Dental veneers have been around since the early 1930s. At that time they were used as a temporary fix to help Hollywood smiles look more glamorous. But veneers have come a long way. With today’s strong, natural-looking materials and improved bonding agents, veneers may easily last ten years or more.
A veneer is a thin covering of luminous porcelain which is shaped and cemented to the front surface of a tooth. Porcelain veneers are a true breakthrough in cosmetic dentistry, able to efficiently and conservatively correct many aesthetic issues such as:
- Stubborn discoloration that does not respond to whitening. A veneer can be applied to a single tooth to match the others beautifully, or veneers may be used on all the teeth that show when you smile, to brighten your look dramatically.
- Gaps between teeth and other minor misalignment. We call this "instant orthodontics," since no braces are required.
- Poorly shaped teeth. Veneers can be used to improve contour, outline, and length of teeth.
Veneers make it easy to give your smile attractive symmetry and youthful whiteness, and are often part of a larger smile enhancement plan. After a consultation to understand what you like and do not like about your smile presently, you are scheduled for a thorough examination and professional cleaning. We take care of necessary restorative work (such as fillings), and we may recommend a whitening program.
Then the teeth to be veneered are "prepped." This consists of removing a minute amount of enamel from the front surfaces to allow the veneers to bond securely and look natural; not blocky. (In some cases low- or no-prep veneers can be completed without this step.) We take digital impressions of your mouth with an iTero scanner and provide that precise information along with your shading preference to a dental laboratory. While the lab is fabricating your permanent veneers, we apply resin temporaries to protect your teeth and let you "test drive" your new look.
You return in about two weeks so that we may remove the interim veneers and apply your lovely new porcelain ones. With just a little finish work and polishing, you are ready to show off your gorgeous new smile.
To keep your veneers looking terrific for a long time, brush after eating as you would normally, with a bit of extra attention at the margin (where the veneers meet your gum line). Floss nightly, and maintain regular check-ups. Avoid biting directly into very hard foods, and talk with Dr. Dixon about wearing a night guard if you tend to clench or grind.
Veneers can change the way you feel about your smile. You’ll find yourself using it more often, confident that you are making a great impression with straight, white teeth.