What are Porcelain veneers?
Dental porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are attached to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. They’re often made from porcelain or resin-composite materials and are permanently bonded to your teeth.
Veneers can be used to treat a number of different cosmetic concerns, including chipped, broken, discolored, or smaller-than-average teeth.
Some people may only get one veneer in the case of a broken or chipped tooth, but many get between six to eight veneers in order to create an even, symmetrical smile. The top front eight teeth are the most commonly applied veneers.
What are the different types of veneers?
Dental veneers are most commonly made out of porcelain. Applying traditional dental veneers requires more intensive prep work compared to alternatives that are sometimes called “no-prep veneers.” These no-prep veneers — which include options like Lumineers and Vivaneeres — take less time and are less invasive to apply.
Applying traditional dental veneers typically involves grinding down the tooth structure, sometimes removing some of the tooth even past the enamel. This allows for proper placement, but it’s also an irreversible procedure that can be painful to go through and often requires a local anesthetic.
No-prep veneers, on the other hand, may require some tooth preparation or alteration, but these alterations are minimal. Instead of removing layers of tooth under the enamel, no-prep veneers only affect the enamel. In many cases, no-prep veneers don’t require local anesthetics.
Veneers aren’t the same as tooth implants or crowns. Veneers cover the front surface of the tooth. Implants, on the other hand, replace the entire tooth. Crowns also encase the entire tooth, while veneers only cover the front surface of the tooth (which is visible with a smile).
What are the benefits of dental veneers?
The biggest benefit to veneers is improving the appearance of your teeth, giving you a brighter and more even smile. Dental porcelain veneers are often used to treat the following cosmetic occurrences:
- broken or chipped teeth
- severe discoloration or uneven coloring that can’t be fixed with whitening
- gaps in the teeth
- smaller-than-average teeth
- pointed or unusually shaped teeth
Veneers can last for more than a decade, depending on the type of veneer you choose, making them a semi permanent investment that can make you more confident in your smile.
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