April 13, 2024
What are dental veneers and how do they work?

Dental veneers are thin shells that fit over the front of teeth to improve their appearance, protect them from damage and create a beautiful smile. Tooth-colored shells stick to your teeth and change their length, size, color, shape, and function.

Veneers are a cosmetic dental treatment, as they are optional and placed for aesthetic reasons. They are also known as “smile makeovers”.

They represent a respectable rate of cosmetic procedures performed by dentists.

Facet colors and shades

Most patients opt for veneers to improve their appearance. However, they also have restorative functions and protect the tooth surface from damage. They are an excellent option for patients who have missing teeth, chips, or stains.

The procedure is relatively quick and minimally invasive. Depending on the color of the teeth and the desired result, shells are available in many different shades.

Why do people get veneers?

Whether a patient is seeking treatment to regain their smile due to a medical issue, for cosmetic reasons, or both, there are many reasons why dental veneers are usually chosen over other procedures.

Common reasons patients have dental veneers:

  • Patients who are unhappy with the length, color, or size of their teeth,

  • Chipped, cracked or broken teeth are usually due to injury,

  • Worn teeth from excessive bruxism (teeth grinding), erosion, and other habits,

  • Excessive consumption of water that is too rich in fluoride, which can cause white spots or streaks on the teeth ( fluorosis ).

  • Stains and discoloration of teeth caused by medications that treat bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections, acne, gonorrhea, and others. Coffee, wine, fruit, and other dark foods or liquids can also cause stains,

  • Large resin fillings cause tooth discoloration.

“After a root canal treatment, a crown can be placed on the tooth to protect it against fractures. In some cases, root canal treatment can lead to discoloration of the tooth over time. A veneer or other restorative material may be placed to cover the discoloration. Dental veneers can also be placed on premolars, but they are rarely placed on first molars. “

Types of facets

Two types of materials are commonly used to create a dental veneer, including:

Porcelain veneers

Porcelain is the most commonly used material for veneers. They’re tooth-colored, versatile, fully customized, and last 10-15 years.

Porcelain veneers are made of ceramic materials and are more stain-resistant than composite veneers.

When porcelain veneers were introduced, the main advantage was the conservative and minimally invasive nature of the procedure. Indeed, the preparation necessary for the implementation of the envelope is minimal. This is not the case for full restorative procedures, such as dental crowns. This is why veneers are another popular option.

Before the porcelain veneer procedure, your dentist will correct the color and shape the remaining healthy tooth structure by 0.5mm or more. Then, he replaces the natural tooth with a bonding agent and a porcelain envelope.

Opaques can be used if the tooth has very dark discolorations. The patient can choose from more than 15 different porcelain shades.

Composite veneers

Composite resin dental veneers are a cosmetic alternative to porcelain veneers. They are made of the same material used for tooth-colored fillings.

Composite veneers are slightly less expensive than porcelain veneers. They are usually made quickly, which means they can be processed the same day. Direct composite veneers (composite bonding) are sculpted on the teeth rather than in a dental laboratory.

Like porcelain veneers, composite veneers require reshaping of the teeth before placement. Composite veneers can also be placed directly on uncut enamel. They generally last 5 to 7 years, compared to 15 years for porcelain veneers.

The Composite is more conservative than porcelain. When the composite chips, the chipped area can be repaired. In the case of porcelain chips, the entire veneer must be replaced.

Palatal Onlays

Onlays are generally used to restore posterior teeth. However, palatal veneers are a special type of onlay used to restore front teeth. Causes of palatal damage to anterior teeth include deep bite, bruxism, and dental erosion.

Erosion can be caused by chronic vomiting, such as bulimia, and severe acid reflux. Palatal Onlays are an excellent solution to restore only the compromised part, leaving the rest of the teeth intact.

Removable veneers (not permanent)

Removable (custom-made snap-on) veneers are less invasive, non-permanent, and cost less than traditional veneers. The upper and lower molds are made from the patient’s teeth, like the transparent aligners, and can be removed at any time. They do not require a reduction of the tooth.

Side effects and risks of veneers

Traditional veneers, such as porcelain and composite, are great options for those looking to improve their smile quickly, effectively, and safely.

As with any dental procedure, there are risks. These risks are usually not serious and, with proper care, can be avoided. Veneers can have common conditions and side effects:

Tooth sensitivity:

Tooth sensitivity is common during the first three weeks after veneer placement. If sensitivity to cold or hot liquids lasts longer than 3 to 6 months, a more serious problem may be present. For example, the nerve in a tooth may have been irreversibly inflamed during the procedure, causing an infection. Contact your dentist for treatment options if the sensitivity lasts too long.

Dental deterioration:

There is also a risk of deterioration of the dentin after the placement of a veneer, but this is less common. During the process of enamel removal, the underlying dentin may be damaged. An ill-fitting veneer can also alter the alignment of the patient’s bite, leading to tooth sensitivity, bruxism, or jaw pain.

Future replacement of veneers:

People whose dental condition was not treated before veneer placement, such as enamel erosion, are at higher risk of veneer failure. Alternative restorations, including crowns or cosmetic bonding, are often recommended to replace a veneer.

Dental veneers and other dental treatments

Dental crowns

Advantages of veneers :

The veneers adhere to the front surface of the teeth. They are less invasive and finer. They improve a patient’s appearance by changing the shape and color of the teeth.

Advantages of crowns:

A crown covers the entire tooth. It is thicker than a veneer and requires more enamel removal before placement. It is stronger than a veneer and is used for restorative purposes, such as restoring severely decayed or broken teeth.

 Teeth whitening

Advantages of veneers:

Veneers are long-lasting restorations, while at-home or professional teeth whitening is only a temporary treatment. Since everyone has a different diet, lifestyle, and habits, such as smoking, it is impossible to predict how long whitening will last. In contrast, a veneer lasts between 5 and 15 years, depending on the type. Porcelain veneers resist coffee, wine, and tobacco stains.

Benefits of teeth whitening:

Professional teeth whitening is a less expensive and less invasive option than veneers. Both veneers and whitening are completely safe.

Orthodontic treatment

Advantages of veneers:

When patients have large gaps between their teeth ( diastemas ) or are crowded, veneers can resolve the issues in a few office visits. Orthodontic treatments, such as braces or clear aligners, can take up to 18 months to fully complete. While aligners take about 20 weeks. You should also visit the office more often for check-ups during your orthodontic treatment.

Advantages of orthodontic treatment :

Although orthodontic treatment takes longer, it is most often the best option for patients, especially children. Indeed, orthodontic appliances can reposition the jaw, repair the patient’s bit, and correct other jaw problems. Patients usually have veneers placed for purely cosmetic reasons. In addition, braces are significantly cheaper than dental veneers.

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