A dental veneer is a cap placed over a damaged tooth. It resembles a natural tooth, protecting and disguising the damaged area. Dental veneers are a popular alternative to having a damaged tooth replaced. Dental veneers provide an alternative where straightening and whitening are not enough.
Why have a dental veneer?
Dental veneers offer a quicker and cost-effective alternative to many dental procedures. These veneers can repair damage that might not need a full cap or implant. A dental veneer is far less invasive than having a tooth capped or removed. They can also create a straight, white smile more quickly than orthodontic braces and similar treatments. A veneer fits over the existing tooth. It does not replace or strengthen the tooth as a full cap might.
Besides covering damage and staining, dental veneers can alter the shape of the teeth. The veneers can present straighter teeth without resorting to braces. The veneer helps make crooked teeth appear to sit straighter. Dental veneers are applied to the front teeth, where they make the most visible difference. Dental veneers come in two main varieties: porcelain and composite.
Porcelain dental veneers
Porcelain has been in use for a long time in dental prosthetics. To create entire false teeth and denture sets, porcelain layers are built over a metal frame. The process to make a porcelain dental veneer is similar. It is a durable material, very similar in appearance to natural teeth. Porcelain sets the standard for other materials used in dental veneers and prosthetics.
Porcelain is most suitable to cover a damaged tooth. The porcelain piece fits over the tooth. It is much as a nail extension fits over the natural nail bed. Porcelain veneers are durable and last 10 to 20 years before showing signs of wear. Once applied, porcelain dental veneers are permanent fixtures. Composite veneers, in comparison, last only five to 10 years.
Composite dental veneers
A composite dental veneer means using layers of resin or plastic. The dentist builds the composite directly onto the tooth while the patient is in the chair. The dentist sculps layers of material into a new surface over the original tooth. Composite veneers are suitable to repair minor damage, including chipped or cracking teeth. Composite veneers are less durable than porcelain. These veneers are, however, easy to repair or replace if they suffer damage.
The advantages of composites include price, being cheaper than porcelain. Composite veneers are more prone to staining. Composite veneers are reversible whereas porcelain is a permanent procedure. Dentists consider porcelain the gold standard material. Some cases are more suitable for a composite veneer, though.
Consult a dentist about porcelain veneers
The dentist applies veneers in the chair, at your regular dental office. Consult with your dentist whether a dental veneer is suitable for you. Dental veneers can provide a quick and cost-effective alternative to more invasive treatments. Consult your dentist to schedule an appointment for dental veneers.
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