Dental veneers, or laminates, are thin porcelain facings that are fabricated in the laboratory and are bonded to the teeth.
Veneers can be utilized to correct a number of esthetic issues that can occur in the mouth. They can reform the dental arch to ideal symmetry by changing the shape of the teeth. Veneers can cover discolorations and defects of the teeth, such as we see in severe tetracycline staining. When orthodontic treatment is not an option, veneers can be used to close spaces between teeth or to move teeth in and out.
The process is actually rather simple. The teeth are "prepared" by removing some of the outer enamel layer. In some cases, no tooth preparation is needed at all. The amount of tooth reduction is determined case by case and tooth by tooth, depending on what is need to attain the desired esthetic goal. The prepped teeth are then impressioned so the laboratory technician can design and fabricate the veneers. The final step is bonding the veneers onto the teeth.
While veneers can be a wonderful solution, patient's must also realize that this is not a reversible treatment option. Once done, there is no going back to the way it was!! Therefore, before considering veneers as a final treatment, the patient will be required to go through some pre-planning. This will involve the taking of photos, study molds or models of their teeth and even a laboratory "mock-up" in wax.
There is no doubt that porcelain veneers are the most predictable and esthetic restorative solution for the more complex cosmetic issues that we face in dentistry. If you have been considering veneers to "fix" your smile, or if you have spaces and don't want braces, or if you don't like the color of your teeth and the tooth whitening you tried, did not work, call for a consultation today.