Dental veneers are very thin coverings that are placed on tooth surfaces using very strong adhesives. Like crowns, veneers can be custom tinted to match neighboring teeth so they look completely natural. Veneers are used to provide cosmetic correction of an array of issues, including:
Using veneers on multiple front teeth helps patients enjoy a more beautiful smile without the time commitment involved with more extensive cosmetic treatments.
Veneers usually require two visits – one to prepare the tooth and one to apply the veneer. During the first visit, a very small amount of tooth material is removed to make room for the veneer so it fits comfortably on the tooth surface without overlapping neighboring teeth. An impression is taken and sent to the lab where the veneer will be created. The tint is also selected during this appointment, and a temporary veneer may be made using composites to protect the tooth while the veneer is being made. At the second visit, the tooth surface will be cleaned and the veneer will be applied using a strong dental adhesive, then gently shaped for a comfortable fit.
No, veneers can be cared for like any other tooth with regular brushing and flossing. Routine dental checkups are important for ensuring the veneer stays in good shape. To prevent damage to the veneers (and natural teeth), it's important not to chew on ice or hard candy or to use the teeth as prying instruments. Although veneers are resistant to stains, rinsing after consuming dark foods or beverages can help keep veneers looking white and bright.
Today's veneers are made of durable porcelain, and with proper care, they can last 10 years or more. Seeing the dentist for routine checkups will help ensure they last as long as possible.