What Do Veneers Involve and What Is the Application Process? Only about 25% of Americans are satisfied with how their mouth, teeth, and gums look. You may be one of the remaining Americans who wish their teeth looked slightly different or their smile was a little brighter. In Illinois, similar trends are observed, with many residents seeking ways to improve their smiles.
Even so, it is hard to tell what changes you can make to get the smile you want. Is cosmetic dentistry worth the time and money? What are dental veneers, and what types of issues can they help resolve?
These questions and more are answered below, so keep reading to find out what you need to know about veneers and whether or not they can help you.
Understanding Dental Veneers
What Are Dental Veneers and Why Are They Used?
Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells covering your natural teeth’ front surface. Veneers work by changing your teeth’ color, shape, size, or length to improve their appearance. People often choose veneers to fix issues like stained teeth, which foods and drinks like red wine can cause, or to correct chipped, worn, or crooked teeth.
Types of Dental Veneers
There are two main dental veneers: porcelain veneers and composite resin veneers. Porcelain veneers are more durable and can last up to 15 years, while composite resin veneers are less expensive but may only last about 5 to 7 years. Traditional porcelain veneers require removing small amounts of enamel, while composite resin veneers usually involve less tooth reduction.
The Veneer Application Process
Initial Consultation and Treatment Planning
During your first appointment with your dentist, you’ll discuss your concerns and goals for your smile. Your dentist will examine your teeth, determine if you’re a good candidate for veneers, and help you decide which type is best for you. Before proceeding with veneers, they may also recommend other treatments, like teeth whitening or addressing gum disease.
Preparing Your Teeth for Veneers
To prepare your teeth for veneers, your dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from the front surface of each tooth that will receive a veneer. This step ensures that the veneers will bond properly to your teeth. Next, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a dental laboratory, where your custom veneers will be created. In the meantime, you may be given temporary veneers to wear.
Making and Placing Your Veneers
Once your custom veneers are ready, your dentist will check their fit, shape, and color. They will make any necessary adjustments before bonding the veneers to your teeth using dental cement. A special light is then used to harden the cement, ensuring the veneers are securely in place.
Follow-Up Care and Maintenance
After the veneer procedure, your dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to check your veneers and address any concerns you may have. You’ll need to practice good oral hygiene, avoid biting on complex objects, and schedule regular dental check-ups to maintain the health and appearance of your veneers.
What to Expect During and After the Veneer Application Process
Does Getting Veneers Hurt?
The veneer application process is generally painless, although some patients may experience temporary sensitivity to hot and cold foods. If you’re concerned about discomfort, your dentist can use a local anesthetic to numb your teeth during the procedure.
Recovery and Post-Treatment Care
Following the veneer application, you may experience minor discomfort or sensitivity, which should subside within a few days. Maintaining good oral hygiene and following your dentist’s instructions for post-treatment care is essential. This may include avoiding certain foods and drinks that can stain or damage your veneers, like red wine, coffee, and hard candies.
Long-Term Maintenance and Care of Veneers
To ensure the longevity of your dental veneers, you should continue to practice proper oral hygiene, which includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling regular dental check-ups. Additionally, avoid using your teeth to open packages or bite on hard objects, as this can chip or crack your veneers.
In summary, dental veneers can be an excellent solution for those who want to improve the appearance of their teeth and smile. With proper care and maintenance, veneers can last many years and provide a natural, beautiful look. If you’re considering veneers, consult with your dentist to determine if they are the right option for you and to develop a personalized treatment plan.