Patient's Guide to Dental Veneer

Veneers… Its Purpose:

Veneers are thin wafer-like materials that are attached to the front of your teeth to give your damaged or discolored teeth a transformed look. In the field of cosmetic dentistry, veneers have well served the purpose of giving your teeth the natural and original look. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of medical-grade ceramic that are individually crafted for each patient. The popularity of veneers counts on the fact that it is made from a material that closely resembles the appearance of your natural enamel. It makes them rank among the most trusted procedures in cosmetic dentistry.

The History of Veneers:

The use of dental veneers can actually be traced back to almost a hundred years back. It made its debut in the film industry. In the late 1920s, a Hollywood dentist, Dr. Charles Pincus, used veneers to enhance the smile of a film actor. However, he lacked the technology to permanently affix the porcelain to the recipient’s teeth. Later in the 1960s, Dr. Michael Bunocore contributed in kick starting the technology of adhesive dentistry. The veneers were etched with a mild acidic solution to the candidate’s teeth.

How has Veneers Changed Over the Years?

Over the past 30 years, advancement in technology has made this cosmetic procedure evolve with better results that give an enhanced and natural look than ever before. Newer types of porcelain veneers that are being developed have better light reflecting capacities. With the emergence of 3D imaging technology, dentists are now able to create same-day restorations. These are a near-perfect match to the shape and color of the patient’s original teeth. Also, nowadays, veneers might be combined with other procedures like, say, dental crowns deliver patients with comprehensive and satisfactory results!

Who can/should go for Veneers?

In order to determine an individual’s candidacy for veneers, it is best to consult a cosmetic dentist.  After evaluating your health history, condition of your enamel and your overall dental health, a dentist will be able to make an informed decision on the issue. Else, he or she could recommend alternative treatments.

However, generally speaking, one could go for veneers in order to address multiple issues, such as:

    • Cracked or chipped tooth
    • Gaps in between your teeth
    • Small misalignment in your teeth.
    • Discoloration of teeth where your teeth turns yellowish or brownish

In order to qualify for a veneer treatment, an individual’s dental health needs to possess certain elements. Not only specific issues with your teeth structure, shape and color authorize you to go for veneers, but also, you need ascertain the following:

    • Have sufficient amount of enamel since your dentist would have to remove a thin layer of enamel in order to attach the veneers.
    • Be committed to proper oral hygiene as veneers cannot be artificially whitened. Therefore, a good and regular dental hygiene needs to be strictly maintained such that your veneers do not get damaged early!
    • Have a good periodontal health

The last point in the above-mentioned list needs a special mention, because, patients with a tooth decay or gum disease typically do not qualify for veneers.

On an average, veneers are known to last for about 10 years.  The durability largely depends upon how the candidates maintain it. Proper oral hygiene practices actually help your veneers last for more than 10 years even. However, in case of traditional veneers, the ground work plays a significant role too. That is to say, prepping your tooth is very crucial. An acid gel is applied, which dissolves some of the minerals from the surface of your teeth. This creates a microscopic rough surface, which allows the bonding agent to settle down well into the fissures. This creates a strong base for the porcelain veneers.

The Choice Between Traditional and No-Prep Veneers

This is an important step while you go for veneers today. Let us have close look at the gross differences.  In order to place traditional veneers, a dentist removes a thin layer of enamel from your teeth. No-prep veneers on the other hand, are much thinner, meaning that a dentist must remove only a little amount of enamel. In many dental offices, no-prep veneers can be fabricated and fitted in a single day. Now, not all patients are candidates for the no-prep veneers. They might look too bulky, for patients with large gaps between their teeth.  So, the choice ultimately rests upon your dentist and he would have to well examine your condition before recommending veneers for you!