Veneers (also called dental laminates) are very thin shells of durable, translucent, tooth-colored material that are applied to the front surfaces of teeth to hide an array of cosmetic defects, including:
Applying a veneer usually is completed in two visits. Although veneers are very thin, they still take up some room on the tooth surface. Before receiving a veneer, the tooth must be prepared by removing a very small amount of tooth surface material so the veneer can be placed on top of the tooth without extending over the edge of the neighboring teeth. An impression is also taken of the tooth and sent to the lab where the veneer will be made from durable, tooth-colored material. Finally, a temporary veneer will be applied to the tooth to protect it until the permanent veneer is applied. At the second office visit, the temporary veneer will be carefully removed and the tooth surface will be cleaned, then the permanent veneer will be applied using a very strong adhesive. Once the veneer is in place, it can be gently buffed for a completely comfortable fit.
No, dental laminate materials are very durable, and veneers can be cared for with regular brushing and flossing and routine dental checkups, just like natural teeth. Prior to receiving a veneer, teeth whitening is recommended to ensure the veneer matches teeth at their brightest and whitest. That’s because veneers can’t be whitened like natural teeth, and whitening teeth prior to veneer application ensures that when teeth are whitened in the future, the veneer will continue to blend in.
With proper care, veneers can last 10 years or longer. Avoiding activities like chewing on ice or hard candies or using teeth as tools can help [prolong the life of a veneer as well as natural teeth.
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