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Dental veneers

What are veneers used for?

Veneers are very thin shells that are glued to the visible surface of teeth. They are used to correct minor cosmetic defects. They can also be used to restore slightly damaged teeth, correct their shape, brighten a smile or fill a gap between two teeth.

Composite resin or porcelain?

The dentist will recommend resin or porcelain veneers, depending on which best suits your needs.

1) Composite resin veneers:

  • Don’t require any prepping; the enamel remains intact and the procedure can be reversed
  • Can be installed in just one session
  • Are not as durable; touch-ups are often needed over time
  • Are less expensive

2) Porcelain veneers:

  • Require that a thin layer of enamel be removed from the tooth for improved adherence; the procedure cannot be undone
  • Won’t change colour
  • Can be used for more complex repairs
  • Are durable
  • Require two appointments because the shell is made in a lab using a dental impression

The procedure

Installing dental veneers is a simple, common cosmetic procedure. The installation process varies, depending on the type of veneer used.

1) Composite resin veneers:

The natural tooth is maintained in its entirety. Composite resin is applied directly to the tooth, formed by the dentist and hardened using blue light. The procedure is painless.

2) Porcelain veneers:

Using local anaesthesia, a thin layer of enamel is removed from the tooth’s surface. An impression of the tooth is made and sent to the dental lab, where the porcelain veneer is custom-made. In the meantime, a temporary veneer is installed to protect the tooth. When the permanent veneer is ready, it’s secured in place using composite resin cement.

Contraindications

Before deciding on veneers, the dentist will check the condition of your teeth’s surface. Veneers are not possible in the following cases:

  • Insufficient enamel for the veneer to stay in place
  • Untreated cavity
  • Gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis)
  • Significantly broken tooth (a crown would be best)
  • Teeth grinding, which can break veneers (once again, a crown would be best)

Advantages

Veneers are durable and won’t stain. And, because they require minimal prepping, most of your natural enamel is maintained.

Veneers are a good option for minor cosmetic corrections. The results are remarkable because the finished product looks just like natural teeth (colour, transparency, etc.). You get a more beautiful smile quickly and painlessly.

How to care for veneers

Although veneers are proven to be solid and durable, they could still break or a cavity could form underneath them. Good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, is critical to keeping your teeth healthy and your veneers looking beautiful. During your regular dental check-up, the dentist can check the condition of your veneers and ensure no cavity has formed.

By following these recommendations, your veneers will stay in great shape for many years.