Veneers: Improving Your Smile with Dental Veneers

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Veneers: Improving Your Smile with Dental Veneers

Many patients are discovering the benefits of dental veneers. Unlike a crown, which covers the entire tooth, a veneer is a thin covering that is placed over the front (visible) part of the tooth. The dentist applies veneers in a simple, comfortable procedure that takes just a few visits. Veneers are a popular treatment option for several reasons. They generally are placed on upper front teeth that are severely discolored, poorly shaped or slightly crooked. Veneers may be used to lighten front teeth that are naturally yellow or have a gray cast and cannot be whitened by bleaching. Veneers are sometimes used to correct teeth that are chipped or worn. They also may be used to correct uneven spaces or a diastema (a large, notice- able gap between the upper front teeth).

Good To Know

There are two types of veneers: ceramic veneers (sometimes called  laminates) and resin-based composite veneers. Ceramic veneers. Ceramic veneers are extremely thin shells made of a  strong and durable dental ceramic. The dentist removes a small amount of  enamel from the front and sides of the tooth. This makes room for the  veneer and prevents the restored tooth from feeling or looking bulky or  unnatural. Next, the dentist makes an impression of the prepared teeth so that the  shape of the preparations and surrounding teeth can be replicated in the  dental laboratory. The dentist also looks for the shade that will best match  or blend with the other teeth. The impressions are sent to a dental  laboratory that makes the ceramic veneers to fit your individual teeth. This  may take several days. At the next visit, the dentist places the veneers on the teeth to check the fit  and shape. After any adjustments, the teeth are cleaned and the ceramic veneers are bonded to the teeth with dental cement. Further adjustments  may be done at a subsequent appointment. Resin-based composite veneers. Resin- based composite veneers  generally are placed in one appointment. After the tooth is prepared or  reshaped, the dentist carefully bonds and sculpts the composite material in  a color that matches your other teeth. A special light is used to harden the  composite. The veneer is smoothed and polished to look like a natural  tooth.
Teeth must be healthy and free of decay and active periodontal disease.  Veneers typically require less removal of tooth enamel than do crowns.  However, the process is not reversible once the enamel is removed. Patients who clench or grind their teeth are not good candidates for  veneers, because the thin veneers may chip, break or peel. Avoid biting  your fingernails and chewing on hard objects, such as pencils or ice. Like  any dental restoration, veneers can be dislodged over time and with wear.  In that case, new ones might be needed. As with all your dental care,  discuss your expectations and treat- ment options thoroughly with your  dentist. No special maintenance is needed other than good oral hygiene each day.  Look for oral hygiene products that display the American Dental Asso ciation’s Seal of Acceptance. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste  and clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental  cleaner. Regular dental visits are a must for main- taining healthy

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