Veneers are thin shells that are laid onto the teeth and bonded to the surface. Although they can be made of different materials, porcelain is frequently used because of its durability and realistic appearance. Veneers are a more conservative alternative to crowns since they require less removal of the tooth’s original surface. With veneers in place, patients can expect straighter, whiter, and more even looking teeth.
During the initial visit, the patient and dentist discuss the process of placing veneers and the options available (e.g. types and shades of veneers). On your next visit, the dentist removes a very small layer of each tooth’s outer enamel. A local anesthesia may be used, but is typically not necessary. The dentist makes a mold of the teeth and then sends it to a dental lab where they create customized veneers for the teeth. The lab prepares the veneers in roughly seven to ten days. During this time, the teeth have a slightly different appearance because of the removal of the outer layer of enamel. Some patients choose to have temporary restorations placed on their teeth, but this step is usually not necessary. Once the veneers have returned from the lab, the patient makes their final dental visit. The dentist applies the veneer to the tooth using a bonding material. When exposed to light, this bonding material dries and hardens.
Following the Procedure
Patients may experience some sensitivity in the teeth, especially with contact to hot or cold substances. This sensitivity should lessen within two weeks. If you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep, your dentist can fit you with a mouthguard to protect the teeth. Veneers are quite strong and can withstand considerable force when a patient bites down, but they may fracture or break if twisted. Patients should therefore avoid hard or sharp foods such as ice or pistachios that may cause undue stress. Veneers should be cared for in much the same way as normal teeth, this includes daily brushing, flossing, and periodic check-ups with a dentist. Given the proper care, veneers can keep you smiling for decades to come.