What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin facades of advanced ceramic that can be applied to your teeth to reshape and whiten them. They can be used on a single tooth or be applied to multiple teeth to give you a smile makeover.

What can dental veneers do for me?

Dental veneers can correct many of the complaints people often have about their smile. It can be used to correct:

  • Small teeth, such as peg laterals or retained baby teeth
  • Poorly shaped teeth
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Gaps in the smile
  • Crooked, rotated, or crowded teeth
  • Discolored teeth

It can correct all these problems at once to give you the smile you desire in one procedure.

What is the dental veneer process like?

To start the dental veneers process, we will talk to you about your cosmetic goals and design your new smile.

Next, we will have an appointment where we prepare your teeth for veneers and take impressions of your teeth. These impressions will be sent off to a lab where your veneers will be made, and you will wear temporary veneers while your permanent ones are being made.

Finally, we will apply your veneers. You can try them on to get a look at them before we bond them permanently to your teeth. This means that in the rare case of a problem with the final veneers, you will have a chance to do last-minute changes to size, shape, or color.

Does the dental veneer process hurt?

Only a small amount of tooth material is removed from your teeth to prepare for dental veneers. For most people, there is no discomfort involved, but some are more sensitive than others. If you are anxious, we offer sedation dentistry to help you relax for the procedure.

Are dental veneers better for whitening my teeth?

In some cases, teeth whitening is not effective. This is usually in the case of teeth that are discolored because of:

  • Tooth trauma
  • Imperfect enamel due to antibiotics or too much fluoride
  • A dead tooth pulp

In these cases, dental veneers are your best option for whitening.

What is “instant orthodontics”?

Instant orthodontics is a term that is sometimes used to describe straightening your teeth using dental veneers. It’s not accurate because the procedure isn’t instant (it takes about a month, compared to the year or more necessary for orthodontics) and it doesn’t really fit into the category of orthodontics. In addition to being faster, dental veneers do mean you won’t have to wear a retainer to maintain your results.

But dental veneers are not appropriate if you have bite problems that put excessive force on your veneered teeth.

How long do dental veneers last?

Most studies show that dental veneers typically last ten years or more. A recent study looked at the survival rate of dental veneers and said that it was likely five out of six veneers are likely to be in place after 20 years.

But aren’t dental veneers made of fragile porcelain?

Dental veneers are sometimes called porcelain veneers, and, yes, they are technically made of porcelain. But porcelain just refers to the white color of the material, not to its composition. Modern dental veneers are made of heat-pressed ceramic composite that is very strong and durable.

Want to learn more about dental veneers? Please contact us today for an appointment at our cosmetic dentistry office in Seattle.