Dental veneers are a great, non-invasive option if you want a ‘smile makeover.’ They are wafer thin, custom-made “shells” that are bonded to the front surface of your teeth and, as such, they can change the color, shape, size, and/or length of your teeth.
They are ideal to use on teeth that may be: discolored (as a result of root canal treatment, or staining from tetracycline drugs); worn down or chipped; misaligned and uneven; gappy as a result of spaces between them.
What are veneers made of?
Veneers are made from either porcelain or resin composite, the same material used for your white fillings. The difference between whether to use porcelain or resin depends on your specific situation – porcelain resists staining better than resin based veneers, and they also reflect light in a similar way to a natural tooth. However, resin veneers are thinner than porcelain, which means we won’t have to remove as much of your natural tooth surface prior to placing them.
What does the process involve?
We usually require 2 or 3 appointments to complete your veneers.
At the initial visit we take impressions and then prep the tooth in much the same way we would do for placing a crown. An anesthetic is used to numb the area for your comfort, and then approximately half a millimeter of enamel is removed to create space for the veneer. Another impression is taken and both impressions are sent to the lab. Before you leave you’ll be given temporaries to wear while you wait for the permanent veneers.
When your veneers come back from the lab, you’ll come back to see me and they’ll be trimmed and adjusted for fit, and color – all with your input! The shade can also be adjusted depending on which cement is used.
Before I permanently cement the veneer to your tooth’s surface, it is cleaned, polished and etched (basically creating a rough surface so that the veneer has something to bond to). Once we have the veneer in position, it is light cured to activate the chemicals in the cement. A final adjustment is made to remove any excess cement and to evaluate your bite. The final phase is for you to walk out of my office and flash your new, happy smile at everyone!