What are veneers? Veneers are custom-fit, ultra-thin shells that are placed over the top of teeth in order to enhance appearance and cover up imperfections. Most often, veneers are made from dental porcelain, although they are also sometimes made from composite resin material. They are made in a variety of color shades so that it’s possible to match them with your natural tooth color. At Green Tree Dental, it’s our priority to give you a natural-looking smile over the long-term!
Who is a good candidate for veneers?
Green Tree Dental regularly works with porcelain veneers, but they’re only appropriate for certain patients. A dental examination is required before making an appointment to get veneers. The best candidate for veneers are patients who want to get rid of or repair specific types of dental imperfections. Everyone’s situation is different! Here are some common cases where veneers can help:
- Cracked, broken, or chipped teeth
- Discoloration of the teeth that cannot be whitened
- Teeth gaps
- Teeth that are too small or otherwise deformed, pointed, or oddly shaped
If you have any of the following dental issues/situations, you may not be able to get veneers:
- Gum disease
- The need for a root canal
- You are young and have not reached physical maturity
What are the benefits of veneers?
There are many benefits of veneers. Because veneers are a cosmetic dentistry option, one of the benefits is a more beautiful smile! But there are also other convincing benefits. Our patients at Green Tree Dental cite the following reasons as the major benefits of veneers:
- Extra protection and added strength – One of the unique benefits of veneers is that, besides providing improved smiles, they can also strengthen and reinforce your existing teeth. For chipped or cracked teeth, this is especially true. Your dentist may recommend veneers to help support and repair damaged teeth in addition to making your smile better.
- Natural appearance – The entire purpose of veneers is to provide a natural, but cosmetically more pleasing appearance to your smile. Veneers come in a few different shades/colors, and our dentists make sure to carefully match the color of the veneers to the natural color of your teeth in order to achieve a natural-looking finished “product”.
- They cover up imperfections – It’s no surprise that most patients who receive veneers are pleased with the way in which veneers successfully cover up imperfections. Veneers can solve a variety of cosmetic issues from severe discoloration to gaps between teeth.
- Easy to take care of – Veneers require little maintenance. As long as the patient keeps up a good dental hygiene practice that involves daily brushing and flossing along with regular visits to the dentist’s office veneers will continue to look good and stay properly fitted for many years to come.
- Durable and long-lasting – Porcelain veneers can last for many years if you exercise proper dental care and visit your dentist regularly for routine dental cleanings. In fact, veneers can last for decades without the need for repair or even maintenance! And, besides having a great-looking smile for years to come, you can rest easy knowing that your teeth are supported and protected all the while.
The Veneer Procedure Process
The first step toward getting veneers is to make an appointment with your dentist to determine if you’re eligible, and if so, which teeth can/should have veneers placed. During the initial appointment, your dentist will also take an x-ray of your teeth to analyze in order to determine if your dental health is currently good enough to allow for veneer placement.
During the second appointment, your dentist will trim down a half-millimeter off the teeth where the veneers will be placed (this is to encourage proper placement of the veneer). Next, a mold will be taken of your teeth. This mold is sent to a lab where the veneers are made to fit your teeth and tooth color exactly. There is (on average) a one to two week wait time between the second and third appointments.
Finally, at the third appointment you will be able to have the veneers placed. On average it only takes about 2 hours to place veneers, although if local anesthetic is necessary the appointment could be extended to be two-and-a-half hours long to complete the entire process, start to finish.
The first part of this appointment involves evaluation. Your dentist will examine the veneers and your teeth carefully to ensure that the color, fit, and shape of the veneers is exactly right for you. At Green Tree Dental, we take this part of the process seriously so that we offer the most comfortable, durable, and attractive final results possible.
Next, a teeth cleaning is necessary before preparing for the placement of the veneers. The teeth cleaning is intended to remove bacteria from the surface of the teeth, which is necessary to avoid infection or other problems after the veneers are in place.
The dentist will then use a special grinding tool to rough up the surface of each of the teeth that will be treated. This ensures that the material used to cement the veneers will work properly to hold them in place. The dental cement is applied to each target tooth, which is then used to adhere the veneers to the teeth. An ultraviolet light is used to secure and harden the cement and secure the veneers in place. And then you’re ready to go!
What to Expect After Getting Veneers
Veneers are relatively low maintenance, and after the first few days of having them, you’ll barely notice that anything has changed. In the first few hours after the procedure, if you’ve had local anesthetic it’s important to be careful while eating and chewing so that you don’t bite your cheeks or tongue. Waiting to eat until a few hours after your appointment is smart so that you give the dental cement a chance to set properly. This will improve the lifespan of your veneers (which last approximately 10-15 years with good care).
In the weeks following, you may notice that certain areas around the treated teeth feel rough. Normally, this roughness will go away with normal eating and tooth brushing patterns. However, if you experience discomfort because of this roughness your dentist can smooth out the rough areas.
There are some important considerations when it comes to taking care of veneers over the long-term. Here are some of the things that our dentists at Green Tree Dental advise:
- Do not eat or chew on hard objects (this includes pens, fingernails, jawbreakers, and hard candies, and ice)
- Avoid using your teeth to open packages or other items
- If you can, only chew foods with your back teeth. If you eat a hard food, cut it into smaller pieces to avoid putting stress on your veneers.
- For teeth grinders, we recommend getting retainers or a splint to avoid damaging your veneers.
- Wear a mouthguard when you play sports.