Veneers are thought of as a decorative tool; metaphorically, a thin veneer is used to mask the unsightly truth. In dentistry, veneers are a bit different; they are used for aesthetic purposes, to be sure, but they can also protect cracked, worn and chipped teeth from damage. They are sometimes used in lieu of crowns for minor tooth restorations; understanding what they’re made of and how they work can help you better decide if veneers are right for you.
The first step to getting a veneer is to consult with your dentist; they’ll evaluate the state of your teeth and recommend veneers, or another solution like a composite resin bonding or a crown, depending on the state of your teeth. X-rays of your mouth may be taken, and impressions may be made of your mouth. Once this has been done, your dentist will be able to make a solid recommendation.
Should veneers be the best option for you, there are two materials that can be used: a composite resin or dental porcelain. Dental porcelain tends to last a bit longer than composite resin but is a bit pricier to apply. Dental porcelain veneers usually take two visits to the dentist before they are complete, while composite resin veneers can generally be done in one visit.
When applying a composite resin veneer, your dentist will start by applying a chemical on the front of your tooth; the chemical roughens your tooth, allowing the resin to bond to it more easily. The resin will then be applied to the front of the tooth, and a bright light is used to harden it. This work is done in layers until the desired thickness has been achieved; at that point, your dentist will shape and polish the resin so it looks and feels natural.
Porcelain veneers are a bit more complex, as they must be crafted before being applied to the tooth. Your dentist will anesthetize the area they’ll be working on, remove a thin layer of enamel and create a mold of the tooth. A temporary veneer will be applied while your dentist creates the porcelain veneer, which will be applied on your next visit. The temporary veneer is fragile and comes loose easily, so it’s best to be cautious when eating or cleaning your teeth. On your next visit, a chemical to roughen the tooth’s surface will be applied, and the porcelain veneer will be applied.
Both porcelain veneers and their composite resin cousins have a tremendous advantage over other options: they are the same colour as your natural teeth. They cannot, however, be used in all circumstances; especially on molars, where you’re likely to bite down hard, crowns may be a preferred option for some restoration work. There are Winnipeg veneers available for patients whose conditions qualify. Should you have any cosmetic concerns about your teeth, or should you experience any kind of pain or disfigurement in your teeth, visit your dentist to find practical solutions.