Veneers are really about putting your best smile forward. A veneer is a beautifully crafted porcelain facing that is cemented (glued) to the front surface of your tooth. A veneer can be matched to exactly replicate your natural tooth as in the case of restoring a chipped tooth. Or it can be designed to give you the shape or colour of teeth you have always wanted. They can also be used to close gaps between teeth or make crooked teeth appear straight. Some patients chose veneers as an alternative to braces or in conjunction with braces to shorten their treatment time.
First, we will listen to your needs and wants carefully to help us understand what you are looking for in a new smile. It is helpful if you bring in pictures of smiles from magazines or the internet that you like. In the planning process, we will take moulds of your teeth and make a 3D prototype of what your teeth can look like. We are then able to give you a preview before we do anything to your teeth. This helps give both of us confidence that we are on the right track. Once you are happy with the plan, we get started by preparing the teeth and taking moulds so the ceramic specialist can make your porcelain veneers to the agreed-upon design and colour. We then make prototypes for you to wear at home to try out the new shape of your teeth. After approximately a week, we check in with you to see if there are any changes to the prototypes that you would like to see before the ceramist completes the final artistry for your veneers. Once the veneers are received back from the dental ceramic specialist, they are carefully evaluated by the dentist to ensure they meet our technical expectations. After approximately 2 weeks from the day we prepared your teeth and took the impressions, it’s time to try in the veneers for your approval, to make any artistic changes to enhance the appearance and verify they are functioning as well as or better than your natural teeth did. If you are pleased we then use a special cement to glue them to your teeth, welcome to your new smile!
How do veneers straighten my teeth?
Veneers don’t actually straighten the position of crooked teeth, only orthodontic treatment can do that. What they can do is give the illusion of straight teeth. Your dentist carefully reshapes the front face of your tooth and then places the veneer so that all of your teeth appear perfectly aligned. This can also be done to correct colour issues that cannot be resolved with bleaching alone.
Does it hurt?
Having veneers done is a lot like having a filling done. Your teeth will be frozen (numbed) to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. Sedation is also available. Once the teeth have been shaped, a prototype of your veneer(s) will be custom designed for you to wear while the dental lab is fabricating your porcelain veneers. It takes about a week. During this time you will be able to give feedback about your prototypes so that we can be sure to get the shape of teeth you desire. You may also be asked to visit the lab if a custom shade is required to get a perfect match.
Once the veneers have been made, it’s time for the try-in to make sure you are satisfied with the result before your exquisitely designed veneers are permanently cemented to your teeth.
Can a veneer break?
A veneer acts like the natural enamel of your teeth. Just like a tooth can chip or break, a veneer can too. We carefully design the veneer to minimize heavy bite forces that break teeth. If you have a tendency to grind your teeth at night (see TMD), a nighttime orthotic or splint may be recommended. In complex cases where there has been a lot of tooth wear or big changes to the bite are being considered, your dentist may suggest you wear your prototypes for a longer period to make sure your investment will last. Don’t worry, they are almost as beautiful as the real thing.
Can I still get a cavity?
Yes, veneers only cover the front face of the tooth. The rest of the tooth remains unchanged and so, a healthy diet and good oral hygiene will help keep your teeth at their strongest.
At Braeside Dental Centre, we offer you a variety of dental veneer options to choose from. Are you curious about getting dental veneers? Come talk to us about what’s best for you, we are here to help you bring your best smile to life.