Cosmetic dentistry is, as the name implies, a group of procedures designed to improve the look of your smile. As with all procedures, there are benefits and risks, and it is important to discuss each procedure, cost, and maintenance with our staff. You are responsible for consulting your insurance company regarding coverage of cosmetic procedures.
Dental veneers are very thin coverings that are bonded to the surface of the teeth to improve appearance. They may be used to change the size, length, shape, or color of the teeth. They are generally composed of porcelain or resin. Porcelain is usually the more popular choice as it appears closer to a natural tooth’s shine and texture and also resists stains.
Veneers may be used to correct discoloration of teeth related to smoking, root canal, excessive fluoride exposure, tetracycline staining, or other reasons. They may also be used to fill in chipped or broken teeth, build up surfaces that are worn down, reshape teeth that have irregularities, or to close gaps between teeth. Veneers can also be used to correct misalignment of teeth.
The procedure for dental veneers will include a consultation with the dentist to discuss what result the patient is looking for. The dentist will examine the teeth and determine whether veneers are an appropriate form of treatment. X-rays or impressions may be taken.
If the dentist recommends veneers, the teeth must be prepared by removing a tiny bit of the enamel from the teeth. This amount is equal to the thickness of the veneer, allowing it to look natural in the mouth. Impressions will be taken and sent to the lab that will be constructing the veneers. Depending on the condition of the teeth, temporary veneers may be placed.
When the permanent veneer is received, the dentist will check the shape and color to ensure that it looks natural. The dentist may need to trim the veneer for proper fit and shape. Colored cement will adjust the color of the veneer to match the surrounding teeth.
Before the veneer is applied, the tooth will be cleaned and etched to provide a clean surface that is necessary for the bonding process. Veneer cement is applied to the veneer and it is then placed on the tooth. A light is used to cure the cement quickly and create a strong bond to the tooth. Any excess cement is then removed and the dentist will examine the bite and make any last adjustments. A follow-up visit may be scheduled to check the veneers and make sure there are no problems or difficulties with the placement.
We use Lumineers® veneers in our offices for maximum results with minimal discomfort.