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Veneers: What You Need to Know

Man looking at teeth in dental mirror

If you’re looking to improve your smile, veneers might be the perfect solution. These custom-made, thin shells can quickly resolve various dental issues, from stains and chips to small gaps and misalignments. But before you commit, it’s crucial to understand what veneers are, the types available, the procedure involved, and how to care for them afterward.

What Are Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin shells crafted from composite resin or porcelain that are cemented to the front surface of teeth. They’re primarily used to improve the appearance of discolored, chipped, or misaligned teeth, making them look whiter, straighter, and more uniform in just a few dental visits.

Types of Veneers: Porcelain vs. Composite

There are two general types of dental veneers: composite and porcelain. At Caputo Dental, we offer porcelain veneers, a premium option for those looking to enhance their smile.

Porcelain veneers offer several advantages over their composite resin counterparts. Porcelain ceramic is highly durable and can last up to 20 years, significantly longer than composite veneers, which usually only last around 5-7 years before they need to be replaced.

Additionally, porcelain has a natural translucence that mimics real teeth, ensuring your smile looks realistic. Composite, while tooth-colored, has a more matte appearance. Porcelain is also stain-resistant, so your smile stays brighter for longer.

The Procedure: What to Expect

The dental veneer process starts with a consultation. Your dentist will examine your teeth, take digital X-rays, and discuss what you hope to achieve. If your dentist finds tooth decay or active gum disease, they will treat these issues before beginning the dental veneer process.

Several conditions may preclude you from receiving dental veneers, including bruxism, insufficient enamel, or severe misalignment. If you have any of these conditions, your dentist may suggest an alternative treatment, such as nociceptive trigeminal inhibition (NTI-tss) for bruxism and jaw clenching or dental crowns.

Once your dentist has determined that dental veneers are the right option for your smile, they’ll start preparing the tooth. Your dentist will remove about 0.5 mm of enamel from the front of your teeth to make room for the veneers. This is usually done under local anesthesia, so you won’t feel any discomfort.

They’ll then take an impression of your teeth to create a mold. This mold is sent to a dental lab where your custom veneers will be crafted.

When your veneers are ready, your dentist will temporarily place them on your teeth to check for fit and color. After making adjustments, your teeth will be cleaned, and the veneers will be permanently bonded.

Aftercare: Keeping Your Smile Bright

After getting your veneers, maintaining good oral hygiene is essential. While veneers resist staining, they can develop plaque buildup, giving them a yellow appearance. Also, the natural teeth around the veneer are not stain-resistant, so eating pigmented foods, smoking, and poor oral hygiene can leave you with a discolored smile.

Unfortunately, discolored dental veneers cannot be professionally whitened and must be replaced.

You can prevent staining and discoloration with twice daily brushing and flossing and regular dental check-ups. This will prolong the life of your veneers and keep the rest of your teeth healthy.

Take the Next Step with Caputo Dental

Veneers can offer you a dream smile, but you need to consult a qualified dental professional to ensure they’re the right option for you. At Caputo Dental, we can guide you through the entire veneer process, from the initial consultation to aftercare.

If you’re ready to take the first step toward a brighter, straighter smile, contact us at (630) 922-1311 to schedule your consultation.

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