Dental Veneers: What You Need to Know

a woman's teeth

a woman's teeth

Some common dental services include cleaning, fillings and dentures. These improve the function and overall oral health. Dental clinics also offer ways to improve the appearance of your teeth.

One way to improve the appearance of teeth is to use dental veneers. Simply put, veneers are thin pieces of tooth-coloured porcelain cemented to the front of your natural teeth. They are designed to mimic the appearance of your teeth and to improve their colour, shape, size or length.

Having dental veneers is appealing if you want to improve the appearance of your teeth, but what’s in store for you should you proceed with getting them applied to your teeth?

When to Get Veneers

Veneers are used to correct unsightly teeth that suffer from different issues. Some of these issues include discolouration, misalignment and chipping. They are also used as an option to close gaps between your front teeth.

Though veneers have improved the appearance of many people, it is not suitable for everyone. In order to see if veneers are a viable option for you, a dentist needs to check the status of your teeth and gums. If they are in good condition the dentist can then recommend dental veneers. You also might not be recommended to wear veneers if you grind or clench your teeth because you could crack the veneers.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Veneers

One of the features of veneers is that they give the teeth a natural and realistic appearance. They are also resistant to permanent stains, so you do not need to worry about coffee, wine or cigarette staining your teeth. Another advantage of wearing veneers is that they last up to 15 years, especially with proper care and maintenance.

A survey conducted by ACA Research for the Australian Dental Association, found veneers could cost $202 between $1,945 per tooth, depending on the condition of your teeth. Also, veneers could crack when people ate hard food or ground their teeth. So, it is the case that some care and consideration has to be taken on whether veneers are the right option for people who need to correct dental issues.

The Procedure

Applying veneers involves a simple procedure that involves only a few visits to the dentist. You start by consulting with your dentist, who will examine whether dental veneers are appropriate for you. They might also take an X-ray and make impressions of your mouth and teeth.

At your next appointment, the dentist will trim around ½ millimetre of enamel from your tooth’s surface. Before you begin this procedure, you and the dentist will discuss if you need a local anaesthetic. After trimming the enamel, your dentist will make a model or an impression of your teeth then send them out to a dental laboratory. The laboratory usually takes around two to four weeks to create your veneers.

Once the veneers are sent to your dentist, the dentist will temporarily place it on your teeth to check their fit and colour. They will clean, polish and etch your teeth before applying on them a special cement. After placing the veneers on your teeth, your dentist will use a light beam on them to harden them more quickly.

The final steps involve removing excess cement, assessing your bite, and making final adjustments to the veneers.

Aftercare

a dentist working

To make your veneers last up to 15 years, proper dental hygiene habits is advised. These include brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. You must also visit your dentist regularly to monitor changes in appearance and to check for decay in your natural teeth.

Minimise eating food that stains your teeth and causes tooth decay. Veneers may resist staining, but the adhesive attaching them to your teeth might become discoloured. Also, your natural teeth that do not have veneers can become stained and will give your teeth a mismatched appearance.

Lastly, avoid exposing your teeth to excessive force. If you play contact sports, make sure to buy a custom-fitted gum shield.

Dental veneers provide a long-term solution to improving the appearance of your teeth. Just make sure to take care of them as you would your natural teeth. A normal and thorough oral hygiene regimen should ensure that not only your teeth but your veneers last a long time.