What is a veneer?
We have seen the movie actors, actresses, and many other celebrities sport that perfect smile – a flash of perfectly aligned, a white row of teeth. You might have wondered as well at some point, “How can I have such a beautiful smile?” Well, more often than not, the solution is ‘veneers’.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are securely bonded to the front of your natural teeth. Sometimes, composite with natural color is used instead of porcelain. Porcelain veneers are known to resist stains better than resin composite veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. The final choice between the two can be made by you in consultation with your dentist. You can also get either partial or full veneers (that cover your tooth completely) fit.
When would I need a veneer?
Many people choose to opt for veneers if they have a set of crooked teeth but don’t wish to have braces. There are others who opt for veneers for the reason they don’t like the color of their teeth and want to whiten them permanently. And some patients do it to correct chipped front teeth. What is important is to remember that what works for one person’s smile may not work for yours. Therefore, instead of aiming to imitate someone’s smile, choose what works for your face and skin tone.
In short, you can go for veneers if your teeth are discolored, chipped or broken, not aligned properly or have gaps in between.
What are the advantages of veneers?
Although veneers are not must, they are a great option to better your first impression. They have several benefits – they can correct the shape of a tooth, hide discolored teeth, and even make you look like you have a straight smile without any need for braces.
A precise shade of porcelain can be selected to give the right color to improve a single discolored tooth or to lighten your front row of teeth. A veneer placed perfectly can make a chipped tooth look whole again.
The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth, with a thicker section replacing the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps between teeth when braces are not an option. If one tooth is slightly misaligned, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.
It is important to understand that veneers do not make the teeth perfect. They simply enhance the person’s smile and boost their confidence.
How are teeth prepared for a veneer?
Fitting veneer would normally require just two visits to the dental clinic. In the first visit, the dentist will prepare your tooth and match the color shade. The second visit is used to fit them.
To prepare your tooth for a veneer, your dentist will perform the following steps –
- If required, a local anesthesia may be given to numb the area around the tooth where enamel will be fitted.
- The dentist will remove some part of the shiny, outer enamel surface of the tooth to make sure that the veneer can be bonded permanently in that place later. The amount of enamel removed is typically the same as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted, so that the tooth remains the same size.
- Now that the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take an ‘impression’ (mold) of the tooth. This will be given to the dental technician, along with any other information needed to make the veneer of the corresponding size.
- A shade guide will be used by the dentist to match the color shade of the surrounding teeth. This ensures that the veneer will look as natural as possible.
- Before bonding the veneer in place, the dentist will then show you the veneer on your tooth to take your opinion and to make sure that you are happy with it. Bonding a veneer in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.
Veneers can, therefore, improve the color, shape, and position of your teeth and enrich your personality.