Many people interested in getting a smile makeover turn to dental veneers, a treatment option that promises to align and shape teeth to create a more attractive smile. The durable, ceramic-like quality of dental veneers helps to create a very natural look and offers a number of options for people with chipped or cracked teeth, or those with uneven teeth. But are dental veneers the best solution for a healthy and attractive looking smile? Here are some things to consider when you are researching different cosmetic dentistry treatment options:
How Dental Veneers Work
Dental veneers are wafer-thin laminates made out of synthetic materials, and are custom-made to fit the size and shape of your existing teeth. These shells are bonded directly to the front surface of the teeth to create an even appearance, and can be resurfaced and shaped to create a picture-perfect smile. The most popular types of veneers are porcelain veneers. These veneers are very strong and durable, and are relatively resistant to chipping, cracking and discoloration. They also help to create a more natural appearance because they are somewhat translucent.
After the initial consultation and examination is performed, the dentist will reshape and prepare the front surface of the teeth so that they can accommodate for the veneers. At this stage, the dentist may use a special dental drill to shave off some of the teeth so that the veneer can sit flat on top of the tooth. Next, an impression of the tooth is taken by placing a special putty into the mouth on a tray. This process creates an imprint of the teeth, and this mold is sent off to a dental laboratory. The lab fabricates a set of veneers based on the mold pattern, and once complete, the dentist will attach the fabricated veneers directly onto the teeth using a special cementing solution.
Some dentists offer patients a set of temporary veneers while the real veneers are being made to protect the teeth between treatments.
Reasons to Get Dental Veneers
Some of the key reasons and benefits to get dental veneers include:
Chips and cracks
Abnormal spacing between teeth
Uneven teeth from teeth grinding
In addition to protecting the surface of a damaged tooth, dental veneers can eliminate the need for more invasive dental treatments such as a dental crown or even composite bonding. Once the veneers have been secured into place, they do not require any major reshaping or touch-up treatments. Dental veneers are also very thin, so they often do not look very artificial.
Dental Veneers vs. Composite Bonding
Many dentists will recommend composite bonding instead of dental veneers when you have a chipped or cracked front tooth, or need a “quick fix” solution for gaps and discoloration. Bonding is an inexpensive and effective form of tooth restoration, but dental veneers are often more appropriate for teeth that is severely discolored, chipped or for uneven teeth.
Learn more about dental veneers in our information guide, or consult with a cosmetic dentist in your area to find out if you are a good candidate for a smile makeover with veneers.