All You Need to Know About Dental Veneers
Dental veneers have become the cosmetic treatment of choice for many people looking to get a smile revamp. They are at the forefront of the evolution of state-of-the-art procedures that are breaking new ground in cosmetic dentistry.
Veneers are wafer-thin, tooth-colored shells – often made of porcelain – that are cemented onto the front of teeth to disguise issues such as staining or chips. They can also alter the appearance of the shape and size of teeth to achieve a more even look by addressing the problem of gapped or crowded teeth.
Many Hollywood stars – including Jennifer Garner, Emily Blunt, Demi Moore, and Tom Cruise – have chosen to have veneers fitted because significant results can be achieved quickly.
History of Dental Veneers
In fact, the first dental veneers were created by Californian dentist Charles Pincus in 1928 for a Tinseltown movie shoot. The veneers those actors wore were basic by today’s standards, comprising acrylic caps that would only remain in place a few hours.
As the general public got to know about dental veneers over the next few decades, problems persisted in finding an efficient means of grip.
Then, in the 1950s, Dr. Michael Buonocore had a great idea – etching tooth enamel with a weak acid to strengthen the adhesion of veneers. This was followed, in the 1980s, by the realization that porcelain veneers could themselves be etched to further improve the attachment of veneers to teeth.
Veneers then became easier to fit and less costly, and a popular mainstream option in cosmetic dentistry.
Advances in Dental Veneers
Although veneers made their debut nearly a century ago, they are relatively new compared with other cosmetic dental treatments that have their origins in ancient civilizations.
Today’s veneers, which have benefited from further improvements in bonding agents, can last for many years. They are also thinner than ever, which means a minimal preparation of the tooth.
Modern veneers are individually made for each patient from porcelain or composite resin. Over the past few decades, advances in technology have fashioned veneers that look really natural and match the adjacent natural teeth.
Because veneers are translucent, they also react to light in the same way as natural dental enamel.
Compared with composite veneers, porcelain veneers – made from medical-grade ceramic material – have the added benefit of being more durable and less susceptible to staining. Porcelain is also tolerated well by the gums.
Benefits of Dental Veneers
Veneers are the least intrusive cosmetic dental treatment, entailing very little removal of tooth structure.
According to the DocShop platform, which helps patients find healthcare professionals, dental veneers appear so realistic because they’re made from hi-tech materials that closely resemble tooth enamel.
Veneers are more stain-resistant than natural teeth and require no special routine of oral hygiene, although a fluoridated non-abrasive toothpaste is recommended to avoid damage to the shells.
Dental veneers can be fitted with little or no anesthetic and can be used to:
- Make an irregular gum line look more in proportion with the teeth.
- Correct teeth crowding or gaps.
- Restructure teeth by making them appear longer or squarer.
- Protect the tooth surface from damage.
The procedure of fitting veneers doesn’t require the significant recontouring of a tooth that getting crowns entails. Veneers also provide a more aesthetic, stronger alternative to tooth bonding.
Over the past few decades, developments in dental technology have produced veneers that look increasingly lifelike, and digital imaging enables the production of veneers that are as near a perfect match to your own teeth as possible.
Potential Drawbacks of Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are typically more costly than other cosmetic dental treatments but many people regard them as a good investment because the way they improve your facial appearance can give your self-confidence a major lift.
Veneers are robust but can still be damaged by habits such as fingernail-biting and chomping on ice. Although veneers are a reliable cosmetic dental treatment that typically last many years, they can break or crack like natural teeth.
If a veneer becomes dislodged or damaged, it will not only affect your smile but also pose a risk of bacteria getting into your tooth, leading to infection or decay. Small chips can be repaired or a new veneer fitted.
The color of a veneer cannot be altered once it has been cemented in place. If you want to get your teeth whitened, you need to do this before having veneers fitted.
In some cases, a dental veneer can make a tooth more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks.
Teeth with veneers can still decay, possibly requiring full coverage of the tooth with a crown.
Are Dental Veneers Right for Me?
If your teeth are showing signs of wear and tear but are fundamentally healthy, dental veneers could be the solution to give you a smile to be proud of.
A dentist experienced in the latest dental veneer techniques can help you decide whether this form of cosmetic treatment is right for you.
The process of getting a dental veneer generally requires a preliminary consultation followed by an appointment to prepare the teeth and make an impression to create the veneers, and a further visit to have them fitted.
Veneers can also be used alongside other treatments to create stunning cosmetic results.
What are Lumineers?
If you’re looking for a deluxe Hollywood smile, you might want to check out Lumineers, the most popular type of veneer across the world.
Lumineers – made with high-quality porcelain – are much thinner than standard dental veneers so little or no grinding down of tooth structure is necessary.
With standard veneers, you may be advised to avoid particularly hard or sticky foods. Lumineers are so robust you can eat what you want.
Lumineers can also last longer than ordinary veneers and give you a stunning smile that still looks natural.