Cosmetic dentistry is a dedicated branch of dentistry that helps patients get a better smile. Some of the treatment processes involve the use of surgical procedure whereas some use tooth restorations. Out of all the available tooth restorations, porcelain veneers are perhaps the simplest and most versatile ones. Their multiple uses allow several types of oral issues to be treated with ease.
What are veneers?
Veneers, in dentistry, are thin porcelain structures that are used to improve the appearance of the frontal surface of the teeth. Aesthetic issues such as minor cracks, discoloration, chipping, worn-out biting surfaces, etc. can be treated using veneers. They would be fixed to the tooth surfaces by means of dental adhesives.
Advantages of getting veneers
- Veneers do not require the removal of a large amount of enamel during the tooth preparation phase. Removing a thin layer of enamel would suffice.
- Since the veneer is made from tooth-colored ceramic material, it can be customized to a great extent. In fact, the color, texture, translucency, and contour can be made to perfectly mimic that of the natural teeth.
- The process used to bond a veneer to the tooth is quite a simple one. It wouldn't require surgery.
- When a tooth is so badly discolored that teeth whitening doesn't yield the desired results, bonding a veneer to the surface of the tooth is the best solution to the issue.
- A veneer is highly durable. It would last for several years with proper care.
During the initial appointment, the dentist would conduct visual screening and take a couple of scans and x-rays. Certain factors such as damage to the tooth, excessive wear, discoloration, plaque and tartar accumulation, receding of gums, etc. will be taken into consideration. Based on the observations, the candidacy for the veneers will be decided.
A thin layer of enamel will be removed from the tooth surface by buffing it. This is done to make space for the veneers and prevent the tooth from looking bigger after bonding the veneer to it. A digital scan of the tooth will be taken using a hand-held scanner. This is quite efficient and produces accurate dimensions compared to a conventional mold. The data will be sent to a laboratory where it will be used to fabricate a veneer. Meanwhile, the dentist may suggest the use of a temporary veneer until the fabrication is complete.
Once the veneer is ready to be bonded, the dentist prepares the tooth by cleaning and etching it. Etching roughens the tooth surface and ensures the veneer adheres well to it. Dental adhesives will be used to bond the veneer to the tooth. Once the veneer is placed in the right position, a suitable curing light will be used to harden the adhesive. A bite test may be conducted to ensure a perfect fit and comfort.
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