Many people turn to veneers to get the smile they want, but if you’re considering this type of cosmetic dentistry treatment, you may wonder exactly how they work and whether they’re safe.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are very thin shells of tooth-colored materials – like porcelain or composite resin – that cover the front surface of your teeth. They’re custom made to re-create the look of your natural teeth and are bonded to each tooth’s enamel.
Why Are They Used?
Veneers can help improve the appearance of your teeth. The following are some common reasons why patients get veneers:
- Brighten natural teeth
- Improve appearance of worn down, chipped, or broken teeth
- Correct teeth that are misaligned, uneven or shaped irregularly
How Do You Take Care of Veneers?
You brush and floss your veneers just as you would your natural teeth. They’re very strong, but you still shouldn’t use your veneer-covered teeth as tools, bite your fingernails, and chew on hard objects like pencils or ice.
You’ll also need to continue to receive regular dental care, including a follow-up visit so your dentist can check on your veneers.
What Is the Procedure for Getting Veneers?
Your dentist will talk with you about your options and make sure that you’re a good candidate for getting veneers. If they decide that veneers can help improve your smile, X-rays and impressions with be taken of your teeth so you can be properly fitted.
Your veneers are made in a lab, and take about 2-4 weeks to come in. If you need a temporary veneer in the meantime, your dentist should be able to accommodate this.
When your dentist is ready to apply your veneers, your teeth will first need to be prepared. They will remove a very thin layer of enamel. In fact, the amount removed is less than what’s removed before you get a filling. Your teeth will also be cleaned, polished, and etched so the adhesive will bond to their surface.
A cement is applied to the veneers, and they’re placed on your teeth. A special light helps create a quick bond, and your dentist can make any adjustments needed.
The process takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth.
Are Veneers Safe?
Veneers are a common cosmetic dentist treatment, and they’re quite safe. They provide plenty of benefits, but they shouldn’t be used if you have certain dental conditions such as weakened enamel or gum disease. If this is the case, your dentist can recommend other cosmetic procedures that will help address your concerns.
Your teeth may also feel increased sensitivity to hot and cold, but this should go away after a few days.
You should also realize that your teeth underneath the veneers can suffer from decay. Maintaining good oral care habits at home as well as making regular dental visits is still very important.
If you’d like to find out more about veneers, make an appointment with Central Avenue Dental in Manhattan and Valley Stream, NY. We’ll help you get the smile you want with the best possible treatments.