Veneers are thin, custom made plates of tooth-colored material designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. They are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.

Veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers can be thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement.

Getting a dental veneer requires two visits; one to prepare your teeth for the veneer and one to permanently place the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process.

To prepare a tooth for a veneer, some of the enamel is removed from the tooth surface. This amount is nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. An impression is taken of your tooth and is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. For very unsightly teeth, temporary dental veneers can be placed. There are some veneer systems that do not require any removal of tooth structure. Not removing some enamel can affect the final look of the veneers. Schedule an appointment to discuss which option is best for you.

Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, it is temporarily placed on your tooth to examine its fit and color. The veneer color can be adjusted slightly with the shade of cement to be used. The veneer is attached to your tooth with a procedure called bonding. In the same manner in which orthodontic brackets are affixed to teeth, the veneer is bonded with a resin based cement. A UV light is applied, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden or cure very quickly. Any excess cement is removed and your bite is evaluated and any final adjustments are made in the veneer as necessary.

Advantages of veneers include; they provide a natural tooth appearance, they can make dark teeth appear whiter, do not require as much tooth removal as crowns and offer a stronger more aesthetic alternative to resin bonding.
Disadvantages to veneers include; the process is not reversible if tooth structure is removed, they are more costly than composite resin bonding, are usually not repairable should they chip or crack, and are not a good option for individuals who clench and grind their teeth.

Veneers generally last between 5 and 10 years. The time depends on your oral care and any oral habits that may chip or dislodge your veneers. Certain habits should be avoided with any porcelain restoration, such as biting your nails, chewing on pencils, ice or other hard objects that put excessive pressure on your teeth. Dental veneers do not require any special care. Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices including brushing and flossing as you normally would.

Alternatives to veneers include composite bonding and crowns. Veneers offer a nice intermediate option. Veneers may be best suited for individuals who want to change the shape, position and/or color of their teeth more than just a little bit, (as with bonding), but not enough to require a crown.

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Contact TriValley Family Dentistry today to make your appointment or view our Dental Office Location here.