If you have been living with an imperfect smile, there are many cosmetic corrections that can be made to give you the perfect smile you have always wanted. One of the most appealing, affordable and effective cosmetic procedures available are veneers, which can be used to improve a wide variety of cosmetic issues.
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are used to correct a number of cosmetic issues, using a thin porcelain shell that is attached to the front of your teeth. Although there are composite resin veneers available, porcelain veneers provide a more natural look and are also stronger and stain resistant. These are a popular choice for both dentists and patients because they require just two dental appointments, are long-lasting, and look great.
Veneers vs Crowns
Many patients will ask what the difference is between crowns and veneers. Both improve the appearance of your smile by covering up imperfections. However, when looking at the process of applying crowns and veneers there are some major differences. Veneers provide a very thin layer of porcelain, which is permanently bonded to the front of your tooth. This provides a more aesthetically pleasing look to your smile. A crown, on the other hand, encases your entire tooth and is used in situations where the integrity of the tooth is compromised. Although some patients request crowns as a more permanent and durable cosmetic treatment, veneers require less work and are just as permanent.
Veneers allow you to keep your tooth because you do not require much of the tooth’s surface to be adjusted or removed. It just takes a light polishing of the tooth to prepare it for the bonding process. Crowns require far more trimming and filing, with as much as 60 to 75 percent of the tooth being removed to accommodate the crown.
With this in mind, veneers are the perfect option when you have minor issues that are more of an aesthetic challenge. They are ideal for issues such as severe staining, chips and cracks, as well as small gaps. Patients also have found excellent results using veneers to help give a more aligned look to their teeth when they have superficial misalignment. Because veneers can be colour matched to your existing teeth you will find you have a beautifully improved smile that is natural and appealing.
Are Veneers for Everyone?
Although veneers offer an excellent choice to improve your smile, there are some situations that might mean they are not right for you. Some of the reasons we might not recommend veneers for you could include:
- Patients with periodontal disease will have to treat their gum disease first
- Tooth decay must also be addressed before veneers can be applied
- Where worn enamel will not allow the veneers to be applied properly
- Where the integrity of the tooth is damaged, a crown will be recommended instead
- Patients who tend to clench or grind their teeth as constant grinding can damage and chip the porcelain
It is worth noting that although veneers are an affordable cosmetic option, they are often not covered by dental benefits. Payment plans are often available for those who do not have benefits available.
The Veneer Procedure
We find our patients love veneers not only because of the excellent results but also because it is a relatively painless procedure. It is simple enough that it can be completed in just two visits with the first appointment consisting of taking photographs of your teeth and digital x-rays, so we can make a comprehensive assessment before we proceed. It is also important that we discuss what you dislike about your smile, so we can help you get the look you want. We will then prepare a detailed cosmetic treatment plan designed to help you meet your goals.
At the second appointment, we will offer a local anesthetic before we clean and shape the surface of your teeth. This will ensure your veneers are properly bonded. Temporary veneers are put in place, so you have a chance to live with them for a few days. We can then make any adjustments if you are feeling any discomfort and as well as changes to the look of your new teeth. This can include colour adjustments or even changing the length of your veneers. Once you feel comfortable with the look of your veneers they will be permanently bonded to your teeth.
Living with Veneers
In order for your veneers to last you will have to brush and floss daily. If you do not return to get the veneers adjusted and permanently bonded to your teeth, you will encounter issues with staining and cavities that can form under your teeth. Veneers are a permanent treatment that cannot be reversed. This is because the enamel of your teeth is removed, leaving them exposed to decay and sensitivity. There is always a small chance that damage to a veneer or decay can occur once veneers are applied. In this case, the veneer must be removed and redone, or they can be replaced with a crown. If you grind your teeth you can cause damage to your veneers. Being overly aggressive, such as biting to tear open a package or chewing your fingernails or ice cubes, can also raise the risk of breakage and chipping.
With the proper care, your veneers will last for many years to come. It takes good hygiene, including brushing and flossing in hand with regular cleaning at the dentist to maintain optimum health for your teeth and gums.
If you would like more information about dental veneers, call Guelph Dentistry at (519) 265-5115 or contact us here.