Dental veneers are thin, custom-made dental porcelain or composite resin that is used to cover the front of the tooth to improve its appearance. They are typically able to replicate the natural look of the teeth and are bonded to them to change their colour, shape or size.
A dental veneer is a very thin layer of about 1mm of porcelain or composite resin that is bonded to the front of your tooth. A little of the tooth needs to be ground down, and local anaesthetic may be required. For a veneer to work well, your tooth must have enough enamel for the veneer to bond properly to it.
On the other hand, a dental crown is about 2mm in thickness and covers the whole tooth. It may be made of all-porcelain, or porcelain fused to a metal alloy (PFM) or an all-metal alloy. For a crown, more of the tooth will need to be filed down to prepare for a crown placement. Local anaesthetic may be used.
Both veneers and crowns will match your tooth colour, except for all-metal crowns. Temporary veneers or crowns may be used before replacing them with permanent ones.
Depending on your condition, you may need either veneers or crowns. Talk to your dentist to discuss which option may be better for you.
Dental veneers may be made from porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers resist stains better and are closer to natural teeth in terms of their light-reflecting properties. Discuss your options with your dentist to see which type of dental veneer would suit you better.
Veneers can address:
Dental veneers have many benefits, such as:
Dental veneers generally last about 7-15 years, after which they may need to be replaced. With proper care methods, dental veneers can last you a long time, so be sure to follow the tips given by the dentist.
The dentist will examine your teeth and may take X-rays and impressions of your teeth to make sure that dental veneers are appropriate for you. Let your dentist know about your expectations and goals. Your dentist will discuss with you the possible options and recommend the type of dental veneers most suitable for you.
The dentist will then reshape the surface of your teeth in preparation for the dental veneer. They may numb the area before they trim off the enamel. Then, the dentist makes a model of your tooth which is sent to a laboratory to make the veneer. The process takes about 2-4 weeks before the veneers are sent back to the dentist. In the meantime, you may want to use temporary dental veneers.
During bonding, your dentist will place the veneer on your tooth and examine its fit and colour. Your dentist will trim the veneer for the best fit before cementing it onto your tooth. The veneer colour may be adjusted with the shade of cement being used. Before cementing, your tooth will be cleaned, polished and etched for a better bonding process and a special cement is applied. Once the veneer is properly positioned for cementing, a special light will be shone to activate its chemicals and let it harden. Then, your dentist will remove any excess cement and check your bite, making any additional adjustments where necessary.
Dental veneers do not require much special care. Good oral hygiene with proper brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash should be continued after getting dental veneers.
Although dental veneers are stain-resistant, your dentist may recommend avoiding staining beverages and foods like tea, coffee, or red wine.
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