Dental veneers (aka porcelain veneers or dental laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. They are similar to artificial nails that you place on your fingers for good appearance.
Types of Veneers
There are two main types of Dental Veneers:
- Porcelain Veneers: These are the most commonly used veneers, they are made from a wafer thin shell of porcelain. These are manufactured in a laboratory and bonded by a dentist to the tooth structure.
- Composite Veneers: They are made directly in the patient’s mouth, using the same material as the tooth colored filling named composite resin.
Another type of veneers is called removable veneers (also known as Snap-On smile). This type can be removed from the teeth so that they can be cleaned thoroughly, and also requires no preparation or shaving of the teeth. A common concern is that these are quite fragile.
How Are Veneers Made
A dentist usually starts with preparing your teeth, making them a little smaller on the outer surface in order to fit the veneer. He then takes an impression which is then delivered to the laboratory in order to make the veneers from porcelain. Recently, digital impressions have been used (also referred to as CAD\CAM technology). Afterwards, the laboratory returns the completed work which is then cemented on your teeth with a special glue (called dental cement). Composite veneers are made in a similar manner as a normal tooth colored filling, by using a gel on the tooth structure making it rough, and applying a bonding agent, onto which the composite resin is applied and finished to give the same shine and external appearance as the tooth.
Candidate for Dental Veneers
A veneer is a cosmetic procedure. Everybody wants the beautiful and perfect smile and applications of veneers are a wide array of cosmetic problems, ranging from simple discoloration of the teeth, to spacing between the teeth, and in some cases even missing teeth can be treated by veneers if the space is not too large.
How to Take Care of Veneers
Veneers only cover the outer surface of the teeth, so the inside part will still require normal care. Also, in some cases, multiple Veneers can be in the form of one unit, which puts some pressure on the gums and creates areas where food can become lodged, which may cause gum disease at a later point. Another very common problem with veneers is that they can get de-bonded or removed from their position, usually due to biting on something hard, this is why your dentist would advise you to cut hard foods into smaller pieces and in some cases, avoid biting on them all together, which equires additional special care and consideration from the patient. If a venners were to re-position or move, the patient should head directly to the dentist to get the veneer re-attached to the tooth.
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