What are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are extremely thin, translucent, tooth-colored shells that are bonded to the surfaces of teeth to change their appearance and improve esthetics. Porcelain veneers are veneers made out of ceramic or porcelain material. Their great advantage is that they look extremely natural and match the appearance of real teeth, and can completely change the look of your teeth by changing their shape, size, length and color. Many people want porcelain veneers simply for changing their smile altogether and these are an excellent option.

Why you may need dental veeneers

Porcelain veneers are indicated for the following reasons:

  • Gapped teeth/ diastemas
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Stained teeth
  • Discolored teeth caused by cracks or improperly done endodontic treatment
  • Pitted teeth due to dental fluorosis
  • Uneven / irregularly shaped teeth

How the dental veneers are placed

Having cosmetic treatment with porcelain veneers usually involves two or three visits to the dentist. In the first visit, the dentist assesses your teeth and you discuss what look you would like to achieve after getting veneers.

The dentist shows you options and you can select the tooth shade and finer details of your liking. The dentist then prepares your teeth for the fabrication and placement of the dental veneers which typically involves removing a 0.5mm layer of your enamel and then, taking an impression of the prepared teeth.

The impression is sent to the dental lab for fabrication of the veneers, which takes about a week to ten days. He may place temporary veneers on your teeth to prevent sensitivity and to ease any discomfort while you wait for the veneers to be made at the dental lab.

On your next visit, your dental veneers are ready and are placed on your teeth for trial basis before bonding. It is during this visit that minor adjustments and finishing touches to the veneers are made by the dentist until the final dimensions are set and the veneers are ready to be bonded onto your teeth. The surfaces of the teeth to be treated are ‘etched’ or topically treated with a mild acid to produce a roughened surface for better bonding of the veneers to the teeth.

A bonding agent, such as composite, which matches the selected shade of veneers is used and the veneers are then permanently bonded onto the teeth. The final result is a beautiful, completely changed natural white smile.

Advantages of porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneer treatment offers many advantages over dental crowns:

  • They are stain resistant and very long lasting
  • They do not irritate the gums
  • They are a much less invasive substitute for crowns, which require massive removal of natural tooth substance and shaping of the tooth
  • They give a completely natural appearance as they are semi-transparent like natural teeth
  • Sensitive teeth can be made less sensitive due to the protective effect veneers provide
  • The procedure is painless
  • Only takes up to 2-3 visits for a permanent result

Dental veneers are therefore an excellent option for getting the perfect white smile that you desire.