Porcelain or composite veneers

Veneers may help you obtain the smile you would like to have. Veneers are used to treat cavities but also to restore the esthetic of your smile. They can be used to change the shape, the color, the angle of your teeth or to close up the space in between them.

There are two different types of veneers; porcelain veneers or composite veneers.

Porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel. It is often the material of choice for those wanting to make slight position alterations, or to change tooth shape, size and/or color.

Placement of porcelain veneers will most likely require two appointments at your dentist. At your first appointment, impressions of your teeth will be taken to send out to the lab to fabricate the veneers. Then your dentist may administer a local anesthesia if you are sensitive. He/She will then remove a thin layer of enamel from the front part of your natural teeth in order to make room for the placement of the veneers. The veneer treatment is irreversible, once the enamel is removed, you have to have veneers or crowns. Your dentist will now cement temporary veneers in place until the permanent veneers have returned from the lab.

At your second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary veneers and cement the permanent ones. They will be adjusted once they are in your mouth in order to obtain the best fit.

Composite veneers

Placement of composite veneers only requires one visit to your dentist. Composite veneers are less resistant than porcelain veneers and may stain or change color the same way a filling can.

The treatment:

The dentist will first administer a local anesthesia and again, will remove a thin layer of enamel from the front part of your teeth to make room for the composite veneer. He will then apply a thin layer of composite material, molding it into the desired shape. He will keep on adding thin layers until the veneer is completely formed. Finally, he will polish it in order to make it smooth and make sure that the fit is perfect.

In order to determine if you are a good candidate for veneers, you will need to have a consult with your dentist. He/She will need to evaluate your teeth to see if they are healthy enough, have sufficient enamel and enough tooth surface to support veneers. If there is not enough tooth structure available, a crown may be a better solution. Your gums will also need to be evaluated to ensure they are free from inflammation or infection. Your dentist may suggest that you have a professional cleaning first to make sure your gums are healthy and free from infection. Your dentist will also look for any signs of clenching or grinding. Clenching or grinding your teeth may break your veneers. A night guard may be fabricated for you after the veneers are placed to protect them.

Your dentist or dental hygienist will inform you on the ways to maintain good oral hygiene with veneers. Just as with the rest of your teeth, the teeth with veneers need to be brushed twice a day and flossed. A cavity can develop between the veneer and the natural tooth underneath if they are not well cleaned everyday.