If your teeth are broken, cracked or severely stained, take heart: Your dentist can help restore your smile. One of the most popular elective dental treatments, veneers are extremely thin “shells” that cover the surface of your teeth. Veneers can greatly improve the appearance of your teeth by changing their shape and color. According to the American Dental Association, veneers are made in a lab by dental technicians and are specially shaped to fit your teeth.
Made out of either porcelain or resin composite materials, veneers are typically irreversible, as they require the removal of a small amount of the tooth’s enamel. At your first appointment, your dentist will make a model of your tooth to send to the lab. One or two weeks later, you will then return to have the veneer bonded to your tooth.
During the bonding process, your dentist will make sure the veneer is the correct size and color. He or she will also trim the veneer to ensure it fits exactly to the desired shape. A special cement is then applied to your roughened tooth to help the veneer stay permanently in place. In many cases, your dentist may ask to see you for a follow-up appointment to make sure the veneer is placed correctly and is not causing any other problems. Veneers typically last for about 10 years, depending on the material used and the patient’s oral hygiene.
Your dentist may recommend using caution when consuming beverages that can stain teeth, such as red wine or coffee, to reduce the chance of your veneers becoming discolored. You should also be careful not to chip or damage them by putting unnecessary pressure on your teeth (for instance, biting your nails or chewing on ice). Despite these cautions, veneers are an excellent way to increase your pride in your smile. Talk to a dentist on your True Care discount dental plan to learn how you can get started today.