Dental veneers are custom-designed shells of tooth-like ceramic material that, when applied over the surface of a tooth, can cover worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment or spacing and chips or cracks. Because dental veneers are so thin, they might require little-to-no tooth reshaping when bonded onto the tooth. Once veneers are bonded into place, they are strong and durable. Veneers are used to fix the shape, color and size of your teeth. The famous “Hollywood smile” is just a set of veneers. A veneer is a very thin layer of material adhered to the front surfaces of the teeth to improve the aesthetic appearance.
Veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline and damage due to an injury or as a result of a root-canal procedure. They are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider veneers. Generally, veneers will last for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable longevity when properly performed.
To prepare the teeth for the veneers, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small-added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about half a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anesthetic. Composite resin veneers are generally done in one appointment. After the tooth is prepared, the dentist carefully bonds and sculpts the composite material onto your teeth. For ceramic veneers, a mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. This may take several days. If the teeth are too unsightly, a temporary veneer can be placed, at an additional cost. When your ceramic veneers are ready, the dentist places each veneer on the teeth to check their fit and then the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Once a special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a light beam hardens the cement.
See the veneers installed in our office in our “before and after” gallery.
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