What Are Veneers and/or Laminates?
Dental veneers also referred to as porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates are relatively thin shells that match the color of your teeth and are attached directly to the front surface of your teeth to help improve the appearance of them. Veneers are typically composed of porcelain or resin composite materials, (hence their other names) and are then able to be permanently bonded to your teeth through a procedure. Oftentimes, it is common for a person to maybe just need one veneer due to a broken or chipped tooth, but may decide to get around 6-8 veneers placed on their teeth in order to help even out and create a symmetrical smile. The most common teeth to have veneers applied are the top front 8.
What Are The Different Types Of Veneers/Laminates?
There are three different types of veneers that Dr. Kennelly is practicing today. They are:
- Porcelain: Commonly referred to as traditional veneers, these originally started as just something meant for a temporary fix to help improve smiles for people in show business. This style consists of a thin ceramic shell which then is bonded to the front side of your teeth. To this day they are still a popular permanent solution to help achieve even smiles. The average lifetime of these veneers is about 10-15 years counting that they are taken care of properly. As thin as porcelain veneers are, they are still a very strong cap for your teeth. In order for a dentist to bond these to your teeth, the procedure does require them to remove some enamel from the teeth in order to have an even and smooth fit. These are the same color of natural teeth, but there is the option of making them whiter to brighten your smile.
- Lumineers: Out of all the different styles these are the thinnest veneers. With this style, the attaching process is relatively easy. It does not require any grinding of the enamel (or very minimal grinding) and can be applied in as little as two visits. The life expectancy of this style is about 5-10 years. They can be taken off with a minor procedure if desired. As simple as these are, they do come with some slight downfalls. Common complaints about this style are that they detach too easily, are translucent enough to see dark teeth underneath, and that they feel too thin.
- Composite Veneers: These are also known as bonded or resin-based composite veneers. Composite veneers are a popular choice because they are a lot cheaper and less destructive to your smile. One downside to that is they are more prone to chipping and staining than porcelain veneers. So seen similar to porcelain veneers, however, they typically require less enamel removal. In fact, in some cases, the dentist might not even have to remove any enamel. They typically last about 5-10 years. Composite veneers are relatively easier to replace when broken or damaged than most other styles. These veneers help achieve a polished and smooth look of normal teeth in a simple procedure.
Why Should I Get Veneers and/or Laminates
People choose to get veneers for a variety of reasons. However, the biggest benefit is that they improve the appearance of your teeth. And can even help give you a bigger and brighter smile. Here are some of the most common reasons why patients choose to get veneers:
- Gaps in teeth.
- Broken or chipped teeth.
- Pointed or unusually shaped teeth.
- Severe tooth discoloration.
- The uneven coloring that can’t be fixed with whitening.
Now some of the benefits of getting veneers are:
- Their durability.
- Correct multiple cosmetic issues at once.
- A brighter and more confident smile.
Things to Know Before You Get Your Veneers:
Just like most dental procedures, you always want to make sure that your mouth and teeth are as clean and healthy as they can be. Especially before you get veneers placed on your teeth you want to make sure your gums are healthy and that any decay or infections are taken care of beforehand. One thing to note is that veneers are not always the best choice for people who are big-time teeth grinders. Because if you are constantly grinding your teeth and the veneers are thin they may break or get cracked easily. Also, keep in mind that when a dentist removes enamel from your teeth it cannot be undone. So if the type of veneer you are getting requires that, then the process is irreversible. The best thing for you to do is really sit down with your dentist and go over the procedure and the different things you need to expect so you can fully understand and be prepared.
Things to Know After You Get Veneers:
The durability and life expectancy of your veneers depends all on how much you care for them. The care can be the difference between them lasting for 15 years as opposed to just 5 years. So it is important that you make sure you are following all the instructions provided by your dentist. Here are some common things to be aware of:
- Veneers can break under pressure: You will want to avoid biting your nails and other hard things such as chewing on ice.
- It will take some time to get used to the feeling of your veneers: They will feel different at first so be patient trying to get used to them. If they continue to be really uncomfortable then make sure to let your dentist know.
- Always keep your teeth and gums clean: Make sure you are doing all that you can by brushing and flossing daily to keep your mouth healthy.