Our thanks go out to Dr Cashel, an experienced veneers dentist in Glasgow, who has supplied us over the years with some excellent information. David is a renowned cosmetic dentist and the following article provides lots of information on what factors to consider when thinking about getting dental veneers. So let’s get right to it :
Our smiles are very important. They convey many things to others and to ourselves, but many people feel a certain degree of insecurity showing their pearly whites to the world because of various cosmetic defects. Thankfully, even if your teeth aren’t as brilliantly white or straight as you’d like for them to be, there are cosmetic dental procedures that can easily brighten teeth and improve your smile.
What are Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are extremely thin shells of ceramic (porcelain) or composite resin material that dental specialists can bind to the front of teeth to improve their appearance. Both porcelain and composite veneers can mask undesirable defects in teeth, including stains and discoloration as well as fill gaps or chips.
Composite vs Porcelain Veneers
Today’s dental veneers are most often fabricated from composite resin and porcelain. Both can either be created indirectly outside of your mouth by a dental technician in a laboratory; composite veneers can also be made directly in your mouth during an appointment.
Porcelain veneers are particularly suited for cases where dullness, wear, discoloration, chipping, cracking, or spacing between teeth are severe. Some of the benefits of porcelain veneers is that they are very durable, generally lasting 12-25 years and hardly ever need maintenance. They are the more expensive of the two options and the process in not reversible.
Composite resin veneers can be just as effective at hiding imperfections and today’s dental technology allows for the creation of life-like, beautiful veneers that can last for 4-8 years. They are relatively inexpensive in comparison to their porcelain counterpart and do require maintenance. One of the greatest benefits of composite veneers, however, is that they are made using an additive process which can be reversed and replaced as needed.
Speaking to a qualified dentist can help you choose whether porcelain or composite veneers are right for you. Regardless of the choice, both yield beautiful, natural aesthetic results.
Benefits of Dental Veneers
There are many reasons people choose to get veneers. They can often work as an alternative to crowns and solve many cosmetic dental issues. Veneers can hide uneven teeth, worn enamel, regular wear and tear from aging, as well as genetic imperfections such as abnormal teeth spacing. For many, veneers are simply a wonderful way to make their teeth look natural and healthy with relatively little time.
The Dental Veneer Process
Porcelain dental veneer procedures are generally broken into three separate appointments where the dentist first takes the patient through the diagnosis and treatment planning, then preparation, and finally bonding. Composite veneers that are done indirectly follow the same process, while those that are placed directly can be accomplished within two appointments. The planning phase is very important and it’s perfectly normal for patients to have more than one consultation to fully understand and feel comfortable with the cosmetic procedure.
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
This first phase is used for the patient and the dentist to come up with goals for what they would like to fix; the active participation of the patient is extremely important. A consultation will include a teeth examination that ensures dental veneers are appropriate for the patient’s situation and whether there will be any limitations. This may include X-rays and even mouth or teeth impressions.
Preparation and Bonding Phases
On the second appointment, the patient’s tooth is prepared for the veneer. To prepare teeth for veneers, they must be buffed to remove roughly half a millimeter from the enamel surface so the veneer will fit. This may be carried out using a local anesthetic.
For patients being treated with composite resin veneers directly, the installation of veneers can take place in the same appointment. After the teeth are prepared, the dentist bonds and sculpts composite material onto the teeth. In what is practically a work of art, the dentist will add composite layers to create the correct shape, length, and form to the smile, rounding the process off with a finish and polishing.
If porcelain veneers are being created or the composite is being done indirectly, the dentist will take a mold or impression of the teeth so the veneers can be fabricated in a lab by a professional. This process will usually take 1-2 weeks after which the patient comes in for the final binding. A special cement is place on the veneer which is then positioned on the tooth. Once everything is aligned correctly, a light beam is used to activate chemicals in the cement that harden quickly. Finally, the dentist removes any excess material and evaluates the work and makes any last adjustments.
Even after the procedure is over, the dentist may ask for a follow-up appointment in the upcoming weeks to see how the veneers are doing and if the gum is responding well the the veneer placement.