The terminology “dental veneers” refers to a thin ceramic shell or layer that is placed over the surface of a tooth. They are made from restorative materials that are used for aesthetic purposes as well as protecting the surface area of a damaged tooth. They are basically used to help an individual have better looking teeth and a nicer smile, hence the fact that they are used by many cosmetic dentists. Additionally, the process of applying dental veneers is not as complex as the process of getting crowns but more complex than bonding.
Veneers are most commonly used to restore damaged, discolored, fractured, or gaped teeth. The material is usually about a millimeter in thickness and is typically placed on the surface of a tooth that is still healthy and intact. Unlike the application of a crown, a tooth does not have to be filed down or shaped in any way to apply dental veneers. They can be used to lengthen teeth or widen them while being available in about 25 different shades. As they are a protective layer, veneers can reduce the sensitivity to cold, heat, and sweets.
Different types of dental veneers
There are basically 4 different types of dental veneers that are being used by cosmetic dentists today. These include:
Composite veneers – these can usually be fitted in only one trip to the dentist. They have been polished and are smoothed in order to look like normal teeth but are not as strong as porcelain veneers. These are prone to fracturing when eating crunchy or hard foods but they can be easily repaired.
Palatal veneers – these are dental veneers that are usually constructed out of gold, but they can also be manufactured out of composite materials or porcelain. These veneers are used on the palate side (inside) of a person’s upper teeth specifically for the management and treatment of tooth wear.
Porcelain veneers – thin ceramic shells that get bonded on the front side of one’s teeth. Dental veneers have no metal in the material they are made from unlike the typical dental crown. It usually takes to visits to the dentist to have porcelain dental veneers completed. The dentist will take an impression of your teeth and apply a temporary veneer made from plastic on your first visit. The temporary veneers are removed and replaced with your permanent veneers on the second visit.
Non-permanent veneers – made from a flexible type of resin material, non-permanent veneers are available and can be easily removed as needed. There are even kits available for making your own non-permanent veneers at home.
In most cases, a portion of the tooth’s enamel is removed prior to applying dental veneers. However, the tooth is not usually filed down or reshaped like it is done with crowns. As a result, you may experience some temporary sensitivities to cold or hot beverages and food. Additionally, certain individuals are not the best candidates for receiving dental veneers due to overall poor dental health.