Dental Veneers were introduced few decades ago in the form of direct composite and indirect porcelain veneers. Direct composite veneers, dentistry’s first attempt at cosmetic dentistry of minimal trauma to tooth structure, were viable treatment options for the time being. The drawbacks of composite veneers are difficulty in placement and achievement of optimum aesthetic results, in addition to their poor color and shade stability. They were often prone to structural failure and fracture. With the advent of porcelain laminate veneers, many of the technical and aesthetic limitation of composite veneers were solved.
What are Veneers
Veneers are a viable option to restore esthetics and appearance in many cases where a desired aesthetic result is requested on teeth that are relatively intact. This means that veneers are not the right choice of restoration for all patients. For example, veneers are not recommended for a patient with broken, severely chipped front teeth, or teeth with multiple large fillings. Additionally, patients with bite issues (malocclusion) will not benefit from dental veneers only before correcting the bite. Dental Veneers may be recommended to correct following problems:
- Correcting diastemata (or gaps between teeth)
- Disguising stain and discolorations
- Disguising tooth surface defects
- Correcting misaligned or malformed teeth.
How are veneers made
Before making veneers, each tooth is assessed for structural stability by our dentist. If a selected tooth is determined to be a candidate for veneers a preliminary study mold of the teeth are taken to be used for a create a mockup of the future veneers. This way, we can study the veneers as we are designing them according to dynamic oral environment and jaw relation of each patient. On the second visit, selected teeth are cut on the surfaces showing in the smile line, by about half a millimeter, about the thickness of two business cards. This precise cutting is done using specifically designed cutting tools and is important to prevent excessive trauma to the tooth.
A Final mold of the cut teeth are sent to the lab along with selected shade for the veneers. A master porcelain technician creates a paper-thin layer of porcelain coverage, equal to the reduced thickness of the tooth, at the selected shade and shape. This thin layer of porcelain is then fixed on to the tooth using special chemical bonding that creates a very strong and durable bonding between the two.
Veneer case selection
When thinking about veneers, there are few things to consider. First and foremost, you must be evaluated by a dental professional on whether if you are a candidate for veneers or not. meaning if you have stable tooth structure free of large cavities or fillings. Second, you have to make sure that you are fully prepared to live with veneers that require a slot of maintenance and upkeep. If you don’t think you fit the criterion, or if recommended by your dentist you should think about other alternatives of achieving your desired dental aesthetics without veneers.