental prosthetics where a layer of dental cosmetic material is placed over a tooth to fix its damage caused by decay or trauma. The two main types of veneers are called porcelain veneers and composite veneers known to be used to cover coronal tooth surfaces providing a natural clean look.
Dentists routinely use porcelain veneers as a way to make cosmetic changes for teeth that are discolored, worn, chipped, or misaligned.
Who is a good candidate?
You might be an ideal candidate for porcelain veneers if:
- Your teeth are healthy and free from decay.
- You don’t suffer from gum disease.
- You don’t habitually clench or grind your teeth.
- Your bite is aligned properly.
You have sufficient healthy tooth enamel to support the veneers after preparation.
How is the procedure performed?
To prepare the teeth for the veneers, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about half a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anesthetic. Composite resin veneers are generally done in one appointment. After the tooth is prepared, the dentist carefully bonds and sculpts the composite material onto your teeth.
For ceramic veneers, a mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. This may take several days. If the teeth are too unsightly, a temporary veneer can be placed, at an additional cost.
When your ceramic veneers are ready, the dentist places each veneer on the teeth to check their fit and get a sense of the shade or color. While the veneers are resting on your teeth, view the results, and pay particular attention to the color. At this point, the color of the veneers can still be adjusted with the shade of the cement to be used. The color cannot be altered after veneers are cemented.
To apply the veneer, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Once a special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a light beam hardens the cement.
A significant advantage of placing porcelain veneers as opposed to cosmetic dental bonding is that a porcelain veneer’s surface is just that, porcelain. Since porcelain is a ceramic, and therefore glass-like, a veneer’s porcelain surface will be extremely stain resistant.
There is risk in all surgical procedures and it is important that you are aware of the risks involved in your procedure before going ahead with the surgery. During your appointments you should discuss any concerns with your surgeon and not be afraid to ask questions. Your surgery will be unable to proceed unless you sign a pre-surgery consent form
Note: This information acts as a guide to your possible treatment. Your individual concerns and specific medical history will need to be shared and discussed with your surgeon during your initial consultation.