With improved technology and a wide range of orthodontic treatments, wearing braces is now history. If you are looking to reshape your smile, we offer alternatives to traditional braces at the office of Dr. Dipika T. Shah, DDS, including Invisalign, incognito braces, and ceramic braces.
If you do not want to wear braces but still want fast results, you might want to try out porcelain veneers.
Referred to as porcelain veneers sometimes, dental veneers are tooth-like shells tailored to cover the front part of teeth with the goal of improving your appearance. The shells are adhered to your front teeth to change their shape, color, length, or size.
Types of Veneers
Veneers are classified according to the type of materials they are made of. These materials are resin composite and porcelain. Compared to resin veneers, porcelain veneers are better stain resistants. Also, they bear a close resemblance to your natural teeth, so they aren’t easily noticeable.
Benefits of Veneers
The most significant benefit of porcelain veneers is improving your smile. Here are some issues that can be fixed by veneers:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Discoloration that can’t be removed by whitening
- Teeth gaps
- Misaligned or irregularly shaped teeth
- Worn-down teeth
- Teeth that are unusually shaped or pointed
Dental Veneer Procedure
To get veneers, you need to make two visits to the dentist. The first visit is for consultation, the second for preparation, while the last is for fitting the veneers.
- First Visit: During the first appointment, discuss your desired results with your dentist. It is during this visit that the dentist examines your teeth to ensure veneers are a suitable treatment option for you. This is also the time for your dentist to discuss the procedure, its merits, and demerits. They may also request X-rays and make impressions of your teeth and mouth.
- Second Visit: During your second visit, the dentist will prepare your teeth to receive veneers. Reshaping of the tooth surface is necessary to create room for the veneers, so it looks natural. A small portion of the enamel is removed, and you may choose to undergo the trimming procedure under anesthetics. Afterward, the dentist makes an impression of your teeth and sends the model to an external laboratory where veneers are manufactured. The process could take up to four weeks. In the meantime, you will be fitted with temporary dental veneers.
- Last Visit: Once your veneers are ready, your dentist will call you in for a fitting. During this appointment, the dentist accesses the veneers’ fit, coloration, and shape to ensure they suit you. Once these are ascertained, they proceed to give your teeth a thorough cleaning. This is an essential step as it removes any bacteria that could accumulate beneath the veneer and cause decay. Your dentist then uses a grinding tool to give the teeth in question a rough texture, making it easy to bond the veneers to them.
The final step is binding the veneers to the teeth using a special kind of cement. To ensure the cement hardens quickly, they use ultraviolet light.
The recovery period for veneers is considerably shorter compared to other cosmetic dentistry procedures. Once the veneers are in place, and the anesthesia has finally worn off, you can jump right back into your routine. However, while still under the effect of anesthesia, avoid chewing on your tongue or cheeks.
It is common to feel roughness on the teeth on which the veneers have been attached, but this shouldn’t worry you as it is from the bonding cement. With time, the roughness will wear down.
Here are some tips to ensure the longevity of veneers:
- Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice, fingernails, and pens
- Do not open packaging with your teeth
- Use your back teeth for most of the chewing
- If you have bruxism, it will help if you got a nightguard
- Wear a mouthguard every time you engage in contact sports
Why Porcelain Veneers are better than Braces
Porcelain veneers have a lot of benefits over braces when it comes to shaping your teeth.
- They address more oral health issues in a considerably shorter time
- They aren’t uncomfortable and painful like braces
- Unlike with braces, your speech won’t be affected
- You won’t have to take them off while eating
- Braces come with a lot of food limitations. With porcelain veneers, however, you can eat whatever you want.
- They come with a low maintenance factor, unlike braces that require a lot of special care