If you envy the straight, white, sparkling smiles on many of your favorite celebrities, you can thank veneers. As a non-surgical, non-invasive cosmetic dental treatment, veneers can correct a host of imperfections ranging from misshapen teeth to small teeth, to gaps in teeth, to stained teeth. If you’re wondering “are veneers right for me?” read on for everything to know about this cosmetic dental treatment.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are extremely thin, shell-like coverings that are bonded to the exterior of your teeth. Made of porcelain or composite material, veneers completely cover the visible part of a tooth, and wrap slightly around the edges. Dental veneers are offered by dentists who provide cosmetic dental treatments to improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth.
The decision to get veneers is a permanent decision. Once you have veneers you will always need them. This is because your natural teeth will need to be lightly altered for the veneers to fit, and for them to bond strongly to each tooth. Many people choose to get veneers on all their teeth. Others may opt for a single or a few veneers to correct problems such as small chips, discoloration, slight misalignments, or to enlarge small teeth.
What To Expect if You Get Dental Veneers
If you decide that you want to improve your smile with dental veneers, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with your cosmetic dentist. During your initial consultation, your dentist will examine your teeth and mouth, looking for signs of gum disease, infection, or any other problems that may need to be treated before you get your veneers. You will have digital x-rays taken and may have other painless scans performed.
Assuming you have a healthy mouth, your dentist will then discuss the process of getting dental veneers. You will have the opportunity to share your concerns and ask all questions you may have about veneers.
Together with your dentist, you’ll decide whether you should cover all teeth, or whether you only need veneers on a few teeth to improve your smile. Together you’ll select the best color for the veneers, and your dentist will guide you toward appropriate sizes. Your dentist may begin prepping your teeth for veneers during that appointment or may schedule you for a subsequent appointment for tooth prepping.
The process of prepping your teeth to accommodate veneers it typically not painful. Some people with sensitive teeth may find it uncomfortable. Your dentist will be happy to numb your mouth if you do experience discomfort.
To make room for the porcelain veneer a very thin layer of your tooth enamel will need to be removed. This is done with a grinding tool that will safely remove the enamel. The reason you need this enamel removed is so that once the veneers are placed on your teeth, they are flush with your gums, and do not bulge.
Once your dentist has finished prepping the teeth that will receive veneers, you’ll have impressions taken of your teeth. The impressions will be used to create the veneers. The specific size, color, shape, and impressions will be sent to a state-of-the-art dental lab for fabrication of your veneers.
Within a couple of weeks your permanent veneers will arrive from the lab, and your dentist will contact you to schedule an appointment to have them fitted and bonded to your teeth. Before each veneer is permanently bonded, your dentist will ensure that each shell covering fits perfectly. Then dental cement will be used to bond them to the surface of your teeth. A special light will be used to cure the bond so that the veneers are securely affixed to your teeth. This curing process takes just 60 seconds. Your dentist will then make any necessary modifications. Any excess material will be trimmed, and you’ll leave your appointment with a gorgeous new grin.
Dental Veneer Benefits
Veneers do not alter the function of your jaw or teeth in anyway. Veneers are a purely cosmetic treatment. But they can correct a variety of common problems with your smile such as:
- Broken teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Jagged teeth
- Pointy teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Small teeth
- Uneven teeth
Although you may need to replace your veneers eventually, with excellent care you can expect them to last at least 10 years. Many patients find they may last as long as 20 years. Another benefit of dental veneers lies in the fact that they do not require unusual care, or specialized tools to care for them. You do need to brush twice daily, floss daily, and see your dentist twice a year for routine cleanings. Because a thin layer of enamel has been removed from your teeth, your dentist may recommend a completely painless fluoride treatment from time to time.
Caring for Your Dental Veneers
Since getting dental veneers does not require surgery, it is a safe, minimal risk treatment. However, veneers can be damaged rather easily since they are, by design, very thin, almost delicate teeth coverings. It’s also important that you understand that once you decide to get veneers, you’ll need to have veneers forever. This is because your teeth underneath the veneers have had a small layer of enamel removed.
To best care for your dental veneers, follow these tips:
- Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste
- Floss daily
- See your dentist at least twice a year
- Do not use your teeth to open bags, bottles, or anything else
- Do not chew on pens, fingernails, or ice
- Do not smoke
- Do not vape
- Limit foods and beverages known to stain teeth (coffee, red wine, tea, bright berries and sauces)
- Wear a mouth guard when playing sports
- Wear a mouth guard if you grind your teeth
Learn More About Veneers in Fontana
Southridge Dental Group in Fontana provides complete cosmetic dentistry services, including dental veneers. To schedule a consultation for cosmetic dental treatment, call 909-822-9090.
Southridge Dental Group is located at 14050 Cherry Avenue, Suite A in Fontana. We are open Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Friday from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, and on the second Saturday of each month from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm.