Veneers are small pieces of extremely thin porcelain that are used to cover the front of the teeth for cosmetic purposes. The porcelain can be shaped to match the patient’s own teeth or to create a whole new smile. Dentists often recommend the use of veneers to correct small imperfections like filling in gaps, altering the surface shape and size of a tooth. The porcelain used to create the veneer can be tinted to match the surrounding teeth. They are easy to apply to the teeth and can be used to cover one tooth or several, depending on the severity of the problem. Veneers can be made using digital imaging and produced rather quickly.
Veneers can be used to cover almost any type of imperfection except for a tooth that has been lost or badly broken. Gaps between the teeth, small teeth, irregularly shaped teeth, and teeth that are discolored can be easily corrected with the use of veneers. If the color, size, and shape of the teeth are the problem, the dentist may have to apply veneers to the front of several teeth to provide a more uniform and balanced look of the smile. Veneers can be used to correct imperfections with one or two teeth, or they can be used to correct many teeth at one time.
Veneers are intended to be permanent. In order for the porcelain to be able to properly attach to the surface of the tooth, the thin layer of enamel must be removed. The dentist will sand or buff the enamel off of the tooth before applying the bonding cement and veneer. Once the veneer is in place, it will be allowed to cure or set. Once this process is complete, the veneer is considered to be firmly attached. If a veneer is damaged, a new one will have to be put in its place to protect the tooth. Because the enamel was removed from the surface of the tooth, it will always have to be covered with either a crown or another veneer. Proper post-op care such as good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are essential.
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