Veneers: What are veneers?
Simply, veneers are custom-made, thin shells made of porcelain or composite material that essentially bond to the visible (i.e., front) surface of your teeth. In doing so, veneers alter the shape, size, and colour of your tooth. But, don’t worry—the colour of your veneers can easily be colour-matched with your natural teeth so that they are unnoticeable to anyone glancing at your healthy, confident smile!
Porcelain versus composite veneers
Porcelain veneers have a shiny/glossy look to them, giving off a “natural” look. Because of their appearance, porcelain veneers blend in nicely with your natural teeth and are nearly unrecognizable.
Porcelain veneers are also considered to be a much more reliable option compared to composite veneers and tend to resist staining quite well, so they’ll maintain their shiny appearance for a lengthy amount of time.
Composite veneers are constructed out of tooth-coloured resin material. Importantly, composite veneers can actually be made while you are sitting in the dental chair, so they can be applied to your teeth within a single session!
Unfortunately, composite veneers are more susceptible to structural damage and staining, so they are not as viable as porcelain veneers when considering the lifecycle of the product.
What is it like having veneers applied?
First off, one of our dentists will schedule a consultation with you to perform a smile analysis. This is simply to see what the best options are for your smile. In addition to your smile analysis, our dentist will perform an x-ray to ensure that there are no underlying issues that cannot be detected with the human eye.
Once you are called back in for your veneer appointment, the dentist will begin by removing a thin layer of enamel from each tooth that are having a veneer applied. This creates enough space to allow the veneer to bond with your natural teeth.
An impression is then made of the trimmed tooth/teeth and is sent off to a dental laboratory to have your veneers constructed out of the material you and the dentist agreed upon during your consultation. While you wait for the customized veneers to arrive to our office, we will provide you with a temporary veneer(s).
When you return to have your customized veneer applied, our dentist will apply a gel that causes irregularities to form on the surface of your tooth. This provides a rough surface for the veneer to grip and bond tightly to. The veneer is then bonded to the natural tooth using dental cement and application of a curing light.
Caring for my veneers
Maintaining your veneers is as easy as maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine. That means twice daily brushing and flossing as well as scheduling regular dental cleanings with your dentist.
Our dentist may also recommend avoiding certain foods or drink to prolong the life of your veneers. For example, we may recommend you avoid coffee, red wine, tea, and tobacco to maximize the integrity of your veneers over time.
And, because they are not as strong as your natural teeth, extra care should be taken when applying significant amounts of pressure to them (such as when eating something tough and hard or foods that require twisting and pulling). This doesn’t mean you should change the things you eat, but we recommend that you become more conscientious about how you eat your food.