One of the best ways to improve the appearance of your teeth is through the use of veneers. A veneer is a thin shell that is customized to completely envelop the front side of a tooth. Because they can completely change the color, size and shape of the tooth, veneers are an excellent solution for most issues concerning unattractive teeth. Whether your teeth are discolored, chipped, cracked, crooked or poorly spaced, visiting your dentist for veneers may be the perfect remedy.
What is the Veneer Process?
The entire process of getting veneers typically takes three to four visits to the dentist. On the first visit, the dentist will examine your teeth to ensure a veneer will be an appropriate solution. At this appointment, your dentist may also choose to take X-rays or impressions of your mouth and teeth in preparation for the upcoming procedure.
During the second visit, your dentist prepares your teeth for the veneers by removing about half a millimeter of the enamel on the surface of the tooth. This step is necessary in order to ensure the veneer fits properly inside the mouth and also promotes natural tooth function with the veneer in place. Once the enamel is removed, your dentist will take an impression of the teeth and then ship that impression out to a dental laboratory where the veneer is made. Because this process may take 1-2 weeks, temporary veneers may be created for those who have especially unattractive teeth.
Finally, on the third visit, your dentist ensures the veneer is perfectly customized for your mouth by trimming and examining the fit before it is permanently attached to the tooth. Once the dentist is satisfied with the fit, the veneer is cleaned, polished and etched to ensure a strong bond. The veneer is then bonded to the tooth with special cement and hit with a light beam to promote a quick and strong attachment. Once the excess cement is removed and the bite is evaluated, any final adjustments are made and you have a brand new smile.
A fourth visit is commonly scheduled 1-2 weeks later to make sure the veneer bond is successful and that the gums are responding well to the new teeth.
Factors to Consider
While there are numerous advantages to veneers, there are some factors to consider before you undergo this process. First, although veneers are a great cosmetic solution, unhealthy teeth or weakened teeth are not good candidates for this procedure. Decay, gum disease, large fillings and extensive enamel loss are all examples of conditions that may impede the success of a veneer. Similarly, people who grind or clench their teeth should be discouraged from investing in veneers since the veneer will liking crack or chip from these habits. Another important fact about veneers to remember is that a veneer's color cannot be altered once it is in place. Therefore if you want to whiten your teeth it is best to do so before initiating the veneer process.
Finally, because a layer of enamel is removed in the process of bonding the veneer to the tooth, it is common for people to experience a temporary sensitivity to hot and cold. Contact a local dentist like Tore D Steinberg DDS PC for more information about veneers.