Your smile is a greeting to the world, and a healthy smile can do so much for your self-image and self-esteem. Unfortunately, as time goes by teeth take wear and tear. They can chip or stain, or move out of position, leaving your smile in less than ideal shape. Maybe your smile just naturally has a few imperfections. While these issues are mostly cosmetic, they affect your appearance and can actually lead to bigger dental problems later on.
There are many ways to correct these cosmetic problems, but one of the easiest and most often employed are dental veneers. They’re a relatively simple and non-invasive way to correct a number of dental problems. They are long-lasting and can be shaped and colored to match your natural teeth. They’re a useful tool in your dentist’s arsenal, and it might be helpful to learn more about how they work and what they can do. Let’s begin!
Porcelain veneers are, as the name suggests, a thin covering applied to the outside surface of a tooth. This typically involves reshaping the tooth a bit—generally around 1mm of material is removed so the tooth can accept the veneer. Then your dentist takes an impression of your mouth and sends it off to a lab, which crafts the veneer or veneers needed such that they’re a perfect fit for your reshaped tooth. The veneers are colored to match your natural teeth and then sent back to your dentist who will apply them with a bonding adhesive so that they stay in place. For most patients, it’s a simple and easy process with minimal discomfort.
So, what do veneers do? Dental veneers are used to address a variety of problems which can occur over time, including:
- Discolored teeth. This is one of the most popular reasons for dental veneers—restoring some shine to a smile that has become stained over time.
- Worn or chipped teeth can benefit from porcelain veneers, which restore both appearance and function and can prevent further damage.
- Misaligned, uneven, or misshapen teeth can often be corrected with veneers, which create new surfaces that are more even or fit the rest of the mouth.
- Gaps between teeth can be corrected with a veneer, which may be quicker and easier than traditional braces or other dental prostheses.
Another plus of dental veneers is, once they’re installed they require very little special care or maintenance—you just need to brush and floss them regularly as with any other tooth. With that in place, they should give you a lifetime of service and smiles!
So this leads us to the big question: are porcelain veneers the best option for your needs? It’s hard to say for certain; your situation is unique and you have your own needs. The best thing to do is talk to your dentist about dental veneers and see what they think; they’ll help you find the right choice for you.