No one’s smile is perfect, but sometimes those imperfections can make you self-conscious about smiling or even talking. Instead of living with discolored, uneven, or chipped teeth, you can use cosmetic dentistry to alter your smile to be exactly what you’ve always wanted it to be. Veneers are thin shells that can hide problems or imperfections and make sure that the smile people see is the one you want them to see. Here’s what you need to know about veneers to decide if they’re a good solution for you.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells affixed to the front of your natural teeth. Veneers are cosmetic in nature, and are used to improve the appearance of your teeth and smile. They are typically used for people with discolored, broken, or chipped teeth, or teeth that are too small-looking. They can also be used to address gaps between teeth to give a more uniform-looking smile. Depending on the reason for getting veneers, you may get a veneer for a single tooth or for all of your front teeth. Most commonly, people choose to get veneers on the front eight teeth on their top row of teeth since these are the teeth most often seen when smiling.
Types of Veneers
There are two primary types of veneers: traditional and “no-prep” veneers. This refers to the process of getting the veneers. Traditional veneers are require a more intensives process, which is irreversible. No-prep veneers are much simpler to apply with minimal alterations to your natural teeth. The type of veneer for you depends on why you’re getting veneers and the condition of your teeth, among other factors. Your dentist will make a recommendation for which type of veneer would be best for your needs based on which teeth need veneers and your reasons for wanting veneers.
The Process of Getting Veneers
The first step in getting veneers is to evaluate your teeth and take molds of the teeth that will be covered. These molds are sent to a dental laboratory so the veneers can be manufactured to fit your teeth as perfectly as possible.
No matter which type of veneer you choose, some tooth alteration will be required. However, the intensity of the process is what differs between the two types of veneers. In traditional veneers, your tooth structure will be ground down. This may even include removing some of the tooth beyond the enamel. This is done because it allows for the proper placement of the veneers. However, it can be a painful process, and it may require an anesthetic for the procedure. The alterations to your natural teeth cannot be reversed. In “no-prep” veneers, only the enamel is affected in the preparation process. In many cases, anesthesia is not needed for no-prep veneers. However, these veneers may not fit as perfectly as traditional veneers.
The veneers are affixed to your teeth using a cement adhesive. Once the cement has dried, which is done with an ultraviolet light, your veneers are in place and the process is complete.
Caring for Veneers
Fortunately, there is little (if any) recovery time needed for applying veneers. That means that you can go back to your normal daily routine as soon as you leave the office after your veneers are applied. While most veneers last more than ten years, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of damage and to help your veneers last as long as possible.
- Avoid chewing on hard objects, including ice or your fingernails.
- Do not use your teeth to open packages.
- Use your back teeth to chew hard foods.
- Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports to protect your veneers.
- Use a splint at night if you have a tendency to clench or grind your teeth.
- Be diligent about oral hygiene, since taking care of your teeth and gums will include taking care of your veneers.
- Keep an eye on your veneers. If you notice any damage or feel that a veneer is loose, contact your
- dentist to schedule an appointment to check your veneers.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions for care as well as talking to your dentist if there are any concerns or problems.
You don’t have to just live with a smile that doesn’t reflect who you really are. Instead of accepting imperfections, you can use veneers to improve your smile and your self-esteem. That way, every time you look in the mirror, you’ll see the smile you’ve always wanted others to see.
If you are interested in getting more information about veneers in the Camden, Downtown Charleston, James Island, or Summerville area, contact us today to make an appointment.
Frequently Asked Braces Questions
A. No. Veneers are a thin cover that goes over the front of your teeth. Your natural teeth will stay in place.
A. No. If you have one tooth that is chipped or discolored, you can get a veneer for just that tooth. Or if you want to improve your entire smile, you can get veneers for the teeth that are exposed when you smile.
A. Veneers are permanently affixed to your teeth. However, if you do not care for them properly, veneers can become damaged and need to be repaired.