Dental veneers are a form of cosmetic dentistry, in which a coating or a layer of pressed ceramics in the tooth’s color, is placed over the facial surfaces of the teeth to correct enamel wear, uneven alignment or spacing, discoloration, and cracks.
Cosmetic dental veneers
Whatever the cause, dental veneers may solve most or even all cosmetic dental problems, including:
- Enamel wear: over time, the translucent substance that covers the teeth (enamel) may wear out, destroy and discolor. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or a result of a genetic predisposition. However, these effects often result from the consumption of soft drinks, tea or coffee, smoking, use of certain medications, etc.
- Teeth wear: teeth wear out naturally with age. Teeth are prone to crack, fracture and an overall uneven aspect.
- Genetics: some people develop an abnormal spacing between their teeth, which widens with age.
- Uneven teeth: can result from general wear of the teeth and different habits such as bruxism (grinding teeth).
Pressed ceramic dental veneers
The most suitable material used to build or create dental veneers is pressed ceramics. There are two types of ceramic dental veneers:
No-prep or Lumineers: teeth are not polished at all. A mold is taken, and the dental veneers are applied to the teeth without any intervention from the dentist. This type of veneers are suitable only in certain cases: when the patient has teeth with spaces between them, or small teeth, but well aligned.
Preparation veneers or veneers: the dentist removes the surface layer (enamel) by polishing, to align the patient’s teeth and to correct teeth position anomalies, to prepare them for applying the future dental veneers.
When are dental veneers recommended?
Eliminating any natural tooth structure is permanent, so dentists prefer to offer patients less invasive options first. If natural teeth are functional and aesthetically adequate, dental veneers might not be the right treatment.
However, if teeth are worn or discolored, options may include pressed ceramic dental veneers. Veneers have the added benefit of durability and proven ability to improve the appearance of the mouth, smile and other facial features that are best sustained by appropriate teeth.
Dental veneers or whitening treatment?
Pressed ceramic dental veneers may require the molding or preparation of treated teeth. Therefore, some dentists firstly recommend, a whitening treatment for patients with slightly discolored teeth, who want a whiter and brighter smile, because it is the less invasive option in cosmetic dentistry. If there are no alignment problems, the whitening treatment can be combined with orthodontic treatment.
Care of dental veneers
The abuse of dental veneers should be avoided because the pressed ceramic film may be damaged or broken.
Your dentist can advise against eating certain foods (e.g. carrots) and may recommend wearing a protective device during sleep, especially in the case of bruxism.