Considering Veneers for a Hollywood Smile
If you’re looking for a dazzling smile, veneers could be the answer. Veneers are tooth-colored shells made to cover your natural teeth and produce a bright, beautiful smile.
Veneers can correct a multitude of cosmetic defects, from discolored teeth to slightly crooked teeth to gaps in your smile. And advances in cosmetic dentistry have made veneers look even better today.
“The translucent quality of today’s veneers gives a more natural look than what’s been available in the past,” says Kimberly Harms, DDS, a dentist in Farmington, Minn. and consumer advisor and spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA).
How Veneers Work
Dental veneers are very thin shells made from tooth-like material designed to cover the front surface of teeth. They can be made of porcelain or resin composite materials. Most veneers today are made of porcelain because this material resists stains better and has a light-reflecting quality similar to that of natural teeth. The veneers are placed on the front of the teeth, concealing imperfections and sometimes changing the size, shape, and length of teeth.
How Veneers Are Applied
Veneers usually require three dental visits. At the first visit, your dentist will discuss whether this cosmetic dentistry procedure will work for you. On the second visit, your dentist will remove a small amount of enamel (the outer coating of your teeth) to make room for the veneer. Usually only one-half millimeter is removed, but this may require local anesthesia.
“The enamel needs to be trimmed down so the tooth doesn’t look too bulky,” explains Dr. Harms.
An impression is then taken of your teeth and sent to a dental lab where the veneers are custom made. At the third visit, your dentist will attach the veneers to your teeth with special adhesive material.