Our teeth go through a lot during our lifetime, and some signs of wear and tear are completely normal. However, if you have minor dental imperfections such as discoloration or staining, chips or other marks on the enamel of your teeth, it is probably affecting how you feel about your smile. If you are less than happy with how your teeth look, it is normal to feel uncomfortable about showing them in public, or even in private. In fact, some patients are so self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth they go out of their way to avoid any situation where they might accidentally draw attention to them.
Fortunately, there is a cosmetic dentistry option for changing virtually any aspect of your smile. Dental veneers are a popular, minimally invasive treatment that enables a patient to easily and comfortably transform their teeth and rediscover their smile.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are tooth-colored coverings that are attached to the outer face of your teeth, covering imperfections that are then hidden underneath. Each veneer is bespoke, designed specifically for an individual tooth. If you have just tooth that requires covering, you can request a single veneer. However, many patients whose goal is a total smile transformation opt to have every tooth covered with a veneer. In this case, an entire set of bespoke veneers is created. These can be made from glazed porcelain, which is the most popular option, composite resin or zirconia.
Despite their fragile appearance, veneers are very robust and add an extra layer of strength and protection.
What cosmetic issues can dental veneers be used for?
Dental veneers are used to hide a variety of different cosmetic dental issues. These include:
Staining and discoloration. Some patients are very sensitive to the ingredients used in teeth whitening and are not good candidates for the process. Fortunately, veneers provide an effective and very successful alternative since they can be glazed in a shade to match your existing teeth or to improve the color of your smile as a whole. They are also often requested by patients who have such severe staining that whitening has proven ineffective.
Gaps between your teeth. Gaps between the teeth are very common, normally arising when your adult teeth erupt slightly apart from one another, or because your teeth have had the space to move out of alignment. Veneers can be applied over the top of the natural teeth, closing small gaps and making your teeth appear to sit fully next to one another. This is also good news for your oral health since closing small gaps make fewer places for hard to reach decay to appear.
Thickness and height of teeth. Very few people have teeth that are all exactly the same height and thickness. In fact, it is fairly normal to have teeth that noticeably shorter or thinner than others. Veneers can address this problem, ensuring that your smile is consistent across all of your teeth.
Application of dental veneers
The application process for dental veneers is simple and minimally invasive. A little of the natural enamel of the teeth must be removed before your bespoke veneer can be fitted. This is so that the veneer can be attached properly and doesn’t appear to make the tooth look out of place by being too thick or tall. The removal of the natural enamel is done using a local anesthetic, so you should not feel any pain at all. However, it is normal for some non-painful vibrations while the procedure is in progress. Each veneer is fitted individually, time, attached using special dental cement and then hardened to complete the bond. The veneer can then be polished so that it matches the rest of your teeth.
With proper care and attention, your dental veneers should last you between five and ten years, with some patient’s veneers surpassing even this. However, it should be noted that enamel cannot regenerate. Therefore, if your veneers become damaged, they will always need to be replaced.
If you are interested in transforming your smile with porcelain veneers, or if you are looking to schedule a consultation to discuss your candidacy for this popular cosmetic treatment, please contact our friendly, expert team by calling our dental offices in Troy, MI today.