Dental veneers are a form of cosmetic dentistry in which a shell or layer of tooth-colored porcelain or composite is placed over the facial surfaces of your teeth. Veneers are used to correct worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment or spacing, discoloration, chips and cracks.
Dental veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry. They create bright, white smiles with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. They also protect the surface of damaged teeth and may eliminate the need for more extensive treatments.
Other benefits of veneers include durability, an improved smile appearance, and the need for little-to-no removal of tooth structure compared to crowns.
Porcelain dental veneers or direct composite veneers may require the “shaping” or “prepping” of all teeth being treated. Depending on the current color of your teeth we might first recommend teeth whitening to people with mildly discolored teeth who want a whiter and brighter smile because it is the least invasive cosmetic dentistry option, and obviously because teeth whitening will match your veneer color.
If crooked teeth or alignment issues are involved, whitening also may be combined with orthodontic treatments, including Invisalign.
The two most common materials used to fabricate or create dental veneers are composite resin and porcelain.
Indirect (created outside of your mouth) porcelain veneers and composite veneers are made by a dental technician in a dental laboratory; direct (created directly on your teeth) composite veneers are made by Dr. Sheehy during your visit at our San Mateo dental office.
Porcelain dental veneers are more appropriate solutions for severe cases involving dullness, wear, discoloration, extensive chipping, cracking, spacing or uneven teeth. Composite bonding or just bonding — which refers to direct composite veneers — is an inexpensive, effective and minimally invasive way to restore and correct small chips, cracks and discoloration in the teeth.
The preparation process to apply veneers is done in several visits. A veneer is approximately one half of a millimeter in thickness, so it will be necessary for us to shave precisely that amount of enamel from the front of your teeth. Minimal or no pain is involved, but a local anesthetic can be administered to relieve the discomfort.
Impressions are them made which will require you to bite down into a bite tray full of special dental wax, that will harden and be used as a guide to shape your new veneers.
Proper care must be taken to ensure that your veneers will last a lifetime, Dr. Sheehy and his dental staff advise when the procedure is done of food items and habits like opening objects with your teeth, that will chip or fracture them.
Veneers are durable and have been shown to last for many years before requiring replacement. Visiting Dr. Sheehy’s family dental care office and our hygienist for regular examinations and dental cleanings is important for maintaining the health of your mouth and longevity of your veneers.
Call us to set an appointment or to receive a Free second opinion at Dr. Sheehy’s San Mateo Family Dental Care Office.