For many people, having a beautiful, white smile is just as important as having good dental health. Over time and without warning, teeth can stain or suffer chips and cracks – often damaging self-confidence along with it.
At this point, it’s important to consider some of the options afforded by cosmetic dentistry. Fixating on the flaws in a smile can have serious side effects that aren’t worth it when treatment options are available. Luckily, dental veneers can make a serious difference and restore flawless smiles.
What Are Dental Veneers?
A veneer is a fine, thin shell that is bonded to the front of teeth, usually composed of ceramic, porcelain or a composite resin. There are two types of veneers, which differ in their method of application, and both bring their own distinct advantages.
What Can Dental Veneers Help Treat?
Veneers will help with a range of cosmetic concerns. An individual is a good candidate for veneers if you have suffered from the following conditions, despite otherwise maintaining good oral health:
- Staining of teeth (general discolouration)
- Minor tooth trauma (chips and cracks)
- Worn down teeth
- Misaligned or crooked teeth (including minor gaps)
Veneers of either kind are a great option for anyone who is generally unhappy with the look of their teeth, but otherwise still enjoys adequate dental health.
These veneers offer quick and lasting solutions to common cosmetic problems, and can have serious benefits for anyone feeling unsure about the appearance of their teeth.
Porcelain veneers are seen as the traditional method of applying veneers. In this process, some of the surface material of the tooth is buffed down, which removes a small part of the dental enamel. Your dentist may consult you on whether you would like to use local anaesthetic, but this is relatively painless.
After this, impressions are made on an individual’s teeth, which are used to shape and prepare custom ceramic shells. These are then tailored by the dentist performing the procedure to ensure that the veneer matches the profile of the teeth, and are then bonded to the surface of the teeth.
Direct Laminate Veneers
These veneers are applied in a slightly different way to porcelain veneers. Also known as composite resin veneers, these are made with a tooth filling material that chemically bond to the tooth.
In a direct laminate procedure, the tooth is etched instead of buffed to increase the surface area for bonding. After this, the composite resin shell is applied to the tooth via an adhesive coating, which is then set with a powerful laser.
Why Choose One Over The Other?
Either option is a proven and reliable method to restore the cosmetic appearance of teeth, as a skilled dentist will oversee the entire procedure to ensure that client expectations are met.
These procedures may even address some of the natural wear and tear that occurs naturally over time, and can even restore the strength of damaged teeth.
However, these two options carry their own advantages and disadvantages.
Porcelain veneers are incredibly durable, easily outlasting composite resin veneers in most cases. Plus, porcelain veneers resemble the properties of natural dental enamel quite nicely. Furthermore, these veneers will rarely need maintenance work done to preserve them.
However, the procedure can be more expensive. This is because it includes the cost of custom-engineering a veneer to fit the profile of the tooth.
Direct laminate veneers are both a cheaper and more straightforward procedure. It can be done in a shorter amount of time. This is because they don’t require any form of laboratory preparation or dental moulds to be created.
They are also simple to apply and remove. This means that direct laminate veneers are useful as a first foray into cosmetic treatments, unlike porcelain veneers which require the removal of a portion of the dental enamel.
However, despite these veneers still being quite durable, they aren’t nearly as strong as porcelain veneers. They are more prone to damage from tooth wear and tear, stain easier and require more regular maintenance and repairs.
That said, the cost and effectiveness of both procedures will depend on an individual’s dental health. In addition, other procedures may be recommended before and after to help achieve optimal results.
What Can’t Veneers Treat?
- Active dental or gum diseases
- Damaged internal tooth structure
- Significant loss of tooth enamel
- Clinically significant misalignment of teeth
- Bruxism (excessive and compulsive grinding of teeth)
It is recommended that these conditions are addressed as a priority before any cosmetic solutions are sought.
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