Dental veneers are a versatile option to instantly create a bright, even smile. These thin porcelain covers are attached to the front surface of a tooth to correct flaws and create symmetrical, white, natural-looking teeth with little to no maintenance.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are thin shells that are fit and permanently secured over the teeth to improve their appearance. They are typically made of porcelain or composite resin. Unlike crowns, which cover all sides of a tooth, veneers cover only the front-facing side of the tooth that can be seen when smiling.
Veneers versus Lumineers
One of the main differences between veneers and Lumineers is that Lumineers can be removed and not replaced. Veneers often require the natural tooth to be shaved down slightly to make room for the veneer. Meanwhile, Lumineers are thin enough that they can typically be placed directly over the tooth surface. This means Lumineers can be removed at any time, while a tooth that has a veneer will always need a covering.
What Can Veneers Correct?
Veneers are a form of cosmetic dentistry meant to restore the look and feel of your natural teeth.
Veneers can aid in correcting:
- Gaps between the teeth
- Teeth that are uneven in size
- Teeth that are too small
- Chipped teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Stained or discoloured teeth (that do not respond to teeth whitening)
Veneers may also be a solution for someone who grinds or clenches their teeth and has resulting damage.
Types of Veneers
Traditional veneers include porcelain veneers and composite veneers. Traditional veneers require preparation, including the grinding down of the front of the teeth to fit the veneer. After the teeth are ground down, a temporary veneer may be placed on the tooth while the permanent veneer is constructed, either from porcelain or composite materials, in a dental lab.
No-prep veneers are thinner, require less preparation, and are less invasive. The teeth do not need to be ground down to fit these types of veneers. A few common types of no-prep veneers include Lumineers and Vivaneers.
How Are Veneers Applied?
Veneers are usually applied over two appointments, both of which usually take no more than a couple of hours. In the first appointment, you’ll discuss the type of veneers you’d like to have applied with your dentist. He or she will look for oral issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, or infections, which could impact whether or not you are a good candidate for veneers.
About half a millimetre of the front of the tooth (teeth) to be covered will be trimmed off. After this, a mold of your teeth will be taken and sent to the lab so your veneers can be custom created.
Once your veneers are ready, your dentist will fit the veneers to make sure they are a perfect match in terms of size, shape, colour, and fit. The front of the teeth are cleaned thoroughly to ensure there is a smooth bonding surface for the veneers without any trapped bacteria or particles. A grinding tool is used to create texture that the dental cement can stick to. Once the dental cement is applied, the veneer is applied on top and a light is used to harden the dement.
Am I a candidate for veneers?
Although most people are candidates for veneers, there are some instances when veneers are not recommended. Patients must have healthy teeth and gums to receive veneers.
Should I choose porcelain or composite veneers?
Both porcelain and composite veneers can have a beautiful effect on your smile. However, there are pros and cons to each material. Porcelain veneers tend to be more durable than composite, but they are often more expensive. Porcelain veneers also take longer to create, while composite veneers can usually be created and applied on the same day. Be sure to ask your dentist questions about your options and treatment goals.
Is aftercare necessary?
Aftercare for veneers is very straightforward. Simply continue brushing and flossing your teeth and maintaining good oral hygiene at home. Also, remember to schedule regular appointments with your dentist to check on the veneers and keep them in good condition.
How much do veneers cost?
Veneers may or may not be covered under your dental plan (the amount of coverage varies from plan to plan). The type of veneers you choose may impact the price, along with other factors, including your current oral health. Although a single veneer may cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, many patients consider it an investment for the long-term because veneers last so long.
Can veneers be removed?
Although it is possible to remove veneers, porcelain veneers will need to be replaced. This is because the dentist will need to trim the tooth enamel before the veneer is placed. Without a veneer, there is no protective coating over the tooth. If you believe you may want your veneers removed in the future, a dentist may recommend Lumineers, which can often be removed without replacement.
Find a Dentist Near You
The 123Dentist network of dentists in Canada includes clinics offering dental veneers and Lumineers. To learn more and see if you are a candidate for veneers, find the dental clinic nearest to you.