Most people have heard of veneers-- but do you actually know what they are? Many individuals in need of dental reconstruction don't realize that veneers are a valid option for treatment. The benefits of veneers can be vast-- for the right patients, they're oftentimes life-changing.

What is a Veneer?

Veneers are thin, medical-grade shells constructed out of ceramic, porcelain, or composite resin that are designed to mimic the shape and color of natural teeth. They are bonded over the front part of the tooth and can be useful in scenarios requiring modification of the color, length, shape, or size of teeth.

While veneers can easily be utilized to improve the appearance of individual teeth, they're often created to cover multiple teeth at once and offer a "Hollywood smile." Veneers are individually crafted to meet the needs of each individual patient who receives them. They offer a minimally-invasive way to create stunning smile improvements.

 

Who Usually Gets Veneers?

 There are a variety of factors that play into candidacy for veneers. Technically, anybody can get them; countless celebrities and other professionals in forward-facing or prominent roles get veneers with no tooth problems to speak of. 

With that being said, most patients who consider veneers are trying to address cosmetic or structural issues with their teeth. These issues may include:

  • Gaps between the teeth
  • Misalignment
    • Must be minor-- veneers cannot correct bite problems or serious alignment issues
  • Chips
  • Discoloration
  • Cracks 

In order to be eligible for veneers, there are a few requirements that patients should (ideally) meet to make the process as smooth as possible. Prospective veneer recipients should:

  • Be fully committed to exceptional oral hygiene and care
  • Have specific cosmetic goals in mind
    • It's critical that you can articulate these goals to your dentist
  • Be in good overall health and have good periodontal health
  • Have a sufficient amount of healthy enamel
    • Some enamel must be removed during the veneer placement process

 

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Veneers tend to last anywhere from five to fifteen years before additional work becomes necessary. The lifespan of your veneers is highly dependent on the quality of your oral hygiene practices and dental care. Making a commitment to a rigorous at-home brushing and flossing regiment can extend the life of your veneers considerably, as can creating a normal routine for regular professional dental hygiene visits.

Sometimes, factors that are difficult to change can impact veneer lifespan. If you grind your teeth in your sleep, you may find that your veneers don't fulfill their entire lifespan. Using night guards can help protect your veneers and extend their useful life.

Once veneers have undergone their full lifespan, you'll need to see a prosthodontist again for replacement.

 

Is the Procedure Painful?

The procedure isn't painful at all!

Your prosthodontist will work closely with you to determine which shade of veneer is best-suited to your smile. After this, a small portion of your tooth structure will be removed-- this is to help keep your teeth from looking bulky once the veneers are in place. The tooth (or teeth) in question and the surrounding area will be anesthetized to ensure that the process is pain-free.

After this, the direction of the procedure hinges on the type of veneer you've selected. If you've chosen to go with composite resin veneers, they'll be sculpted right into your mouth during the course of one appointment. Then, they'll be polished to get them looking as natural as possible.

 

If you opted for porcelain veneers, your prosthodontist will create an impression to act as a model for the lab that will create your veneers. Lab construction can often take several days, so you'll wear temporary veneers in the meantime. Once your final veneers are complete, you'll come back for one more appointment to have them bonded to your teeth. The process is painless from start to finish.

In many cases, due to Dr. Tyler's laboratory and prosthodontic background, Stuart Prosthetic Dentistry is able to fabricate your lab-made veneer(s) during a single visit in the office.

If you're interested in learning more about whether veneers are right for you, reach out to our office today for an examination or consultation. Our professional, knowledgeable team will be able to assess your eligibility for veneers and get you started on the track to reclaiming your life and happiness.