A cosmetic veneer is a thin shell-like covering that is placed over a tooth surface to correct imperfections in the smile. They are made out of porcelain, a material that closely resembles the appearance of natural teeth. Porcelain is stain-resistant and color-matched to the surrounding teeth, so they blend in and aren't noticeable to others. This is a popular option for patients looking to camouflage chips, cracks, discoloration, and other minor flaws to achieve a more uniform appearance for a smile.
What Can Cosmetic Veneers Improve?
Cosmetic veneers are helpful in addressing the following issues:
- Discoloration and staining on the teeth
- Irregular gaps in the teeth or uneven spacing
- Misshapen, worn, or chipped teeth
- Dental misalignment
Cosmetic Veneers - Procedure
The procedure to prep a tooth for a cosmetic veneer takes two appointments. During the first appointment, the tooth is prepared by removing a thin layer of enamel from the tooth's front surface. This is necessary to ensure that the new veneer lays flat on the tooth and doesn't stick out past the gumline. An impression is taken of the tooth so your custom veneer can be fabricated at a dental laboratory.
In the second appointment, the cosmetic veneer will be bonded onto the tooth using a special adhesive that requires light-curing in order to harden into place. After the procedure is complete, you will be able to care for your new veneer the same way you care for your natural teeth by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily to remove food particles and debris from between teeth and along the gum line. Patients may also be advised to avoid biting on hard objects like ice or hard candies to prevent chipping or breaking of the veneer. It is important to keep in mind that porcelain can crack under extreme pressure or trauma, just like natural tooth tissue.
What Do Cosmetic Veneers Look Like?
Cosmetic veneers are thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are bonded to the fronts of teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. When bonded to your teeth, these ultra-thin veneers are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea, and even cigarette stains. For strength and appearance, their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is unsurpassed by other restorative options.
Cosmetic veneers are created from an impression (mold) taken in your dentist's office. Your individual veneer is then sculpted just for you so that your teeth are symmetrical and your bite is correct. Because of the custom fit and the materials used, these veneers are stronger and more durable than composite resin fillings. The translucent ceramic quality mimics that of natural teeth, reflecting light in a way that makes the veneers look incredibly life-like and healthy.
Generally speaking, if you have areas of your teeth with gaps or that are stained but otherwise structurally sound, you may be a good candidate for cosmetic veneers.
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