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What Are Dental Veneers

By March 28, 2015 - 6:58am

If your teeth are discolored and nothing seems to help, dental veneers may be for you.

They are very thin and are bonded onto the front surface of the teeth to improve their color, size, shape or length.

Dental veneers, also known as porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates, are made of porcelain or resin composite materials. Resin veneers require your dentist to remove less of the tooth surface, and porcelain veneers look more like real teeth and resist stains better than resin. Your dentist can discuss the different types of veneers, and if veneers might be right for you.

Although veneers are often used to cover discolored teeth, they are also used to cover teeth that:

● Are worn down
● Are broken or chipped
● Are irregularly shaped

They are used to close the space between teeth, if the gap is large. Veneers have many advantages, especially the porcelain type of veneer. They look very natural and are stain resistant. You can choose the color of the veneer, so your teeth can look nice and white. The gum tissue typically tolerates porcelain veneers well. And, veneers don't require all of the shaping that crowns generally do, but are stronger than crowns.

However, there are disadvantages to veneers as well. They are usually not repairable if they get a chip or a crack. They may not match the color of your other teeth. It is unlikely but possible that veneers can fall off, especially if you put too much pressure on your teeth by chewing on ice or other hard objects. Teeth with veneers can still get decay, which means the tooth would have to be covered with a crown. And finally, some patients aren't good candidates for veneers -- those with unhealthy or weakened teeth, or those who grind their teeth should not get veneers.

How Do I Get Veneers?

Getting veneers will typically take three trips to the dentist. As a first step, you will discuss with the dentist what you are hoping to achieve with veneers, and the dentist will examine your teeth so that the two of you can decide if veneers are right for you. The dentist may also take X-rays.

To get your tooth ready for a veneer, your dentist will need to trim off a bit of enamel from the tooth (you may be able to have a local anesthetic to numb the area if you are concerned about the pain). Your dentist will then make a model of the tooth, which is sent to a lab that will make your veneer.

When the veneer comes back, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to make sure it fits and the color is right. He may need to repeatedly remove and trim the veneer and try it on again to get it to fit just right. Once it is just right, your dentist will clean and polish your tooth and etch it, a process that roughens the tooth to get it ready to bond with the veneer. Your dentist will attach the veneer with special cement, and use a special light to make the cement harden quickly. Your dentist will remove any excess cement and make any final adjustments. He may ask you to come back in a few weeks, so he can check how the veneer is doing.

How Do I Care for My Veneers?

Veneers typically last between five and 10 years, after which they would need to be replaced.
Another good thing about veneers is that they don't require any special care -- you should just keep up good dental habits, brushing and flossing as you normally would.

Whether you need veneers or general dentistry in cosmetic dentist Silver Spring for you, you can come to us for all your dental needs!

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