Restoring Your Smile with Veneers
Everywhere you look, people have dazzling white, even smiles. From the attendant at the gas station to your favorite actor on the silver screen, everyone seems to have a Hollywood-perfect smile. Few people come by these smiles naturally, however. Many of these picture-perfect smiles are the result of veneers.
Veneers are thin shells made from composite material or dental porcelain. There are also various types of dental veneers. Traditional veneers are a bit thicker and are less transparent. This thickness is an advantage for someone with severely stained teeth because it covers most of the stains. Lumineers, on the other hand, are made to be ultra-thin and allow more light to shine through, creating a more natural appearance. The Lumineers, or traditional composite veneers or porcelain veneers cover the fronts of your teeth, making them appear uniformly shaped, evenly spaced, and perfectly white.
Veneers can be applied in as little as two office visits. First, the dentist will make a cast of your teeth to send to a dental laboratory. The laboratory will create a custom set of veneers designed specifically for you. During the next visit, the dentist removes some of the dental enamel from the fronts of your teeth. This provides a rougher surface, which makes the bond between the veneers and your teeth more secure.
It also makes room for the veneers to fit over your teeth without protruding over your gums. This process is not necessary for Lumineers because they are thinner. She will then apply the veneers with a special dental adhesive. Once the adhesive has hardened completely, you can begin enjoying your new smile.
The veneers do not require special care other than your usual oral hygiene routine. However, although veneers are sturdy and bonded securely to your teeth, you will have to be more cautious when biting into hard foods to avoid cracking or dislodging your veneers. If cared for properly, dental veneers can last as long as 20 years or more before they must be replaced.
Traditional veneers are a lifetime commitment because once the dental enamel is removed, the teeth must be covered by veneers or dental bond to protect them from damage. Lumineers, on the other hand, can usually be removed because no removal of dental enamel is necessary to apply them. If you are uncertain about which of the types of dental veneers is best for you, consult your dentist. He or she will be happy to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of veneers.