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Cosmetic Dentistry: Help Hide Dental Imperfections with Veneers

You may have heard a dentist, or even a friend or family member mention the word “veneer.” Tooth veneers have become a fairly common way of fixing the appearance of a damaged or discolored tooth. A dental veneer is an easy and quick way to achieve a smile that is beautiful and functional.

For many people, tooth veneers are the perfect treatment for stained, injured or slightly chipped teeth. Dental veneers also correct the appearance of cracked and unevenly worn teeth, as well as other problems that are identified by a dentist, such as cracked tooth syndrome. In many instances, misaligned teeth can be made to look natural yet again.

What are Tooth Veneers?

A dental veneer is a thin piece of porcelain or composite bonding that is made to fit the contour of the patient’s tooth. Porcelain veneers and composite veneers have slightly different properties that allow us to provide patients with different types of smile correction.

The porcelain veneer mimics the natural appearance of the tooth, and this material provides more strength and resilience than your natural tooth enamel! Veneers can be made for more teeth than just one. The slight translucency of porcelain veneers look completely natural, and are made to match the color of your other teeth. However, this translucency means there is a limit to the discoloration a porcelain veneer can correct. As well, since they’re made and then applied to your teeth, there is also a limit to the severity of crookedness or chipping porcelain veneers can repair.

Some tooth veneers are made from a composite resin material. While composite veneers aren’t as strong as porcelain, they’re sometimes a more effective way to correct larger chips or more severe discoloration. This is because they’re sculpted around the tooth, allowing the dentist to mimic specific features of your natural teeth. The opacity of composite tooth veneers sometimes looks less natural than porcelain, and they may need replaced more often than porcelain veneers.

Most of the time, porcelain veneers are preferable for correcting problems of color and shape of teeth. Porcelain is also very long-lasting, making porcelain tooth veneers the best choice for longevity.

Dental Veneers vs Tooth Crowns

You may be wondering what the difference is in veneers vs crowns. Well, they’re different in two main ways: their use and the dental procedure they require. Veneers don’t require drilling the tooth down, and are more useful for surface imperfections and improving the look of the repaired tooth. Crowns are meant to cover an entire damaged tooth and usually do require it to first be drilled and shaped to fit the crown. While both veneers and crowns are considered to be cosmetic dentistry, both also serve to protect the repaired tooth from future damage or decay.

Types of Veneers for Your Teeth

Veneers are custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are placed on the front of your teeth to improve their appearance. You generally have 4 different options for veneers:

  • Porcelain veneers are highly biocompatible; they rarely injure the gum tissues and surrounding soft tissues in the mouth. It requires a slight roughening of the surface of the tooth to properly bond the veneer to the tooth. Porcelain veneers have a very natural looking effect and last a long time.
  • Composite veneers are made of composite resin — a mixture of inorganic and organic materials. They are less expensive than porcelain veneers, but don’t last as long. They’re a bit thicker than their porcelain counterparts, but not as resilient and a tad less natural looking.
  • Lumineers are a super-thin veneer onlay that looks even more natural than porcelain tooth veneers, and can last up to two decades. They don’t require as much alteration to the tooth enamel as porcelain and composite veneers, but they’re also more prone to chipping. And they’re expensive.
  • Removable veneers are kind of like “flippers” or Invisalign-style clip-in installations. This type of veneer requires zero alteration to the teeth and is non-permanent; you can take them out anytime you want. The downside is they might be uncomfortable, they don’t blend as well with your other teeth, and they need to be remade more often than permanent tooth veneers.

What to Expect when Getting Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are not an intrusive procedure like braces or crowns. The usual process requires two appointments because the veneer will be made in a laboratory and then later applied. If necessary, we can apply a temporary veneer until a more permanent solution is available.

The process begins with the dentist preparing the tooth to accept the veneer. This is done by removing a thin layer of enamel to make room for the veneer to be placed over the tooth. Generally, local anesthesia is not required. The permanent veneer is fixed to the tooth by a special adhesive and cement process. A UV light is used for 60 seconds to cure the veneer. Any excess material will be removed and the margins of the veneer will be polished.

A properly made and attached tooth veneer will last for many years. The patient will need to provide the same care for the tooth with the veneer as they would for the other teeth. And while veneers can be pricey, they are a top choice for many people looking to have a near perfect smile!

A Family & Cosmetic Dentist in Cincinnati Offering All Kinds of Tooth Veneers

If you are considering dental veneers and you’re in the Cincinnati area, contact Beckham Square Family Dental today to get more information and see if you may be good candidate. Call us today at 513.489.7800, or use our contact form.


Healthline: Veneers vs Lumineers: What’s the Difference?

NewMouth: What are Dental Veneers & How do They Work?