The American Dental Association describes veneers as thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. Veneers are intended to correct stained, chipped, decayed or crooked teeth to obtain the perfect smile.
When considering Veneers, it is important to understand how they are placed and what that will mean for you. As emphasized by the ADA the veneer placing process is usually an irreversible process, because it’s necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your tooth to accommodate the shell.
Porcelain and composite resin are the two most common materials used in the dental veneer process. Porcelain material is brittle; however, when it is firmly bonded to the tooth it can become very strong and durable. The ADA also makes note that Porcelain often takes longer to place, and require a follow-up appointment, as molds are taken and the impression is sent out to the specific labs for veneer design. Composite resin veneers, on the other hand, can be sculpted in the office once a dentist reshapes and prepares damaged teeth.Benefits of Composite and Porcelain veneers include:
- Faster Application (can be applied in one visit)
- Cost less than their counterparts
- Less enamel removal
- Easily fixable
- Strong and resilient
- Not easily stained
- Natural appearance
- Less enamel removal than crowns or caps
Contrary to popular belief, veneers are not a permanent fix and require proper care, including daily brushing and flossing, will significantly help increase the lifespan of your veneers. In addition,Colgate suggests taking these precautions towards you veneer care:
- Don’t use your teeth in lieu of scissors or other tools. It’s a dangerous habit and can potentially compromise the integrity of your teeth.
- If it applies to you, talk to your dentist about bruxism (teeth grinding). Allowing this to go unchecked will notably decrease the lifespan of your veneers.
- Make sure to wear mouthguards when playing contact sports or if you’re in an environment that puts you at risk of taking constant impacts to the face This can result in cracked or chipped veneers.
- Try to avoid certain foods and drinks. Coffee, tea, red wine, dark fruits, hard foods, colorful foods (dyed food/drink), and chocolate.
The first step in deciding whether veneers are right for you, is talking to your dentist. You’ll receive more detailed information on each process and together you’ll be able to determine what type of veneer would best fit your needs.