V - Veneers (A to Z Challenge April 2014)
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel. It is often the material of choice for those looking to make slight position alterations, or to change tooth shape, size, and/or color. You'll often hear people say that celebrities have veneers and this may seem like the best way to replicate picture-perfect teeth, but each mouth is different and veneers need to be carefully researched.
- They are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth.
- Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider veneers.
- Veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline and damage due to an injury or as a result of a root-canal procedure.
This procedure requires little or no anesthesia and can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance front teeth.
Your dentist will most likely begin with a smile analysis to determine what steps are necessary to achieve the smile you desire. In addition, your dentist may create a diagnostic mock-up that will allow you to “try on” veneers and other procedures to see if the final result is actually what you're looking for. Your dentist may also show you a photo of how your new smile will look. This is called cosmetic imaging.
To apply a veneer, a very small amount of the original tooth enamel must be removed, usually less than a millimeter. This is essential as it creates room for the porcelain veneer to fit within the mouth and most accurately restore natural tooth function while creating an even better appearance than the original tooth. A veneer takes at least two visits: the first to prepare the tooth and to match the shade, and the second to fit it. The bond between original tooth and porcelain veneer is critical as it not only provides the esthetic perfection desired,but also a strong bond which is essential for correct veneer function. Light-sensitive resin is placed between the original tooth and the veneer and then hardened using a special curing light. If done properly, veneers can last for many many years.