How To Know If Veneers Are Right For You
The thought of cosmetic dental care can be quite daunting for many patients, no matter what their age. Dental veneers and similar procedures are viewed by a lot of folks as last resorts. But taking care of your teeth with excellent dental hygiene should be a daily endeavor, one that is drilled into you (pun intended!) while you are young.
Of course, the best way to deal with cavities and tooth decay is avoid them in the first place. But especially as we get older, treatments such as dental veneers might become necessary to ensure that your smile looks its best. If you are considering dental veneers, you should definitely consult with a trusted dental practitioner to learn about all of the pros and cons.
At Grand Lake Dental, our number one goal is the health of our patients. Dr. Jobst and our experienced and friendly team have been providing advanced dental care to Oklahoma residents for the better part of two decades. We take pride in working with families to make the best possible decisions about your oral health.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are an extremely thin covering that are custom fit over the front of a patient’s teeth. By bonding the material to the enamel of the teeth, you not only ensure all of your teeth are the same color, but they can be an added layer of protection against tooth decay.
One of the advantages of veneers is that they have a smaller footprint and are less invasive than crowns and braces. While they can’t completely realign your teeth, it is possible for them to correct slight misalignments or to fill in small gaps in your front teeth. They are generally applied to fix cosmetic issues such as off-colored teeth, small chips, or a crooked smile.
Dental veneers can be made from a number of different materials, with porcelain or resin composites being the most common. The porcelain option is the most common when dealing with coloring or shape issues. They typically last between ten and twenty years, though they tend to be relatively expensive.
With resin composite veneers, the cost can be as much as half what it is for porcelain veneers. They also can be fabricated much more quickly, making their application a one-day treatment. Whereas porcelain veneers are fitted and then built before they are put in, composite veneers can be molded to your teeth during the application process. The drawback is that they are much less durable, lasting half as long on average before needing to be replaced.
How Are Veneers Applied?
The first step in the veneer process is to schedule a preliminary visit with your dentist. Depending on the severity of any misalignment, some patients will need braces prior to the veneer application procedure. During your first visit, you’ll have x-rays taken to get a good look at your teeth, and be checked for any unnoticed tooth decay or gum disease that needs to be treated prior to having your veneers installed.
If your teeth are good to go, the dentist will need to trim away some of your enamel and take an impression of your teeth using a special mold. For porcelain veneers, the mold will be used to create the veneers in a lab. This process may take two weeks or more.
When the finished veneers are sent back, you’ll have another visit where the dentist will check to make sure they are the perfect fit. Assuming they are, you’ll undergo a thorough cleaning, to ensure there’s no bacteria stuck underneath the veneers, which can lead to them deteriorating faster than normal.
The dentist will then create a rough texture on the surface enamel to make it easier to bind the veneers to your tooth. Then, using dental cement, the veneers will be adhered in place, and hardened using ultraviolet light. The whole application process should take less than two hours in most cases.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Veneers?
The best candidates to have veneers installed are patients with minor cosmetic issues on their front teeth, including small chips, misalignments, and discolorations. Another prerequisite is that the patient otherwise have good oral health, with no tooth decay or gum disease present. Other desirable characteristics include strong surface enamel and no history of grinding or clenching your teeth.
Dental veneers are most often used for patients with severely stained teeth. If you have tried teeth whitening treatments in the past without success, then dental veneers may be right for you.
How To Take Care Of Dental Veneers Once They Are Applied
One of the advantages of the veneer application process is there is not a long recovery period. Patients should be able to eat and drink normally as soon as any anesthetic has worn off. The cement used to bond the veneers hardens right away, so there’s no worry there.
Patients may notice the veneers feel a little rough at first. Part of this is simply the fact that they are unused to the feeling and will need some time to grow accustomed to their new fittings. But there may be some residue cement there as well. This is nothing to worry about, and will generally wear down in a few days with normal brushing and eating. If you notice any uncomfortable protuberances after the first several days, check with your dentist and they can smooth them down.
In order to ensure the long-term durability of your veneers, avoid chewing on hard objects, such as ice or pens. Don’t use your teeth to open packages, and avoid using your front teeth to chew your food as much as possible. You should also wear a mouth guard during intense physical activity.
Your Grove, Oklahoma Dental Veneers Specialist
Maintaining a healthy smile is a lifetime endeavor. Dental veneers are one option that makes sense for a lot of patients, but they aren’t right for everyone. At Grand Lake Dental, Dr. Jobst and our team of experienced dental professionals do our best to help Grove, Oklahoma residents make the right decision when it comes to their dental care.
If you and your family want the best in dental care, with the most advanced treatments, schedule an appointment today.