More than one-third of Americans admit that they’re unhappy with their smile, according to a study commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Achieving a white, beautiful smile is not always possible with brushing alone. Discoloration, chips, gaps, and misshapen teeth can make some people feel self-conscious about their teeth. Fortunately, there are more options today than ever before when it comes to transforming the appearance of your smile. Veneers could be the solution you’re looking for.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are a popular treatment option for transforming the look of your teeth. These thin, naturally-colored shells attach to the front surface of the teeth using dental cement for a strong bond. Veneers are typically made from porcelain or a resin-composite material, allowing them to blend effortlessly with your remaining natural teeth. While it is possible to just get one veneer for a chipped or broken tooth, most people get between six and eight veneers for an even and symmetrical smile.
What Is the Dental Procedure for Getting Veneers?
Getting veneers may require several visits to your dentist. The first visit is generally a consultation to talk about why you want to get veneers and the desired end goal. Your dentist will examine your teeth to determine if veneers are an appropriate treatment. During this initial visit, your dentist may also take x-rays of your teeth.
At the next visit, your dentist will prepare your teeth. This may require some trimming of the enamel to make room for the veneer. An impression of your teeth is then taken and sent to a dental lab where your custom veneers will be constructed. This process can take several weeks.
The third and final appointment involves the application and bonding of the veneers. The veneer will be trimmed as needed to fit on the tooth. During this stage, the color can be adjusted if necessary. Next, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and slightly roughened to ensure a smooth bonding process.
Once the veneer has been cemented to the tooth, your dentist will use a special light to activate the chemicals in the cement to allow it to cure quickly. Any excess cement around the tooth will then be removed and final adjustments will be made. Your dentist may schedule a follow-up appointment in a few weeks.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Dental veneers can be a remarkable treatment option for many people who are unsatisfied with the look of their smiles. You may be a good candidate for veneers if:
- Your teeth are stained or discolored. If the stains or discoloration on your teeth do not respond to regular brushing or whitening products, veneers may be a good option for you.
- You have minor cosmetic issues. Minor flaws like chips and misshapen teeth can often be concealed with veneers.
- You have good overall dental health. Your dentist will want to make sure that your teeth and gums are in good health before moving forward with veneers.