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Using Dental Veneers to fix your smile

What to know before you decide to get Dental Veneers:

Whether your teeth are chipped, crooked, or just won't stay white no matter how many at-home teeth whitening products you try and strips you slap across 'em, you might be interested in finding out more about veneers.

How do Dental Veneers work?

A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that is permanently bonded to a tooth to cover its natural color, shape, or positioning. You can get a veneer for just one tooth or multiple teeth. You also have the option to get either get partial (they don't cover your entire tooth) or full (they cover the entire front of your tooth) veneers—it really just depends on your current needs.

Veneers, before and after:

Since veneers are both an aesthetic procedure and a serious dental procedure, ask to see examples of the cosmetic dentist's previous work to make sure they're good and that you like their style. Be sure to check out their before-and-after photos but also ask to see photos taken years later to see how the results hold up over time.

Before Dental Veneers: Discolored, chipped and uneven front teeth.

After Dental Veneers: Made to match existing teeth to keep the natural look and feel of his real teeth.

Who would want Dental Veneers?

Most people with good oral hygiene and healthy gum tissue can consider veneers if they don't like the look of their teeth or overall smile. Some patients with crooked teeth who don't want to get braces, some who don't like the color of their teeth and want to whiten them permanently, other patients who have chipped front teeth or have one gray front tooth from falling face-first into the ground, or even some who've simply had thicker porcelain veneers done in the past and want a more natural finish.

Can Dental Veneers be done in a day?

Typically no. Veneers are a multi-step process that's often spread out over a few appointments, but the results are definitely worth the extra time. To make sure you're going to like what you just discussed with your dentist, temporary veneers are then made out of a liquid composite (think of it like a blueprint for your teeth). The Doctor sculpts what your new smile will look like so that he can take pictures of you and decide whether or not you'd like to move forward.

Once you commit to your veneer plan and figure out how many you need, more molds, X-rays, and photographs are taken. Then, you come back the next day for prep. After you get your temporary partial or full veneers fitted, you wear them for seven to ten days. Then, after a week or so, you come back and discuss any changes you want to make. Once you and your dentist agree on what you want, more molds are taken, which are they sent to a ceramist for duplication. When the porcelain veneers are ready, they're fit to your teeth once more to make sure they're a perfect match.

Are Dental Veneers permanent?

They're permanent, but they're not forever. Bonding cement is a substance that microscopically creates bridges from your real tooth to the porcelain so that it adheres to your tooth and becomes one. With that said, veneers could last for about 15 to 20 years, at which point they'll need to be replaced. To replace veneers, you gently and carefully drill off the old veneer, and start the new process over. Don't worry, more of your natural tooth does not get removed when they take the old ones off; dentists typically wear microscopic glasses to make sure they're not drilling into the natural tooth.

Can Dental Veneers fall off?

Although its not common, the veneers can de-bond or break, but if this were to happen, your dentist would be able to re-cement or replace the veneer, depending on the situation.

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