Dental veneers are thin layers of porcelain or resin that are placed over the front surface of the teeth to completely cover imperfections.
Imperfections can include being the wrong shape or size, cavities, discolorations, stains, dental misplacements, small fractures or fissured teeth.
The veneer materials act somewhat like contact lenses over the eyes, except that veneers are fixed on top of the teeth with permanent cement.
They are intended for patients over the age of 16, especially people who are looking for very aesthetic smile.
Two of the main reasons that they are high in demand are the color and the position of the teeth. When a patient has received a whitening treatment and the color of the teeth is not what the patient wants, then veneers are recommended.
When the teeth are crowded and the patient doesn’t want to undergo an Orthodontic treatment (braces), veneers are the quickest and easiest option available to better the appearance of their smile.
The materials for veneers available in the market are porcelain and resin.
Porcelain is more expensive than resin (plastic material) but doesn’t stain or wear down. Its the hardest material available and has a lifespan of approximately 15 years.
On the other hand, Resin is a less expensive material and may have a lifespan of up to 10 years if it’s well kept. It can stain over the years but can be polished and cleaned in the dental office.
The procedure to cover the teeth by veneers is the same for both materials. It can take over an hour in the dental chair during the first visit. In this appointment, the teeth are prepared and molds are sent to the lab with the color chosen between the doctor and the patient for the final look. At this time, the patient is fitted with temporary veneers. After 5-7 days when the permanent veneers are ready in the lab, a second visit is scheduled to replace the temporary with the permanent ones that will then be easily cemented.
Most of Hollywood and TV actors, politicians and people in the media have dental veneers. The amount of veneers that a person needs depends on the length of their smile, how many teeth are going to be fixed, the amount and degree of misplaced teeth, and the final color desired by the patient.
Patients who have a habit of clenching or grinding, very large fractures or poor amount of enamel are usually are not good candidates for veneers. To know if you are a good candidate for dental veneers, all you need to do is send a close, front picture of your smile in good light.
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Minelsa Del Rosario
Dr. Ursula Maratos, DDS Founder-Pediatric Dentist. Dentist, with postgraduate studies in pediatric dentistry, executive director at Denta Sana.