If you’ve ever envied the brilliant straight smile of your favorite actor, veneers likely deserve the credit. Veneers can correct spacing issues, uneven teeth, and discolored teeth giving you a megawatt smile. Made of thin pieces of porcelain, veneers are a form of cosmetic dentistry gaining in popularity by the day. Opting for veneers is a choice to weigh carefully as they are permanent and once you have them, you will need them forever. Read on to learn if veneers are right for you.
What is the procedure for getting veneers?
The first step in the process of having veneers attached to your teeth will involve an examination and a variety of painless imaging tests. These may include 3-D scans (photographs) of your mouth and digital x-rays. These tests are used to confirm that you are free from any gum disease, infection, or other problem that would prohibit you from getting veneers.
Next, your dentist will need to shape your existing teeth so that the veneers fit snugly to your teeth. This will require the removal of a thin layer of your tooth enamel. Once the teeth are properly prepared, a mold of your teeth will be taken using a putty or a digital scanner.
Together with your dentist, you will select the color of your veneers. The mold of your teeth and selected shade will be sent to the lab to create custom-made veneers that perfectly fit your teeth, and create a flawless smile. You will be given a temporary veneer to wear until your permanent veneers are ready for permanent placement.
Once your veneers are ready, you’ll return to the dentist for them to be fitted, adjusted, and permanently bonded to the surface of the teeth.
Like crowns and other dental restorations, veneers have an average lifespan of 5-15 years. Taking care of them with regular brushing, flossing and professional dental visits can extend the life span. Once you have veneers you’ll need to have them for life, as your tooth underneath will have been filed and reshaped to accommodate the veneers.
Am I a Candidate for Veneers?
Individuals who are free from active gum disease and infection, and those who are not missing teeth may be candidates for veneers. Veneers may cover a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all of your teeth. Veneers may be an excellent option for patients looking to correct dental imperfections including:
- Discolored teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Uneven lengths of teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Slightly crooked teeth
- Minimally misaligned teeth
Alternatives to Veneers
If you’re not ready to permanently affix veneers to your teeth, there are a variety of other cosmetic dental procedures that can improve your smile.
Invisalign clear plastic aligners straighten teeth, in the same way, that traditional wire and bracket metal braces do. However, Invisalign offers the benefits of comfort, discretion, removability, and often faster treatment times.
If your teeth are discolored, in-office teeth whitening or professional-strength at home whitening kits are likely available from your dentist.
Dental bonding can restore chipped, uneven, or misshapen teeth. Bonding uses a composite resin which is then shaped by your dentist. Dental bonding can also be used to correct small gaps in your teeth.