Dental veneers are thin composite or ceramic sheaths made from tooth colored materials, which are attached to the front surface of teeth to restore them.
Types of Dental Veneers - what are they and when are they used
Veneers are recommended to:
- Restore Chipped or Cracked Teeth – veneers are often used to rebuild the shape and appearance of chipped, or broken teeth.
- Masking Permanent Teeth Stains – veneers can hide teeth stains that can’t be removed with professional teeth whitening treatments.
- Closing Teeth Gaps – veneers can be used for the cosmetic removal of gaps between the front teeth.
- Smile Makeover – if you’d like a new bright and straight smile, you can get veneers to get a beautiful new smile.
- Fix a minor underbite or overbite – dental veneers can also lengthen the teeth, and correct a minor to moderate overbite or underbite using strong, special veneers.
What Types of Veneers are There?
Veneers come in two types; porcelain and composite.
- Porcelain Veneers – these are very thin tooth-shaped shells made from white dental porcelain. These are made in the dental laboratory and fitted to your teeth. Porcelain veneers have a natural appearance and last longer than composite veneers.
- Composite Veneers – these veneers are made from tooth colored plastics, which are polymerized when exposed to light. Composite veneers can conveniently be prepared at the dental chairside. They can also be delivered to the laboratory for preparation.
What are the Benefits of Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers offer the following benefits:
- A Beautiful Smile – A great advantage of veneers is their ability to restore your smile and facial esthetics.
- Tooth Restoration – damaged teeth can create significant challenges with speech and eating functionality. Veneers help restore these abilities.
- More Affordable than Braces – the recommended treatment for closing teeth gaps is orthodontic treatment with braces. However, a more affordable option for this is veneers, which close the gaps between your teeth. You can also use braces without metal, such as ceramic braces or Invisalign aligners.
Keep in mind that veneers cannot be used to replace missing teeth. They can only be used to repair front teeth. Missing teeth or back molars should be replaced with implants.
What are Alternatives to Dental Veneers and When are they Used?
We also offer several alternatives to dental veneers:
- Teeth Bonding – in this cosmetic procedure, the dentist applies a polymerizable plastic bonding material to the teeth, which matches your natural teeth color. This is performed at the dental chairside. They are more affordable, however, bonding is less esthetic and durable compared to porcelain or composite veneers.
- Micro-abrasion – in this procedure, the discolored tooth surface is eroded with a coarse polishing compound. Immediately following, topical fluoride is applied to the teeth to prevent sensitivity.
- Teeth Whitening – a professional teeth whitening procedure can be used as an alternative to veneers if the stains are not permanent. All teeth stains that are acquired during their development are permanent and cannot be removed through whitening.
- Orthodontic Treatment – orthodontic treatment can be used to close gaps between teeth as an alternative to veneers.
Dental Adhesive for Veneers
Dental veneers are attached to your tooth using adhesive, which functions as a glue between the tooth and veneers. These adhesives are professional dental cements which are thinly applied between the prepared tooth and the veneer. Sometimes, a prepared tooth has to be conditioned/pre-treated before the adhesive is applied in order to hold the veneer.
Is It Possible to get Veneers for Receding Gums?
When gums begin to fall below the normal gum line, it is referred to as gum recession. This can happen for several reasons, such as prolonged gum or periodontal inflammation/disease, and using excessive force during teeth brushing.Veneers can not be placed if you have an active underlying gum or periodontal disease, or while recovering from a dental issue or procedure. Receding gums are first treated with oral hygiene maintenance and scaling.Once the gums are healing, the veneers are prepared. Veneers can cosmetically repair the teeth where gum infection had previously caused significant gum recession.
Dental Veneers for Crowded Teeth
Dental veneers are able to cosmetically correct moderate cases of teeth crowding. Severe teeth crowding should be treated with orthodontic treatment such as braces.
How long Dental Veneers Last?
The most important factors for veneer longevity include the type of veneering material and oral hygiene maintenance. Ceramic veneers usually last longer than composite veneers. Veneers tend to last for 10-15 years on average. Poor oral hygiene maintenance and underlying gum and bone loss problems can decrease the lifespan of your veneers. In addition, bad dental habits such as teeth grinding, can also reduce the longevity of veneers.
When to Replace Dental Veneers?
Veneers can last for 10 to 15 years, if you practice good oral hygiene and prevent damage to your veneers. However, when your veneers have started to catch stains, this means that cracks have developed on their surface which reduces their durability. Also, if you experience pain around the veneers, visit us to get new veneers.
What are the Risks of Dental Veneers?
Veneers do carry some risks:
- Permanent Loss of Natural Tooth Structure – for attaching veneers, the enamel layer of the natural tooth structure must be removed and will never grow back.
- Secondary Teeth Cavities – cavities can develop around the veneers, this may weaken the tooth structure which can damage the bonding of the veneers. If left untreated, you may experience bone loss. Teeth may start to cause discomfort or pain, and may even start to fall out in case of untreated gum disease (this happens when the infection is transferred from cavities to the gums)
- Potential for Cracking – strong direct impact, or a sudden change in temperature can cause veneers to crack. In this case, they should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
- Staining – veneers get stained very easily, especially composite veneers. These stains are permanent and can not be repaired with professional teeth whitening.
- Dislodgement/Chipping – sometimes veneers can be dislodged, especially when the tooth and veneer were poorly bonded to begin with. If the tooth is not immediately restored, it can lead to cavities which can cause pain and discomfort.
Get a beautiful and charming smile, make an appointment today with our dental office in Torrance, CA. We are in the South Bay just ten minutes away from Redondo Beach and nearby Palos Verdes. For more about dental veneers, click here.