Dental veneers have proven very useful to patients who have cosmetic tooth concerns. The veneer is actually a thin layer of dental material that is shaped like a tooth. The veneer maintains a natural white color and shape so it blends well with your existing teeth. The layer is applied directly to the surface of the tooth, covering up any existing aesthetic flaws.
Dental veneers are usually made of porcelain or composite material. These are made one of two ways. One method is to have the veneer constructed in a dental lab by a skilled technician. The second is to actually apply the material to the tooth to build it up directly in the patient’s mouth. A resin cement is used when bonding laboratory-made dental veneers to the patient’s teeth.
Early dental veneers were researched by Simonsen and Calamia in 1982. The research revealed that porcelain etched with hydrofluoric acid could be permanently applied to a tooth. The very first dental veneers were not permanent and were often used by actors to change the way their teeth looked while performing. Today, patients can have porcelain veneers applied to their teeth that will last for many, many years and can have a dramatic effect on the way the patient’s teeth look when speaking and smiling.
Dental veneers are very versatile in what they can do. Dentists use them to solve a few different problems. Tooth shape can be corrected with a veneer. The added layer will help even out the way the edges of the tooth looks and conceal any chips. Patients who experience noticeable tooth discoloration may opt to have dental veneers applied. In this instance, the veneer covers up discoloration that tooth whitening was not able to remove. The patient’s smile looks natural while concealing any defects that might be present.
The human tooth changes over time. Daily habits can hurt or help the appearance of a tooth. Coffee, wine and other dark colored beverages can actually stain teeth when drank repeatedly over time. Improper tooth care can also cause discoloration as well as tobacco use. Even aging can cause tooth yellowing. No matter how persistent some patients are when it comes to tooth care, aging sometimes causes discoloration that cannot be prevented entirely. A dental veneer can help reverse the cosmetic effects of aging on teeth.
If you are interested in having dental veneers applied to your teeth, it is important to talk to your general dentist. Your dental professional can answer any questions you have and evaluate the condition of your teeth to determine if there is an alternative solution that may be better. They can also discuss how the dental veneer application process works and what to expect afterwards.