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Dental Veneers

What is a Dental Veneer?

They are thin materials made for covering the front surface of the teeth. They are custom-made shells and are tooth-colored to make them resemble the tooth. A Dental Veneer is also referred to as Laminate.

- They improve the appearance of the tooth and find wide use in a cosmetic makeover of the teeth.

- They change the color of the tooth, its shape, and its size to be aesthetically more appealing.

Benefits of Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are used to correct the following dental problems.

- Teeth discoloration (due to trauma and fluorosis)

- Chipped tooth

- Worn down tooth

- Unevenly shaped tooth

- Teeth with considerable gaps in between them

The Different Types of Dental Veneers

There are many types of dental veneers. The most popular dental veneers are porcelain or ceramic veneer and composite veneers.

Who can get Dental Veneers?

Anybody who has badly discolored teeth, larger gaps between the teeth, chipped and worn out teeth are candidates for dental veneers. There are no age criteria for getting dental veneers. Anyone who wants their teeth-line to be more aesthetic can opt for dental veneers.

The Steps Involved in Getting Dental Veneer

If your teeth can be made to appeal aesthetically by dental veneers, they should be first seen by the dentist who would first diagnose the existing problem for them to get veneers.

  • Diagnosis – The dentist first agrees that the teeth are discolored and stained beyond a point. If the tooth is chipped or worn out, the dentist then checks if the root of the chipped or worn out tooth is not affected.
  • Treatment Plan – After the dentist does his preliminary diagnosis and then gives the go-ahead to get your dental veneer, the next step would be to take impressions of your mouth and teeth. An oral X-ray and photographs are taken to plan the shape and color of the required veneer.
  • Preparation Phase – In this stage, your tooth is prepared by the dentist to take the veneer. For that purpose, your dentist will remove half a millimeter of enamel layer from the tooth. The dentist then takes the impression of the tooth and sends it to a dental laboratory to mill the dental veneer according to the specifications. The color of the dental veneer is also selected in this stage. Based on the impression, and the contour of the tooth, the veneer is prepared in the laboratory. Once the dental veneers are received from the laboratory, the dentist calls you for the next sitting to get the veneers.
  • Bonding – Once the dental veneer arrives from the dental lab, your dentist would call you for the next sitting. Now the dentist would ensure the dental veneer fits you. The dentist would perform minor adjustments to the dental veneer to make them fit you properly. Then the tooth that is supposed to receive the veneer is cleaned, polished and etched slightly. The dentist then proceeds to apply a special cement to the veneer and then attaches it to the tooth. After that, a special beam of light is applied on the dental veneer which then helps to cure the dental veneer to the tooth. Now the dental veneer is attached to your tooth to give a completely aesthetic look.
  • Follow-up dental visit – The dentist might ask you to do a follow-up visit just to check if the dental veneer has set properly and more importantly to assess how the gums surrounding have responded to the veneer.

Advantages of Dental Veneers

  • They provide a natural look to the chipped or worn out or discolored tooth.
  • Porcelain veneers cannot be stained as they are resistant to stains.
  • They are cheaper alternatives to a crown.

Disadvantages of Dental Veneers

  • Veneers are costlier than dental bonding procedures.
  • Dental veneers are irreversible and so they cannot be scrapped just like that.
  • The enamel layer removed is an irreversible loss which cannot be gained back.
  • Veneers sometimes fall off if there is a regular habit of biting hard food. The process makes it weak and it may result in their falling off albeit a rare occurrence.
  • Veneers are not recommended for people whose teeth have decayed beyond a point and the dentist finds them to be very vulnerable despite treatments.

Life of Dental Veneers

Generally, a dental veneer can last somewhere between 5 to 10 years. But for a dental veneer to last this long, one needs to take precaution not to chew or bite hard food. Of course, the person also has to maintain proper oral hygiene and do regular dental visit to have the oral region checked periodically.

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