Cosmetic dentistry has long been a favorite among people of almost all walks of life. If you either want to do it for practical reasons, such as uneven teeth length, or simply for a cosmetic purpose, getting dental veneers can be the best thing for you. But before rushing to your nearest dentist there are several things you should know, and take into account, about the intervention. There are literally thousands of internet postings about this type of intervention and some of them could be real eye openers for the less informed. The best thing to do is do some research and make an informed decision.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are very thin and small porcelain or resin-composite pieces that permanently attach to the front of the teeth. They are shell-shaped in order to better enclose the tooth and for a stronger bond to its surface. Veneers are usually used by people that want a whiter smile or want to cover up imperfections such as broken or chipped teeth. They are also used in order to remodel a smile completely and cover up discolored or irregular-sized teeth.
What Are the Different Types of Veneers?
After making an imprint of your teeth and ordering, your dentist will call you in about two weeks. That is how long it takes for a lab to create your personal set of veneers. A very important thing anybody thinking about getting veneers should know is that they are unique to each person. And that is because each person has a unique face configuration.
Once they are in, your dentist will set up an appointment in order to check if they fit you perfectly. The color and the shape of the edges are checked, and also the way they fit around the teeth. After the fit has been confirmed, the teeth are cleaned in order to remove any kind of bacteria or other harmful stuff that could get caught underneath the veneer and cause tooth decay. After cleaning, dentists use a special tool on each tooth in order to create a rougher surface. This ensures that the veneers will stick better.
In order to attach the veneers, a special dental cement is applied. Then the cement is hardened using an ultraviolet light. Once the cement hardens, you can take your new smile out for a test drive. The whole thing usually takes about 2 hours. If a local anesthetic is used, it could add another half hour for its effects to wear off.
How to Take Care of Your Veneers After They Are Placed
The procedure of applying veneers is pretty simple, and doesn’t take a lot of time to recover from it. Technically speaking, after the cement is hardened and the anesthetic wears off, you can go back to normally using your teeth. Caution is required, if anesthetic is used, in order to watch out for tongue and cheek biting and chewing.
You might notice some rough spots on your new veneers. These usually occur due to cement getting stuck to them during the procedure. This is no cause for panic. These spots usually wear themselves down after a few days of chewing and brushing. If they do not disappear, a new visit to the doctor can solve them.
Although no-prep veneers are less invasive, they tend to last a little less than classic veneers. The average lifespan of normal ones is 10 to 15 years, while the no-prep ones only last 5 to 7. Whatever the case, these are some precautions you can take in order to make the most of it:
- No chewing or biting on hard things like pen caps, ice or your finger nails.
- Never open packaging or condiment packages with your teeth.
- Try to avoid chewing with front teeth. Cut up your food in smaller bits and try to use your back teeth as much as possible.
- Try to avoid grinding or clenching your teeth at night. If you can’t, get a splint or a retainer.