Dental veneers, what they are like and when you need them?
They are thin sheets that are placed on the outer face of the tooth for aesthetic purposes. With them, crooked, broken, separated or stained teeth are corrected without lengthy and expensive treatments.
Currently, dental veneers are one of the most demanded treatments in cosmetic dentistry and have evolved the most in recent years.
Their purpose is not functional, but instead, they seek to beautify the smile, improving the teeth’ appearance effectively and quickly.
Dr Aatman Joshipura explains all the details we know about veneers.
WHAT ARE DENTAL VENEERS?
Dental aesthetic veneers are thin pieces or sheets, usually made of porcelain or resin, that adhere to the tooth’s visible face and have an aesthetic function.
Using specific components such as porcelain, small sheets with a thickness of between 0.8 and 1.5 millimetres are manufactured that are placed on the surface of the outer face of the dentition, camouflaging the natural tooth.
They are usually placed in anterior teeth, either in one or several, depending on each case.
WHEN VENEERS ARE USED?
Dental veneers can be used to correct defects such as:
- Crooked teeth.
- Broken pieces.
- Separated teeth (diastemas).
- Stained dentures.
- In case of uneven or worn teeth.FThey are also effective on teeth that have become calcified or darkened after endodontics.
For example, cosmetic veneers can be an alternative to orthodontics if they want to modify their teeth’ shape slightly.
WHAT MATERIALS ARE THEY MADE OF?
There are different materials with which veneers can be made.
Porcelain: These are the most used since they are more aesthetic and resistant. If they are of this type, they require prior preparation and a manufacturing process that can last a few days.
Composite or Resin : They are also frequent (which is also used in fillings). These types of veneers are moulded directly and can be done in one session. They are cheaper and easier to repair, but they often require maintenance and change colour over time.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Those made of porcelain are more aesthetic and durable but more expensive, with a preparation that requires more time and more complicated repair. This type of veneer does not lose its colour or stain; that is, no spots appear.
Those of composite are cheaper and easier to repair but need touch – ups more frequently. And because they are porous, they can change colour or stain over time.
These are recommended, above all, when you want to modify the size or shape of the tooth slightly or to close pockets (the small black triangles that appear between tooth and tooth).
THE STUDY AND MANUFACTURING PHASE
In general, in the treatment of cosmetic veneers, each patient’s case is usually reported and studied during the first visit, making a diagnosis to determine the best type of treatment.
Subsequently, the various shades and results are shown to the patient to see what the final effect of the treatment would be like.
An approximation can be made, either in plaster models or virtually by computer. A model can also be made in resin that shows how the patient’s smile would look.
Veneers require more miniature enamel carving than crowns.
The resin can be available to the patient for placement the same day and, in porcelain, it takes several days.
Sometimes the natural tooth must be slightly altered. One of the advantages of porcelain veneers is that, as they are ultra-thin, they usually require more miniature carving of the crowns’ enamel.
Once said carving has been carried out to compensate for the veneer’s thickness, impressions are taken, and their individualized manufacture is carried out. After a trial phase, they adhere to the tooth and adjust.
Composite veneers are moulded directly onto the tooth, applying the material over the visible part and shaping it until the desired appearance is achieved.
These veneers are usually recommended when the correction is simple or in very young patients since the treatment with porcelain veneers is best done when the growth has been completed, from the age of 18.
A QUICK AND PAINLESS PROCESS
On the second visit, the teeth are prepared to place the veneers. The usual thing is to put them all in the same session, adjusting limits and occlusion.
The procedure’s duration can range from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the number of veneers placed on the patient. It is not painful and rarely requires anaesthesia.
Once the veneers are in place, it is unnecessary to take any specific care in the following days.
CAN THEY FALL OR DO THEY HAVE TO BE CHANGED?
Porcelain veneers are the most resistant; they usually last between 10 and 15 years.
In the case of composite ones, they last between 5 and 10 years. If they come off, the dentist can reposition them. In this type of veneers, if stains appear, with a simple polishing, they disappear; however, being more porous, over time, they may need to be changed.
Over the years, gaps may appear with the gum, leaks or any other problem that recommends its replacement. Hence the importance of periodic reviews.
HABITS TO KEEP THEM IN GOOD CONDITION
The care that must be taken to keep them in good condition are the usual ones for the maintenance of the mouth:
An excellentdaily oral hygiene.
Periodic reviews with the dentist.
If nocturnal tightening or grindingis observed, it should be reported to the dentist as soon as possible.
With compositeveneers, you must be especially careful with foods or drinks with intense colouration such as coffee, red wine, cola, dark chocolate, red fruits … and do not exceed their consumption as they can stain the teeth.
And, just like natural teeth, tobacco can also darken resin veneers. All this does not affect the tone of the porcelain since it does not stain.
Using your teethto pry open or break an object can put the integrity of the veneers at risk, as well as biting into very hard or sticky foods, as they can come loose or break.
And if contact sportsare practised, a mouthguard should be used.