What is a Veneer?
A veneer is a paper-thin, custom made covering usually made of porcelain (ceramic) that conceals the front and side surface of your tooth. This is then bonded to your good tooth to correct crooked, chipped, discoloured or worn teeth.
Types of Veneers:
- Composite Veneers:
Composite (direct) veneers are usually performed in a single visit to your cosmetic dentist. The procedure is an application of a bond and enamel directly to the tooth's surface.
- Porcelain / Ceramic Veneers:
Porcelain / Ceramic (indirect) veneers are a very thin porcelain material. Usually porcelain veneers require two to three visits and also require a dental laboratory to create the final tooth restoration piece.
- Lumineer Porcelain Veneers:
Made of cerinate porcelain, lumineers are a new type of porcelain veneers. They are contact lens-thin, roughly 0.2 mm thick. Little to no tooth reduction in most cases is necessary with this type of veneer and anesthetics or numbing shots are not needed.
- Minimal tooth shaping.
- They look and feel completely natural.
- They’re highly resistant to permanent staining from coffee, tea, red wine, cigarette smoke and even chewing tobacco.
- Porcelain veneers last for a long time with regular care and maintenance.
The procedure usually requires three trips to the dentist, one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers.
Diagnosis and treatment planning:
This first step involves active participation between you and your dentist. During this appointment you would need to explain the result that you are trying to achieve. Your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.
To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about ½ millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. In some cases tooth reduction may not be required at all or will be bare minimum and would not require anesthesia.
Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color; the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished and etched which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process.
Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer's placement. Special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. However, before trimming off the enamel, your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to fabricate the veneers. During this period, temporary veneers may be placed in certain cases.
- For about a week or two, you will go through a period of adjustment as you get used to your "new" teeth that have been changed in size and shape. Brush and floss daily. Normal Diet will not harm your veneers. Avoid any shearing force on these teeth [like biting sugarcane]. After one or two weeks, you'll return for a follow-up appointment.
- Please brush and floss as you normally would to prevent oral hygiene problems. Once placed, Porcelain Laminate Veneers are typically the kindest restoration to the gum tissues that we currently have in our prosthetic armamentarium.
- Do not be afraid that you will damage your laminates by either flossing or brushing. Any non-abrasive tooth paste is acceptable. A good home care regimen will insure the esthetic success of your laminate restorations for years to come.
- Some sensitivity to hot and cold may be experienced after the placement of your veneers. This relates to the amount of enamel left on your tooth after preparation, the proximity of the nerve as well as several other factors.
- Some sensitivity is absolutely normal and usually dissipates after one-two weeks. If this sensitivity should remain or concern you at all, please call your dentist.
- As mentioned before, a normal diet should pose no problem at all. Please avoid anything that will tend to bend or twist the laminates.