Veneers can be an efficient solution to address discoloration, large gaps between teeth, smaller tooth size and minor chips. In the process, veneers even out and brighten your smile through a series of thin shells applied to the front of your existing teeth.
Depending on the procedure, a set of porcelain or resin-composite veneers are permanently bonded to your teeth. The front teeth will be slightly ground down for placement, possibly with some of the enamel removed. Typically, veneers are added to the front eight teeth.
Not all veneers are identical. Understand the basic types based on material and use.
The most common form, porcelain veneers have been around since the 1930s and are designed to last up to 20 years with sufficient maintenance. Also called traditional veneers, this procedure starts with an impression of your teeth to create a custom set of shells that will precisely fit into your mouth. You’ll go home with a set of temporary veneers as you wait for the permanent set to be applied.
During your second visit, the front of each tooth will be grinded or buffed to prepare for the set of porcelain veneers. Local anesthesia will be used to numb this area of the mouth and the shells are then applied, fitted and bonded.
As the most durable type of veneer, porcelain is less likely to chip but if it does, the material can be difficult to repair. Porcelain veneers come in the following forms:
- Stacked Ceramic: Porcelain is hand-poured to mimic the color, shape and transparency of your existing teeth. These tend to offer the most authentic appearance.
- Pressed Ceramic: Pressed veneers offer a thicker structure that provides more durability but requires more of your tooth to be removed.
- Lithium Disilicate: This material is an option for patients known to grind their teeth, offering a greater level of durability.
- Zirconia: These veneers are recommended to strengthen a weaker tooth and disguise any damage. These characteristics offer the greatest resistance to breakage.
2. Composite Resin
Composite-resin may be used for tooth fillings and cosmetic bonding, a cost-effective form of veneers that can reduce the appearance of chips, discoloration and minor cracks. Matching the color of your existing teeth, the material goes on in layers before it’s cured, shaped and polished.
This solution can be applied in one visit to even out your smile and is more easily repaired than other types, but is more likely to stain and chip. Composite-resin veneers can last for five to 10 years.
3. No-Prep Veneers
Going by names like Lumineers, DURAthin, and Vivaneers, these veneers offer a less-invasive solution that also takes less time to apply. Rather than remove the enamel and part of the tissue underneath, a dentist only removes a small section of enamel. Local anesthetic is not typically used and no grinding is involved. You also won’t be sent home with a temporary set.
Thin yet strong, these veneers are about the thickness of a contact lens and can be removed to reverse the procedure, if desired. Just as with traditional veneers, these are created in an offsite lab. You’ll be fitted during a second procedure, during which your tooth is etched. With the right care, no-prep veneers can last for up to 20 years.
However, not everyone is a candidate for no-prep veneers. This solution, known for a translucent appearance, does not cover up darker staining and damage.
4. Same-Day Veneers
Also called CEREC® veneers, in-office CAD/CAM technology is used to create a set of custom porcelain veneers. Eliminating the need for multiple appointments, same-day veneers are ideal for camouflaging minor visual imperfections or addressing one or two damaged teeth.
Once the veneers are milled to the shape of your teeth, the dentist will apply them and make minor adjustments before you go home.
5. Palatal Veneers
Using porcelain, composite or gold, this specialized type of veneer is applied to the inside of your upper teeth to reduce wear.
To learn more about dental veneers, contact our Shelton office today.