Do you smile with your mouth closed to hide your teeth? Don’t be ashamed of your smile. Even unsightly gaps, chips, and discoloration can be fixed with veneers. Dental veneers are thin shells of either porcelain or a composite resin material, which are bonded to the front of your teeth. Veneers are often used to change the size and shape of your teeth, mask discoloration, or to fix chipped, broken, or worn down teeth. Porcelain veneers are usually favored over the resin composite because they look more like natural teeth and are more resistant to stains.
What Happens During the Procedure?
It usually takes three appointments to complete the entire procedure. The first appointment entails diagnosis and treatment planning. Come to this appointment prepared to explain what problems you are trying to fix with veneers and what you want your new smile to look like. Voice your opinion, be specific, and bring examples to show Dr. Ritzau.
Your second appointment prepares your teeth for the veneers. Your teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the thickness of the veneer, and a local anesthetic may be used to numb the area.
For ceramic (porcelain) veneers, a mold is taken of your teeth and sent to a lab. After about one to two weeks, Dr. Ritzau will receive your custom-made veneers from the mold. If you’re uncomfortable with your smile after the buffing process you can request temporary veneers to wear while you wait for your new smile.
The third appointment consists of bonding. Dr. Ritzau will place the veneers on your teeth to confirm they are the right shape and color before permanently cementing them to your teeth. At this point the veneers can be trimmed or shaved to ensure a bright smile that matches your specifications. Your teeth will then be cleaned, polished, and etched in order to create a rough surface for the veneers to adhere to.
Once your teeth are ready for bonding, cement will be applied between your teeth and the veneers. A special light is then used to harden the cement. Dr. Ritzau will then remove any excess cement and evaluate your bite.
What Can You Expect After the Procedure?
Several weeks after the procedure, Dr. Ritzau will schedule a follow up appointment to assess how your gums are reacting to your new additions.
It is important to maintain good oral hygiene after getting veneers; however, there’s no other special care needed. Dr. Ritzau may recommend avoiding foods that could stain the veneers.
Because of the etching done to your teeth, veneers are permanent. They can last between five and ten years before being replaced, however if small chips or cracks occur they can be repaired.