Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or resin gentley bonded over the front of your teeth to change their color or shape. Veneers are used on teeth with uneven surfaces or are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked. Veneers have a long life expectancy and color stability, and are highly resistant to staining from coffee, tea, or even cigarette smoking.
Who is a candidate for Veneers?
If you are in good general and oral health, you are likely a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Porcelain Veneers can be used to correct:
- Certain misalignment issues
- Chipped, cracked, or broken front teeth
- Teeth that are worn or appear to be too short
- Wide gaps between teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Teeth that appear too sharp or pointy
How are Veneers applied?
Typically veneers only take two visits, preparation and bonding.
During the tooth preparation visit, usually lasting one to two hours, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about a half a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anesthetic. During the same visit, a mold is taken of the teeth, and sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers.
During the final "bonding" visit, also about one or two hours, the veneers are placed on the tooth surface with water or glycerine on the teeth to check their fit and get a sense of the shade or color. While the veneers are resting on your teeth, they can be adjusted with various shades of cement to match the color of your teeth. To apply the veneer, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Once a special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a visible light beam, or laser, causes a catalyst to be released, hardening the cement.
It is important to remember porcelain veneers serve a cosmetic purpose. Although they can enhance the appearance of your teeth, they will not restore their strength or function.