Veneers are most often applied over the front-most teeth to correct stained, cracked, chipped, or crooked teeth. Smaller, more localized problems may be treatable using dental bonding procedures.
Veneers are made of either porcelain or composite resins. Composite resins are applied directly to the teeth, and then shaped appropriately. Porcelain veneers are thin hard shells that must be constructed in a lab before being bonded over the teeth.
Composite veneers are typically less expensive than their porcelain counter-parts, but they have a slightly shorter life span. Composite resin restorations last between five and seven years, whereas porcelain veneers typically last well over 15 years.
Unlike bonding procedures used for small problems, most veneers require a tooth reduction prior to placement. This means that the thickness of your teeth must be slightly reduced to provide enough room for the veneer.
To begin fitting you with veneers, the enamel of the teeth may need to be slightly reduced using a buffing method. The teeth are very minimally reduced, usually between 0.5mm and 1.0mm. An impression of the area is taken, which will be sent to a dental laboratory to construct the veneers. You will be fitted with temporary veneers until your final restoration is completed.
Next, your dentist will carefully check the completed veneers for proper color matching and fit.
During the final placement of the veneers, a substance will first be applied to the teeth that will strengthen the bond between the cement and the tooth. Next, the final veneers are carefully bonded to the teeth using a strong adherent. This bond is solidified by treating the area with a laser, or strong light.
Composite veneers can be applied during a single office visit. After careful discussion of desired results and options for treatment, your dentist will help you choose the correct color for your veneer.
Next, the resin will be directly applied to your teeth and carefully sculpted into the desired shape. The area is then treated to solidify the bond between the tooth and the veneer.