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New Smile With Dental Veneers
Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials.
Porcelain veneers last longer and resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers can be done in one visit and cost less than porcelain. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.
Veneers are routinely used to fix:
- Teeth that are discolored either because of root canal treatment, stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes, or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
- Teeth that are worn down
- Teeth that are chipped or broken
- Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
- Teeth with gaps between them
Getting a dental veneer involves these steps:
Diagnosis and treatment planning. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she may also take x-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.
Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth’s surface. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth.
Bonding. Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. The veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used.
Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched – which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light, which activates chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly.
The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary.
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