Veneers are wafer-thin laminates of tooth-colored material made of either porcelain, ceramic or composite bonding material. They are bonded with cement to the front surface of teeth to improve their aesthetic appearance. It’s really not that much different from brick on the front of one’s home. Many dentists use the alternative analogy that dental veneers are for your teeth are what false fingernails are for your hands.
What problems are veneers used to treat?
There are a wide variety of reasons why patients opt for treatment with dental veneers:
Stained teeth – badly stained or discolored teeth that cannot be improved by teeth whitening treatments can be significantly improved by dental veneers by covering any existing stains on your teeth.
Damaged teeth – teeth that have become badly worn as well as those that have been chipped, can be repaired by veneers. A small chip on a tooth can quickly be repaired with composite bonding. A single damaged tooth can easily be repaired with a porcelain veneer that has the same shade of color to match your natural teeth.
Gaps – spaces between your teeth can easily be closed using dental veneers, providing you a more uniform looking smile.
Crooked teeth – For teeth that are not severely crooked, veneers placed over their surface can provide the illusion of a perfectly aligned smile.
So which are better: composite veneers or porcelain veneers?
The most popular type of veneer is porcelain, which offers a stronger and more durable alternative to its composite alternative. Porcelain veneers also offer a more natural looking, translucent appearance. Composite veneers are more prone to staining and do not last as long as porcelain veneers. Composite veneers are much cheaper than porcelain veneers in general, but considering that they do not last as long and need replacing more often, they could end up costing more in both time and money in the long run. Composite work is ideal for small chips, as this treatment preserves more of your natural tooth structure.
How long do dental veneers last?
Porcelain veneers will typically last between five and ten years, while composite veneers last a year or two at most. The bottom line is that your veneers will eventually need to be replaced. Although veneers are strongly cemented into place, there have been cases where they come loose and fall off. In such situations, it is important that you keep hold of your veneer and contact your dentist immediately. To make your veneers last longer, follow a good oral hygiene program and visit your dentist for check-ups on a regular basis.
Is it possible to have veneers fitted on the same day?
Usually, porcelain veneers are placed over a minimum of two visits. A few cosmetic dentists have invested in CAM/CAD in-house ceramic studios such as E4D or CEREC, which can custom-produce high-quality ceramic veneers on-site in as little as twenty minutes. This technology enables the dental practice to offer single-visit, same-day ceramic veneers which are fitted within a couple of hours. But either way the process is very technique sensitive.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a complimentary appointment to see if you’re a candidate for veneers, please contact us.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
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