Traditionally speaking, a veneer refers to a thin, decorative covering. Typically, this term is used in construction and interior design, and applies to festive and decorative fine wood covers applied to coarser wood, or some other material.
And surprisingly enough, the majority of that description works absolutely perfectly to explain what dental veneers are all about. Through the services of a reputable dental clinic in your area – like Scott J Owens DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry – a porcelain veneer is literally a very thin cover a porcelain applied to a damaged or coarse tooth to bring back the look of what a wholesome tooth would actually look like.
It’s not a terribly easy or simple process, and is far from cookie-cutter. No tooth is the same, or suffers the same kind of damage, and in each case the veneer has to be thoroughly and thoughtfully applied to make it as subtle and non-noticeable as possible.
When Are Veneers Applicable?
The real question with a dental process like a veneer is – when is it justified to offer one to clients? And the answer is that veneers aren’t just meant to cover cracks or offer a quick and safe solution to cosmetically altering a chipped tooth – there are plenty of other cases where veneering can help you and your teeth look their best. Such cases include:
- Worn down teeth (from a diet of harder foods).
- Discolored teeth (common in heavy smokers and coffee drinkers).
- Irregularly-shaped teeth (teeth with craters, or bumps).
- Teeth with gaps.
- Chipped teeth.
Veneers can fix any and all of these issues by making the surface of a tooth more smooth/adding just enough volume to a tooth to reduce or remove gaps and little spaces.
The benefits in getting a veneer are obvious, aside from aesthetics. A more snug set of teeth can help you prevent infections by allowing for an easier way to keep your teeth clean with proper flossing. Of course, not flossing a gapless dentition can increase the dangers of gum infections or cavities, so be sure to apply appropriate care to your teeth.
How Veneers Are Applied
As per WebMD, veneers are still considered a treatment of sorts, so you have to consult your dentist and undergo some pre-operation diagnostics with an x-ray to determine the exact specifications that a veneer would require.
From there, it’s fairly straightforward. The dentist will prep the tooth by removing a certain coating of enamel first, usually utilizing local anesthesia to numb the pain. A temporary veneer can be applied while a 3D model of your bite is sent to a lab to make a specialized permanent veneer.
Finally, the veneer is permanently cemented to the tooth on the next meeting, and within time, it’ll become a normal part of your dentition.