What are veneers?
Porcelain veneers, such as Lumineers, are an esthetic solution to improve your smile. Veneers are custom made by a dental laboratory. They consist of thin layers of porcelain that are bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth to improve the color and overall appearance of the teeth.
Teeth may benefit from veneers if they are:
crooked or crowded
discolored and do not respond to teeth whitening
chipped or broken
too short or too long
What is the process for veneers?
Veneers usually take 2 visits to complete. They may be done with or without local anesthesia (Novocain). On the first visit, your dentist may shape the front surfaces of the teeth that are to have veneers. This will prevent the veneers from looking too thick or bulky and give the finished veneers a natural appearance. An impression or mold of the shaped teeth and opposing teeth will be taken and sent to the lab. The dentist may place temporary veneers depending on how much tooth was shaped. At the next appointment, the dentist will try on the finished veneers and check the fit, color, shape and bite. It is best to look at the veneers once they are in place but not cemented to approve the way they look in the mouth. Once the veneers are ready to be affixed to the teeth, the dentist will use strong cement that will hold them in place over the teeth.
Caring for veneers is simple. Proper brushing and flossing accompanied by regular dental checkups and dental cleanings ensures that the veneers and underlying teeth maintain their appearance and integrity. Patients with veneers are discouraged from biting into any food that may crack the porcelain (such as apples, hard candy or a hard crust).
How long do veneers last?
Veneers are meant to last for several years but may need to be replaced for several reasons including:
chipping, cracking or wear
staining or discoloration
Most patients with mild imperfections and good dental health may be candidates for veneers. Patients with poor oral hygiene, active periodontal disease, severe gum recession, large cavities or fillings, severely crooked or misaligned teeth or patients that heavily grind their teeth may not be veneer candidates. Your dentist will be able to discuss other alternatives to help improve your smile.