If you are hesitant to smile because you have chipped, broken, or discolored teeth, you may want to consider dental veneers. Dental veneers, also called porcelain veneers or dental laminates, can make your teeth even more beautiful than your original teeth! At Sninski and Schmitt Family Dentistry, we have expertise in providing veneers in Cary and Holly Springs to patients who want a nicer, long-lasting smile. In this article, we give you a veneer preparation step-by-step guide so you can know what to expect during this procedure.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are wafer-thin shells made of porcelain or a resin composite material that is permanently bonded to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers change the color, shape, size, or length of your teeth. They are used when dentists are either correcting a single tooth that has a fracture or extreme discoloration or covering several teeth to create a new smile.
Benefits of Veneers
Dental veneers have several benefits:
- Cosmetically repair teeth easily
- Offer a natural appearance
- Minimally invasive procedure
- A quick cosmetic fix for chipped teeth, misshapen teeth, discolored teeth, gaps between teeth
- Permanent and durable
- Permanent tooth whitening
- Viable treatment for enamel loss
Different Types of Veneers
Most dental veneers are made out of porcelain, but they can also be made from resin composite. Porcelain veneers repel stains better than resin veneers. Getting resin composite (also referred to as simply “composite”) veneers is the quicker procedure of the two because they can be made right there in the office. Your dentist matches the resin to the shade of the teeth surrounding the veneer. Then, the resin is added to your teeth, cured, and polished. That’s it!
Porcelain veneers usually take a couple of visits. Your dentist removes a very thin layer of your teeth, takes an impression of the teeth that are being faced, and sends the mold to a lab. After a week or so, the porcelain veneers are bonded to your teeth with cement.
Step 1: Diagnosis and Treatment Plan
In the first appointment, you’ll want to discuss with your dentist the result you are trying to achieve. He/she will examine your teeth, determine whether dental veneers are right for you, and discuss the procedure. Together, you will decide which type of veneer will be used and how many veneers you want to be placed. It may be necessary to take X-rays and make impressions of your mouth and teeth. Your dentist will look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or the need for root canals. If you have any of these conditions, you may not be a candidate for veneers.
Step 2: Preparing for Veneers
In the second appointment, your dentist will trim down, using a grinding tool, about 1/2 millimeter of your tooth enamel to get accurate sizing for the veneers. This amount is nearly the thickness of the veneer that will be added to the tooth surface. You and your dentist will decide whether to numb the area with a local anesthetic before trimming the enamel. Then, he/she takes a mold of your teeth and sends it to a lab for them to create the veneers. It can take 2-4 weeks for the finished veneers to come back. Temporary veneers are prepared and applied for the interim waiting period.
Step 3: Applying the Veneers
At the third appointment, your dentist evaluates the fit, shape, and color of the veneers to make sure they are perfect for you. Then, the dental care team thoroughly cleans your teeth. This is a very important step as it keeps bacteria from getting trapped under the veneer and causing decay. After the cleaning, they use the grinding tool again to create a rough texture on each tooth in order to make it easier for the veneer to adhere. Your dentist uses dental cement to bind the veneer to the tooth and ultraviolet light to harden the cement quickly. The final steps include removing any excess cement, checking your bite, and making any necessary adjustments. They may make a follow-up appointment for a couple of weeks out in order to check your gums and the overall placement of the veneers. Essentially, when you leave the office after this third appointment, your new smile is done!
There is virtually no downtime with veneers like with other dental procedures. Dental veneers don’t require any special care. Just follow good oral hygiene practices as always–brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash as normal. Traditional porcelain veneers usually last 10-15 years and no-prep resin veneers last 5-7 years. Use these precautions to make sure you get the longest life possible for your veneers.:
- Don’t chew hard objects like ice, finger nails, or pens.
- Never use your teeth to open packaging or condiment packages.
- Try not to chew with your front teeth. Cut up hard foods like chocolate bars and eat harder foods with your back teeth.
- Get a splint or retainer to protect your veneers if you grind or clench your teeth.
- Wear a mouth guard while playing sports.
Contact Sninski and Schmitt Family Dentistry in Cary and Holly Springs for Dental Veneers
Contact our professional, experienced team at Sninski and Schmitt Family Dentistry to see if dental veneers is the right option for your teeth. For an appointment, call us in Cary at (919) 467-2203 and Holly Springs at (919) 600-6262, or complete the appointment form below.