Porcelain veneers, sometimes called tooth veneers, can be used to correct both color and shape of teeth which make for a great smile makeover.
Overview of Tooth Veneers
Often a less invasive alternative to crowns, veneers are very thin pieces of custom-shaped porcelain or plastic that are glued over the front of your teeth with typically little or no anesthesia needed. Veneers provide an excellent corrective option for teeth that are severely discolored, chipped, have small holes or pits, deformed, crooked or for the correction of unwanted or uneven spaces. Unlike crowns, veneers won't require the dentist to remove much of the tooth itself in most cases. It is important to ask your cosmetic dentist how much tooth will be removed. In some cases more tooth will need to be removed, which may increase the amount of material needed to repair the defect. Veneers are created from an rubber based impression taken in your cosmetic dentist's office. Your custom veneer is then cemented directly onto your tooth. Porcelain veneers resist stains in comparison to dental composite (white fillings), making veneers a very popular long term solution for many people seeking that perfect smile. Strong and very durable, veneers last from ten to fifteen years or more.
How are Tooth Veneers Attached to your Tooth?
In your first appointment, it is important to initially discuss with your cosmetic dentist that you will want to "try in" your veneers with temporary cement that is the same color cement as will be used for the permanent cementation. During this "try-in" phase, be sure to look at your veneers in natural light in addition to the office light. Teeth are prepared for veneer placement by conservatively removing tooth structure which will allow space for the proper fit of the veneer to appear natural. Veneers are thin like contact lenses, and will usually only need tooth reduction of 0.5mm to 1.0mm. If a drastic change is being made for the result you want, reduction may be 1.0mm to 2.0mm. A rubber based impression is made of the teeth and then sent to a lab for fabrication. Temporary veneers will be placed in the meantime and worn until your permanent veneers are ready. While wearing the temporary veneers, advise your cosmetic dentist of any adjustments or changes you would like made, such as in shape or size. These changes will be translated into your permanent veneers, so good communication between you and your dentist is important in achieving your new smile.