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Improve your Smile with Dental Veneers
If you want to improve your smile, dental veneers are a simple option. Veneers are thin coverings that are placed over the front (visible) part of the tooth. They look like natural teeth. Veneers can be used to correct a wide range of dental issues, such as:
• teeth that are permanently stained and can't be whitened
Veneers are made of either porcelain or composite resin. Your dentist will help you choose the material that is best for you. Each type of veneer has its own benefits.
A porcelain veneer is a thin shell that is custom-made to fit on the front surface of your tooth.
Benefits of porcelain veneers:
• they are strong and long-lasting
Steps to placing a porcelain veneer:
1. To prepare the tooth, your dentist usually removes a small amount of enamel from the front and sides of your tooth. This makes room for the veneers so that your teeth look natural.
2. Your dentist makes an impression, or a mold, of the prepared tooth. They also work with you to decide on the veneer shade that will look best for your smile.
3. The impression is sent to a dental lab that custom-makes the porcelain veneer to fit your tooth. This may take several days. Your dentist may give you a temporary veneer to wear until your porcelain veneer is ready.
4. At the next visit, your dentist places the veneer on your tooth to check its fit and shape. After any adjustments, your teeth are cleaned and the veneer is bonded to the tooth.
5. Your dentist may need to make minor adjustments to your bite at a later appointment.
Composite resin veneers
A composite resin veneer is made from a tooth-colored filling material that is bonded to the tooth.
Benefits of composite resin veneers:
• usually less tooth enamel needs to be removed than for a crown or a porcelain veneer
Steps to place composite resin veneers:
1. After your tooth is prepared or reshaped, your dentist carefully bonds and sculpts the composite material. They will work with you to decide on the veneer shade that will look best for your smile.
2. A special light is used to harden the composite and bond it to your tooth.
3. The veneer is smoothed and polished to look like your natural tooth.
What you should know before you get a veneer
• Your teeth and gums must be healthy. Your dentist can treat any disease or decay before your veneer is placed.
After you get veneers
• Veneers can chip or break under pressure. Avoid biting your fingernails and chewing on hard objects, such as pencils or ice.
Before-and-after photos courtesy of John R. Nosti, DMD, FAGD, FACE, FICOI, SmileDesignNYC.com. Reprinted with permission from Dentaltown Magazine.
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