Ask a Cosmetic Dentist: What Are Veneers
When a person wants to improve the color or overall appearance of their teeth, a cosmetic dentist can provide numerous treatment options. One popular solution is enhancing the smile with dental veneers. These thin coverings are designed to fit over existing teeth to create a whiter, more symmetrical look. Patients with a variety of cosmetic dental issues can utilize this treatment option for an improved appearance.
Candidates for veneers
Dental veneers are mounted to the front of existing teeth and are a treatment designed to last for many years. Therefore, patients should be in good oral health without excessive decay, serious gum disease, or other major dental issues. While very durable, veneers are typically made from either porcelain or ceramic, which can chip or crack under excessive or prolonged pressure. Patients who suffer from bruxism or habitually clench or grind their teeth should not receive veneers.
There are many cosmetic issues that can be improved with veneers, including:
- Discoloration that will not respond to whitening treatments
- Irregularly shaped or sized teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Teeth that are chipped or worn down
After treatment, teeth have a whiter appearance and a shape or size that is more appropriate for the patient's overall smile. In addition, the material has a natural look and is highly resistant to future staining. With proper home care and regular dental cleanings, patients can enjoy veneers for decades.
The dental veneers procedure
Once it has been determined that a person is a good candidate for veneers, a series of three or more appointments is generally scheduled for the entire treatment process.
At the first appointment, patients may be evaluated with a simple exam and X-rays to rule out any preexisting dental conditions. Impressions of the entire mouth may also be taken at this time. At the next visit, a cosmetic dentist prepares for application by reshaping the enamel on the existing affected teeth. Once the teeth are properly shaped, molds of the affected teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the veneers are created.
It typically takes two to four weeks for veneer coverings to be created and shipped to the dentist for application. During this time, temporary coverings or veneers may be placed until the permanent counterparts are ready. At the final appointment, the surface of the tooth is prepped for bonding.
The dentist polishes the tooth and creates a rough surface texture to ensure a secure fit. The veneer may also be reshaped during this time. Once all components are ready, a shaded cement is used to attach the veneer to the tooth. Dental lights are utilized to help the cement cure rapidly for an instant bond. Finally, the attached veneers are polished and adjusted for a comfortable fit and natural look.
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Cosmetic Dentist Veneers in Newport Beach, CA
When a patient turns to a cosmetic dentist for smile enhancement, veneers can offer desirable results that last for years to come. These tooth coverings can be an excellent option for patients in good oral health looking to improve a variety of cosmetic dental issues.