There are many dental treatments our patients aren’t aware of that could help them improve the appearance of their smile. Often, people live with less than perfect smiles thinking it is simply their lot in life. However, there are many cosmetic dentistry treatments available that are affordable and highly effective options to help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. One of those treatments is dental veneers. Here, we explain all there is to know about dental veneers and if they are right for you.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers offer an excellent, highly natural-looking cosmetic treatment to help improve the appearance of your smile. They consist of thin shells or layers made of either porcelain or composite that are permanently affixed to the front of your teeth. They work wonders to help several types of imperfections, from permanent staining to misshapen teeth. They can be colour-matched to your existing teeth, allowing you to address a single tooth if required, but they are commonly used to perfect the look of many common front teeth issues.
What are dental veneers used for?
One of the most common applications for dental veneers is to help hide gaps in the front teeth. They cover the teeth to close the gap without the need for braces. However, they are also recommended for other cosmetic issues, including:
- Covering severe staining that can’t be removed with traditional whitening treatments.
- Teeth that have grown twisted or crooked.
- Misshapen or irregularly shaped teeth.
- Broken or chipped teeth.
- Very small teeth.
We can discuss the options available for cosmetic dentistry to determine if veneers are your best solution.
Can anyone have dental veneers?
Unfortunately, there are some cases where veneers might not be right for you. This includes if you have:
- Weak enamel, as the veneers will not properly adhere to your teeth.
- Advanced gum disease or tooth decay, which must be treated before veneers can be considered.
- A habit of biting your fingernails, chewing ice, or opening packaging with your teeth, as this can quickly damage your veneers.
- A grinding issue or clenching your jaw, which can also damage veneers.
- A portion of your tooth is missing, which might require a crown instead.
We will examine the appearance of your teeth and oral health to determine if veneers are the right choice for you. There are many alternatives we can discuss, should veneers not be suitable.
What is involved with getting dental veneers?
Porcelain veneers require two appointments, while composites involve just one. This is because porcelain veneers are crafted at a dental lab, whereas composite resins are applied directly to the teeth at the dental office. Generally, the process involves the following steps:
- Preparation. First, your teeth are prepared by removing a small amount of the surface from your tooth to make room for the veneers. A local anesthetic is used to keep you comfortable. Molds are then taken to create your veneers. We will colour match your veneers to your natural teeth. Temporary veneers are placed on your teeth to protect them while your porcelain veneers are crafted. Your temporary veneers are fragile, so you will have to be careful when wearing them.
- Application. At your final appointment, we double check the colour and fit. We remove the temporary veneers before carefully bonding your permanent veneers with your teeth with a very strong adhesive.
As mentioned, if you are getting composite resin veneers, there is just one appointment required. We apply a mild chemical to roughen up your teeth to make it easier for the composite to adhere. We then choose the suitable shade for the composite and apply it in layers to get the desired effect. We use a light to solidify each layer of the resin until we get the desired shape. A final polishing and shaping perfects the look.
How long do veneers last?
Porcelain veneers can last for up to 15 years with proper care, while composites last from five to seven years. Often, patients are tempted to choose composites because they tend to be more affordable. However, because you get more wear out of porcelain, they are really the most affordable in the long run.
Are veneers difficult to take care of?
Veneers require the same care as your own teeth. Regular brushing and flossing in hand with your regular dental checkups are a must. We also check your veneers at your checkups to look for issues such as potential decay below the veneer, or issues with the seal.
What are the advantages of dental veneers?
There are many benefits to dental veneers, including:
- You can affordably achieve a flawless smile that looks completely natural.
- Within two appointments, you can have the perfect smile you have always wanted.
- Compared to other cosmetic treatments, you do maintain most of your natural tooth other than the enamel.
- The veneers are quite resistant to stain compared to natural teeth surfaces.
- Porcelain veneers are very resilient and can last as long as 15 years with proper care.
- Veneers offer normal tooth function.
- Veneers are low maintenance requiring the same care as your natural teeth.
Are there any disadvantages to dental veneers?
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering dental veneers:
- We must remove some enamel from your teeth, which means the treatment cannot be reversed. When your veneers become damaged, therefore, they must be replaced, or you can run into serious issues with your teeth.
- Veneers are very resilient and, in most cases, work just as well as natural teeth. However, if you use your teeth to open packages, chew ice, or bite your nails, you could damage them more easily.
- You have to avoid things like extra sticky or hard foods to protect your veneers from damage.
- While your natural teeth will stain, your veneers tend to avoid stains. This can lead to issues with uneven tooth colour.
If you would like to learn more about dental veneers or cosmetic dentistry in Mississauga, our team is here to help. Call Bristol Dental Clinic at 905-712-3409 to set up a consultation or if you have any questions.