“Hey Doc, my teeth are crooked. I don’t like my smile! I want straight teeth. What are my options?
Part 2 – Veneers”
Dental veneers, also called dental laminates, are a superb choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. They are thin, custom-made, porcelain “shells” that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth, giving the teeth a face lift. Think of veneers as “false nails” for the teeth.
After the teeth are prepared, an impression is taken and sent to the laboratory to custom-made the veneers. After the veneers are completed, they are tried-in on the teeth at the dental office. After the esthetics and the fit of the veneers have been approved by the patient and the dentist, the dentist will then condition the teeth and then use bonding agents to adhere the veneers to the front surfaces of the teeth. Often, the front 6 to 10 teeth are involved in a veneer case for a good result.
Veneers are indicated for:
- closing diastemas (spaces between teeth)
- restoring broken/chipped teeth
- covering and whitening
- stained/unsightly/poorly shaped teeth
- correcting minor to moderate crowding
Benefits of veneers include:
- superb esthetics as they are custom-made in the laboratory
- resistance to stain from coffee, tea, red wine as they are highly polished in the laboratory without porosity
- minimal to no anaesthetics is required during the teeth preparation
- minimal to no tooth structure is removed in most cases;however, the procedure is not reversible if tooth structure is removed
- stronger, more durable and more colour-stable than composite bonding
- the ability to cover up dark teeth and make them white and bright.
Even though veneers are stronger than composite bonding, they can still break or fracture due to habits such as nail/pencil biting, chewing on hard foods such as carrots, ice cubes, bones, opening nutshells with your teeth etc. Also, clenching and nighttime grinding can cause damage to the veneers. Therefore, a grinding/ night guard is highly recommended to be worn during sleep to protect the veneers.
If veneers are well-cared for, they can last and look great for a long time!