Veneers are ultra-thin, tooth-shaped covers that are cemented to the front part of teeth. These restorations are typically made out of tooth-colored materials, and they hide any imperfections on the teeth they cover. Veneers are versatile restorations that can be used to improve the length, size, color or shape of your teeth.
Cosmetic uses of veneers
Veneers are one of the few dental restorations that serve purely cosmetic purposes. Dentists use them to hide a variety of dental issues that can lead to an unsightly smile like:
- Stained and discolored teeth: Teeth whitening treatments are usually the standard way to deal with discolored teeth, but some stains cannot be removed with these treatments. Such stains need to be covered up with composite bonding, crowns or veneers. Examples of stains that cannot be removed with teeth whitening treatments include the discoloration that occurs after root canals, tetracycline stains or stains caused by fluorosis
- Worn down teeth: Veneers can also be used to restore the aesthetics of worn down teeth. Veneers are typically recommended if the damage to the tooth is not severe enough to require a crown
- Chipped or broken teeth: Veneers can be used to hide the poor aesthetics created by minor chips and breaks. The veneer goes over the front part, hiding any chips or breaks on the tooth behind it
- Gaps between teeth: Veneers are sometimes used to close up gaps between teeth. The dentist does this by attaching oversized veneers to the two teeth closest to the gap. The veneers meet like healthy teeth should, closing up the gap in the patient's smile
- Poorly aligned teeth: Veneers can also be used to create the appearance of properly aligned teeth. Dentists often recommend this option when the patient has other issues that are best treated with veneers like some of the dental problems discussed above
Getting veneers starts with a consultation with the dentist. The patient's teeth are closely examined to determine if veneers are the right course of treatment. The installation of veneers requires the removal of enamel, which is an irreversible procedure. It means the tooth will always need to be protected with a restoration for the rest of the patient's life. Dentists often give their patients some time to process what getting veneers entails before making their decision.
During the next appointment, the dentist will prepare their patient's teeth by shaving off enamel. The amount of enamel removed is proportional to the thickness of the veneers that will be used. Doing this prevents the restoration from making the patient's teeth larger than normal. Those who want veneers but would like to keep their enamel intact should explore no-prep veneers. This special type of veneers does not require the removal of enamel during installation.
An impression of the patient's teeth is taken and sent to a lab. It gets back in about two weeks. The patient gets temporary veneers to protect their teeth while they wait. When the customized veneers are ready, the temporary ones come off and the customized restorations are cemented into place.
Restore your smile with veneers
Call or visit our Davis clinic to learn more about how your smile can be restored with veneers.
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