Dental veneers are wafer-thin shells, usually made from porcelain, that are used to cover up dental imperfections and improve the appearance of teeth. Since the veneers are customized for every patient, they are made to look just like regular teeth and can be colored to match their appearance.
Reshaping your teeth with dental veneers
Even though dental veneers can be used to fix problems with teeth, they are mainly used for cosmetic purposes. Problems that dentists use veneers to treat include:
Tooth gaps — This is a condition where there is space between two teeth. The gaps can form anywhere in the mouth and affect both adults and children. Dental veneers are used to cover up the gap by placing the shells over the affected teeth to create an even smile.
Broken teeth — Broken teeth make it difficult to bite and chew and can also lead to sensitivity when consuming food and drinks at extreme temperatures. Dentists use veneers to fix broken teeth by covering the front surface of the tooth with a thicker section to replace the broken part.
Crooked teeth — Braces are the most popular orthodontic appliance used to fix crooked teeth. However, straightening teeth with braces requires having metal brackets attached to the surface of one’s teeth and a two-year commitment. Dental veneers offer an alternative to braces, but they can only be used if the teeth misalignment or crowding is not severe.
How long does it take to reshape teeth with dental veneers?
Using dental veneers to reshape teeth requires up to three visits to the dentist. The first meeting is to assess the patient’s dental health with an X-ray and dental examination to determine the scope of the problem. If the dentist determines that it can be fixed with veneers, they will develop a treatment plan and set a date for the next visit.
During the second appointment, the dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from the tooth where the veneers will be placed. An impression of the teeth is then made and sent to a dental laboratory so the veneers can be made.
During the third appointment, the veneer will be placed on the tooth and reshaped to fit it perfectly.
Can anyone use dental veneers to reshape their teeth?
Dental veneers are suitable for most people. However, those with the following oral health problems are not considered ideal candidates for veneers:
- Significant tooth decay
- Gingivitis, or serious gum disease
- Severe malocclusion
- Multiple cracks in the affected tooth
- Loss of tooth structure
- Tooth enamel erosion
Having any of these oral health problems does not automatically eliminate people from reshaping their teeth with dental veneers, however, because some can be fixed by following a treatment plan designed by the dentist.
Dental veneers are an alternative way to fix damaged and crooked teeth without having to use braces or other orthodontic appliances. If you want to reshape your teeth, ask your dentist if dental veneers are right for you.
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