A non-invasive dental restoration procedure, previously popular among those with damaged or discolored teeth. Nowadays, the procedure is seen as the ideal method of achieving the ‘perfect smile’ and veneers can be used to hide uneven, misaligned or simply imperfect teeth. The veneers are cemented over the existing teeth and fixed into place – there are two types of veneer; Porcelain and Composite. Porcelain veneers are more expensive and appear more natural, being made in a laboratory so require multiple visits. There is often the need to alter the existing teeth, removing some of the mass. Whereas Composite veneers appear less natural, being stuck directly onto the unaltered existing teeth.
People always aim to have white teeth that look natural but the truth is, your teeth are either yellow-white or gray-white and it is good that we have several options to choose from to achieve our desired look. One of the options are Veneers which are also known as porcelain veneers or dental porcelain veneers. A veneer is a thin layer of material that is placed over your tooth to enhance the appearance of your smile and/or protect your tooth’s surface from damage.
Veneers are used primarily for aesthetics. This type of treatment procedure is perfect for people who have gaps in their teeth, stains, as well as people who may have chipped a tooth. Veneers are custom-made shells designed to fit the shape of your teeth and to be attached to your front teeth to improve its size, shape, color, and length.
Two main types of veneers are:
- Composite Veneer – this type can be created by your dentist on the same day and directly applied to your teeth. You will only need a single appointment to complete the procedure. A composite veneer may take about four years duration.
- Porcelain Veneer – this type of veneer is manufactured in a laboratory. Opting for a porcelain veneer will require you to have two appointments. The first one is to prepare your teeth (enamel removal) and mold a model of your teeth to be created in the lab. The second one is to finally cement your veneer onto your tooth.
The most commonly used type of Veneer is the Porcelain Veneer. In terms of anesthetics, local anesthesia is not usually required while undergoing the whole procedure. However, depending on how you handle pain and discomfort, you may request to receive local anesthesia or sedation.
Aside from giving you a pleasing smile, Dental veneers also offer other advantages such as:
- Porcelain veneers are resistant to stains.
- Gum tissue tolerates porcelain.
- Dental veneers give a natural look.
- Porcelain Veneer can make dark teeth appear whiter.
- Veneers offer a stronger and more aesthetic alternative to change your teeth’s color and shape.
Length of Stay in Destination
This type of procedure is an outpatient treatment, meaning you may be able to go home after undergoing the procedure. However, you will be required to do a follow-up check-up with your dentist to assess the placement of your veneers and in most cases, the procedure has to be carried out over 2 separate occasions, just a day or two apart. Since this is a non-invasive treatment, stitches are not required, but you will be required to stay in the area for at least 2 days.
There is actually no recovery time after the placement of your veneers. Unless you have requested sedation, you may be able to drive yourself home after your procedure. Furthermore, you may also return back to your daily routines including exercise after your trip to the dentist. As for the enamel removal, you may experience some mild discomfort for about a week. It is best that you avoid very hot or cold foods, including hard, chewy or crunchy food. When your sensitivity wears off, you may be able to return back to your normal dietary habits.
Once your dental veneers have been placed and you have already completed the whole procedure, you should commit yourself to do the following:
- Good oral hygiene
- Regular visits to your dentist
- A healthy lifestyle
Dental Veneers can last about 10 years. However, just like your natural teeth, veneers are also still susceptible to damage. This is why aftercare is very important to help with the longevity of your new teeth.
Over the past years, many studies have reported that over 91% of people who have had dental veneers experienced highly positive outcomes on their treatment procedure.
However, potential risks and side effects after undergoing this procedure are to be expected. Just like any other dental restoration, dental veneers also have some downsides. While a good number of patients have been reported to not encounter these problems, the possibility for the following still looms:
- Tooth sensitivity – since this procedure will require to remove some of your teeth’s enamel, your teeth will become slightly sensitive, following the placement of your veneers.
- Response from gum tissues – your gum tissue might take some time to adjust to your newly placed veneers. Expect to have some minor inflammation and/or discomfort in your gums.
- Risk of trauma – once your teeth’s enamel is removed, it will become more sensitive, thus it will be even possible for the pulp within your teeth to die.
- Possible Issues with placement – it will be possible for your teeth to have issues with decay or chipping along the outer portion of your veneers. Gum irritation may also be possible. Other problems may include rough-edged veneers and overhanging veneers.
- Overall Discomfort – experiencing some discomfort after the procedure is to be expected. If you are particularly sensitive, it is advisable that you take an over the counter medication to help you relax and treat your pain.
Alternatives to Veneers
You also have to be aware that this type of treatment option is not for everyone. If you are not a good candidate to undergo the procedure, note that there are still possible alternatives that will be suited for you. These alternatives may include:
Orthodontics – if you have severely crooked teeth or malocclusion, dental veneers are not for you. You may want to consider a more comprehensive orthodontic procedure to treat your case.
Dental crowns – these are quite similar to dental veneers. These are also custom-made to match the shape of your teeth. However, unlike veneers, a crown extends all the way around your tooth, meaning your dentist will remove a large portion of your dental structure. These crowns are perfect for patients who have considerable damage that affects the strength and structure of their teeth.
Bonding – often called composite veneers. This is typically for patients with an insufficient amount of tooth enamel.
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For an in-depth analysis of Dental Veneers, watch this short video