Dental Veneers

Most people have heard of dental veneers, but not many
know exactly what a dental veneer is. In the simplest terms a
veneer is an overlay for the teeth. Veneers are fabricated from
a composite resin, better known as porcelain. A person who is
wants to have veneers placed on their teeth would be wise to see
a cosmetic dentist; however skilled general dentists are also
able to do the procedure.

Why would someone want dental veneers?

Veneers are most often purely cosmetic. Someone who has
a lot of staining on their teeth may want to consider dental
veneers to cover up the staining. Discoloration of the teeth
often occurs in people who smoke or drink a lot of coffee and
dark sodas. People can also get dark spots on their teeth from
poor oral hygiene or excessive fluoride intake.

Veneers can be fabricated to be larger than the actual
tooth. This can be very helpful for those who have exceptionally
small teeth or those who have large gaps between their teeth. In
some cases where the teeth are only slightly misaligned, veneers
can be an alternative to braces.

There are some cased when veneers may be used for non-
cosmetic reasons. A dentist might recommend veneers to a patient
who has a lot of wear to the enamel of their teeth or to a
patient who grinds their teeth excessively.

If you are considering having veneers placed over your
teeth, you should take into consideration that they will change
the shape of your teeth permanently. A veneer cannot simply be
removed if you do not like them.

The procedure for placing a dental veneer on teeth involves
shaving the actual tooth down to a smaller size. This allows the
dentist to place the porcelain over the tooth.

Another thing that you dentist may ask is whether you want
pure porcelain or the composite resin. Pure Porcelain is the
most popular, because it holds it is less likely to discolor
over time. It is important, however that you discuss the pros
and cons of each option with your dentist.

Composite Resin vs. Porcelain Veneers

Unlike porcelain veneers, resin veneers can be fabricated
inside the mouth or they can be created in a lab. The upside to
resin is that your veneers can be finished in one visit to your
dentist. They can also be repaired if they are chipped. This can
save money as well.

Another nice thing about resin veneers is that they
are less expensive than porcelain; however they tend to be
susceptible to staining and don't last as long as porcelain.

As mentioned above porcelain veneers tend to be more
popular than composite resin, because of their brilliant white
color and resistance to staining. Porcelain will last for a long
time, usually 10-15 years before it will need to be replaced.
There is also a downside to porcelain. Porcelain veneers
are easier the chip than composite resin. There is no repair
process for a porcelain veneer. It must be completely replaced.
If you decide to go with porcelain then you will need to avoid
biting into hard foods. Foods such as raw carrots, apples, and
hard pretzels can chip your veneers. This doesn't mean that you
cannot enjoy these foods if you have veneers. What it does mean
is that you will have to cut them up and place them into your
mouth rather than bite into them.

How to care for your veneers:

People who have a tendency to clench or grind their teeth
in their sleep should wear a night guard to prevent the veneers
from chipping. Night guards can be purchased at a drugstore for
a reasonable price. Your dentist can also customize a night
guard for you.

As always practice good oral hygiene. Make sure to continue
to brush your teeth in the morning and the evening. You should
also floss daily to prevent food and bacteria from getting
trapped in between your veneers.

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