Dental veneers are usually very thin shells of tooth colored porcelain or resin composite material shaped to cover the front surface of your teeth for improved appearance. Veneers are also used to improve the appearance of teeth that have become chipped, broken, or misaligned. Porcelain veneers, as opposed to resin veneers, appear more like natural teeth since they have some light reflecting properties.
Because veneers are “custom-made” laminates bonded directly to the front of your teeth, they look just like natural teeth. However, veneers are costly, irreversible and irreparable. Also, be aware that the color may not perfectly match the rest of your teeth and cannot be changed once they are in place. Some of the natural tooth enamel must be removed to create room and bonding for the veneer (less for the thinner resin veneers); so, teeth may be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.
Badly discolored teeth, such as the darker type caused from pulp bruising, may show through a traditional porcelain veneer. Teeth covered with veneers can still experience decay as part of the original tooth remains underneath the veneer. Veneers do not prevent the possibility of further treatment in the future such as a root canal or crown.
Veneers are not a good choice for those who have unhealthy teeth or gums. They are also not a viable option for those who have a tendency to clench or grind their teeth. An alternative to veneers could be composite bondings or crowns. Teeth that are badly broken or excessively filled with benefit more from the damage protection provided by crown. Your local dentist will discuss with you the goals you wish to achieve and make sure that dental veneers are the best option for your individual needs.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care
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