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Dental Veneers: The Magic of Cosmetic Dentistry

man smiling with dental veneers

Our smiles can tell a lot about our lifestyle, hygiene, and habits. And when it comes to expressing our feelings nothing can replace a beautiful, natural-looking smile. At the same time, our teeth are always at the front line, and they can start to show signs of wear and tear. 

Dental veneers are a transformative solution that can gift you once again with a healthy, beautiful, and functional smile. Learn everything you need to know about dental veneers or schedule an appointment with Lexington Family Smiles today to transform your smile. 

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are a cosmetic dentistry solution that can help you regain the beauty of your smile. They are thin layers of a resistant material that dentists apply to the front surface of your teeth. Veneers are available in a range of materials, including resin composite and porcelain, which allows them to replicate the natural strength and beauty of enamel.

Since dental veneers can match your natural teeth shape and color, they find endless applications in dentistry. They can be used to cover chipped, damaged, broken, or discolored teeth. In the case of smaller teeth than normal, veneers can represent a non-invasive, fastest way to restore a smile. 

While these interventions are suitable to cover up a single tooth, they can also be used on an entire portion of a set of teeth. 

When to Consider Veneers?

Veneers have become a popular solution to restore the beauty of a patient’s smile. Since they are custom-made and created to match your teeth natural look, they are almost impossible to differentiate from other teeth.

Some applications include:

  • Improving the appearance of your smile
  • Teeth reshaping 
  • Closing gaps between teeth that are apart
  • Improving the look of stained or severely discolored teeth
  • Fixing damaged or chipped teeth
  • Fixing fractured and damaged teeth without the need for crowns

Veneers can also represent a layer of protection for the natural teeth because they can resist common lifestyle consequences, such as stains from coffee and tea.

Benefits of Veneers

There are several options in dentistry to remedy a broken or damaged tooth, including crowns and implants. However, when it comes down to recreating a natural-looking smile and restoring the visible front teeth, dental veneers are often the preferred alternative. 

Some of the benefits include:

  • Veneers might last for over a decade with proper care.
  • They are highly resistant to stains. 
  • They are as strong and versatile as the natural teeth enamel.
  • Unlike crowns, they don’t require the removal of entire portions of the tooth. Instead, your dentist can fit them by removing only some of your tooth’s enamel. 
  • They are low-maintenance
  • Because porcelain usually agrees with gum tissue, the recovery times and drawbacks are limited.
  • It can give a new, healthier color to natural teeth.

Dental veneers are generally the preferred solution for most patients, but there are some occurrences where they are not the recommended choice. If you have active gum disease, severe tooth decay, or you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), veneers might not be suitable. This is because, once in place, damaged veneers cannot be recolored or easily fixed. 

During your first visit, your dentist at Lexington Family Smiles will show you the best cosmetic dentistry options for your lifestyle, requirements, and budget.

Procedures and Treatment

Once the dentist has assessed that you are suitable for veneers, you will undergo a simple procedure to have them placed on the outer surface of your teeth. Here’s what to expect.

  1. Molds and Impressions – during the first appointment, the dentist will assess your suitability and take impressions of your dental structure. These impressions are sent to a laboratory or technician that will fabricate the veneers. It can take up to two weeks for them to come back. 
  2. Final Checks – on your second appointment, the dentist will show you the veneers and check whether these naturally improve your teeth color, shape, and look. Once you and the dentist are happy with the results, you will proceed to the fitting. 
  3. Teeth Cleaning – The dentist will clean your teeth and ensure they are free of decay and bacteria before placing the veneers. This is an important step to prevent side effects. Remember that if you need to have your teeth whitened, you should do so before the application. 
  4. Teeth Preparation – After cleaning your teeth, the dentist will deliver a local anesthetic. This is to prevent any discomfort you might feel while the dentist grinds the interested teeth enamel. This important step will ensure that the teeth have an outer rougher surface to which the veneers can stick more easily.
  5. Binding – the dentist will fix the veneers in place with dental cement and then harden this material quickly through the use of UV light. 

Generally, the procedure does not last longer than two hours, though this can vary according to how many you get. You can visualize what to expect from this procedure in the video below:

No-Prep Veneers

An alternative to traditional veneers is no-prep veneers. As we have seen above, traditional veneers will require your dentist to grind your teeth outer surface to create a rougher and more suitable surface for placement. This step of the process is referred to as “preparation.” 

No-prep veneers are an alternative that does not require the grinding of the tooth’s enamel. Therefore, they might be less-invasive and more straightforward to apply. Because of the limited prep-work that your dentist must take, you can have these applied on the same day. Although, on average, they have a much shorter lifespan than traditional veneers.

Caring for Your Veneers

Veneers are a semi-permanent solution that allows you to regain confidence in your smile. They can last up to 15 years with the right care, and they require minimal maintenance. Nonetheless, when in place, it is important to exercise some precautions, such as:

  • Avoid chewing and biting hard objects such as ice or your fingernails.
  • Avoid using your front teeth to chew foods. When eating those foods, cut them into small bites and chew them with your back teeth.
  • Don’t use your teeth to hold objects, open packages, or complete actions that can put stress on them, such as tearing masking tape. 
  • Use a mouthguard or splint to protect the veneers if you tend to clench or grind your teeth or if you play sports.

Once you have your veneers fitted, you might feel enhanced sensitivity to hot or cold. 

Contact Lexington Family Smiles to Learn More

Veneers are a great cosmetic dentistry option, especially if you wish to regain your smile quickly and without invasive or lengthy procedures. However, they can lead to drastic results and represent a semi-permanent solution. Therefore, it is crucial to find an expert dentist’s guidance to check that this is the right solution for your needs. Schedule your appointment today with Lexington Family Smiles in Lexington, SC.