Veneers are a widely used cosmetic dental procedure in which we place a covering over the visible area of the tooth. A veneer is a tooth-shaped “shell” made of a thin porcelain material that is bonded to the front of the tooth. Usually this procedure is applied to teeth that are most visible when talking or smiling. They can be used to show a whiter, brighter smile, or to give the appearance of straighter teeth. Veneers can fix the gaps between teeth, or improve the appearance of teeth that are discolored, misshaped, or misaligned.
Porcelain veneers are very popular because they provide the most natural results and can help make teeth look straight and white. The material is tolerated well by the gums and is very resistant to stain. It is not considered to be a very invasive procedure, as it does not require taking off much of the healthy tooth structure. Although porcelain is inherently a brittle material, when it is bonded to the teeth it becomes very strong and durable.
How are veneers put on the teeth?
The teeth are cleaned and any old surface restorations are removed to provide a bacteria free base for the veneer. Next, an impression is taken of the prepared tooth and a veneer is custom fabricated in a laboratory to the exact shape of the tooth. It is applied to the tooth with a bonding resin and set with a special curing light. After the bond is set, it is shaped and polished to look like a natural tooth.
What is the difference between porcelain Veneers and composite Bonding?
Since porcelain is a glass-like material, it is translucent and lets an amount of light pass through. Because of this characteristic, veneers are closest to mimicking the characteristic lustrous appearance of natural teeth. Veneers are custom fabricated to fit the shape of the teeth, while composite bonding is a substance placed directly onto the tooth.