Dental veneers are also known as dental porcelain laminates or porcelain veneers. They are custom-made shells of wafer thin tooth coloured materials which are specifically made to conceal the tooth’s surface. This is done with the aim of improving an individual’s appearance.
These shells change the colour, size, shape or length, and are made from resin or porcelain composite materials. Dental veneers that are made from porcelain are better than those made from resin. This is because the porcelain veneers resist stains in a far much better way than the resin veneers. They also mimic natural teeth light reflecting properties better than the resin veneers.
On the other hand while using the resin veneer, less of your tooth surface is removed. This is because the resin veneers are thinner, hence requires a small portion of the tooth to be removed before it is placed. You choose the type of veneer material that you want the dentist to place on the tooth.
Reasons for dental veneers
There are various reasons as to why an individual may require dental veneer on their teeth. Discolouration may occur as a result of root canal treatment, tetracycline or drug stains, excessive fluoride among other causes. Another reason may be when an individual has worn down, broken or chipped teeth.
Misaligned, irregularly shaped or uneven teeth are other reasons as to why individuals opt for dental veneers. Teeth with gaps in between them are another major reason why individuals get veneers.
An individual needs to visit the dentist three times to get a dental veneer. The first trip is for consultation while the other two are for making and applying the veneers respectively. There is the diagnosis and treatment planning. It is usually the first step that requires the individual to participate actively. It is the discussion between the individual and the dentist. The dentist then examines and determines whether putting veneers are appropriate.
Once the dentist approves the veneer placement, the other thing is to prepare the tooth or teeth for a veneer. Around a millimetre of your tooth enamel is removed, which is equal to the amount of veneer to be placed. Before trimming the tooth the dentist will administer a local anaesthesia in order to numb the area.
A model of your tooth is later made by the dentist and then sent to the laboratory to make the veneer. After two weeks the doctor gets the ready made veneer from the laboratory.
The last part is bonding. This is the cementing of the veneer on your tooth. It is first placed temporarily in order to determine whether it is fit on the tooth and whether the colour is okay. The dentist trims the veneer and adjusts the colour of the veneer to that of the cement to be used.
The tooth is then cleaned, polished and then etched to make it rough in order to make a strong bond with the veneer. Finally the veneer is placed using special cement. A special light beam is applied on the already fixed dental veneer for quick healing and activation of chemicals in the cement.