Everyone wants to have a beautiful smile. However, not all people consider their smiles beautiful because of their teeth. If you’re not happy with your teeth’s appearance, dental veneers may be the solution for you. Dental veneers are a popular way to address several cosmetic dental problems at once.
If you’re interested in getting dental veneers, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about the procedure. We’ll discuss veneers, their application, and what you can expect from the process. Keep reading to learn more!
What Are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneer treatment is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that improves the appearance of your teeth. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed to cover the front surface of teeth. Veneers are ideal for patients who want to improve the look of their smile and correct cosmetic dental concerns such as:
- Broken Teeth
- Chipped Teeth
- Crooked Teeth
- Discoloured Teeth
- Gaps Between Teeth
- Irregularly-shaped teeth
- Misaligned Teeth
- Misshapen Teeth
- Uneven Teeth
- Worn Down Teeth
How Do Dentists Apply Dental Veneers?
There are three types of veneers: porcelain, composite, and temporary. Porcelain and composite veneers are bonded to the teeth, making them fixed and not removable.
Let’s go over the application process for each type of dental veneer.
Placement of porcelain veneers involves the following steps:
- Your dentist will remove some enamel from the front and sides of your teeth to make room for the veneer.
- Your dentist will take a mould, or an impression, of your prepared teeth using an impression material or a digital scanner.
- Together with your dentist, you will choose a veneer shade that suits your smile.
- The impression taken will be sent to the dental laboratory to create a tooth model from which the porcelain veneer will be custom-made. This process can take several weeks. In the meantime, your dentist will prepare temporary veneers for you to wear until the procedure is complete. Once the porcelain veneers are ready, you will be called to come back for cementation.
- Your dentist will remove the temporary veneers on your next visit. The final veneers will then be placed on your teeth for trial fitting so you can check how well they fit and look.
- Once checked, your dentist will remove the veneers to allow teeth cleaning. Afterwards, the veneers will be bonded to your teeth using bonding cement.
For composite resin veneers, your dentist begins by thoroughly cleaning your teeth to prepare them for veneer application. Your dentist may or may not need to remove a thin layer of enamel as tooth preparation.
There are two types of composite veneers, direct and indirect veneers. Direct veneers are moulded directly onto the patient’s teeth inside the mouth, while indirect veneers are fabricated using a model of the patient’s teeth outside their mouth.
- Before applying direct veneers, your dentist will apply a conditioning gel on the surface of your teeth. This will be left on the tooth for 15 to 30 seconds and then rinsed off with water.
- After drying the tooth, a bonding solution will be applied to the tooth, and a light will be shone on the tooth to allow the composite to stick to the tooth.
- Thin layers of composite material will be placed on the tooth surfaces. This will be contoured and shaped based on the desired appearance.
- After ensuring that the composite is shaped well, a light will be shone on the tooth again to allow the composite to harden.
- After reducing the enamel on the tooth, an impression of the tooth will be taken using an impression material or a digital scanner.
- A model of the patient’s teeth will be made using the impression, and this will be sent to the laboratory to be used as a mould from which the veneer will be fabricated.
- The indirect composite veneer will be returned to the dentist. The teeth will be conditioned and prepared the same way the tooth is prepared when placing a direct composite veneer.
- The indirect composite veneer will be placed on the tooth and hardened with a special light.
- Lastly, the indirect composite veneer must be polished to blend in with the rest of your teeth.
Applying temporary veneers is a simple process that can be completed in just a few minutes.
- First, the teeth must be cleaned and dried.
- Next, a thin layer of adhesive is applied on the front surface of the teeth.
- The temporary veneers are then placed on the teeth and pressed into place.
- Finally, any excess adhesive is removed, and the temporary veneers are left to set. Once the adhesive has set, the temporary veneers will provide a natural-looking finish.
Temporary veneers are used to cover the teeth while the porcelain and composite veneers are still being fabricated.
Can I Pick the Shade of My Dental Veneers?
Does Getting Veneers Hurt?
What Are the Possible Risks During the Dental Veneers Procedure?
Dental veneer treatment is generally safe and effective, but like all dental procedures, it still involves some risks. These include:
Chipping or cracking of veneers
While porcelain veneers are strong and durable, they can still chip or crack if you bite down on hard objects or if you accidentally fall.
Signs of gum irritation include redness, swelling, and bleeding. This may result from the bonding agent used to attach the veneers to your teeth. If this gum irritation persists, it could result in gum recession.
Gum recession and gum shrinkage can happen when the gum tissue around your teeth starts to pull away from the tooth surface. This can happen because of improper placement of the veneers or because of gum irritation.
This can occur when the veneers come into contact with the nerve endings of the teeth because of aggressive tooth preparation, causing discomfort or pain. If this persists, inform your dentist immediately.
Tooth decay can occur if any food or bacteria gets trapped between the veneer and your natural tooth. This can cause the veneer to become loose and eventually fall off.
Overall, dental veneers are a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your smile. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks before undergoing any dental procedure.
Tips on Aftercare for Your Veneers
- Avoid chewing on hard objects and chewy foods, as this can damage the veneers.
- Although porcelain veneers are designed to be stain-resistant, you still need to be mindful of what you eat and drink, as dark-coloured beverages and foods can cause stains.
- Brush and floss regularly to maintain good oral health.
- See your dentist for a follow-up visit, regular checkups, and cleanings.