Veneers are thin shell-like slices of ceramic or resin bonded to the front of the teeth. They are used to cover gaps reshape chipped teeth or whiten stained teeth. At $700 to $1200 a tooth they are one of cosmetic dentistry's costlier options. However they are also natural-looking long-lasting and capable of fixing just about any cosmetic problem your teeth can pose. They can cover chips cracks and rotations; undo crowding; seal gaps; lengthen ﾓshortﾔ teethﾗand leave your teeth whiter than ever before. Popular among celebrities veneers are your ticket to a Hollywood smile.
The application of veneers requires three trips to your dentist. First visit your dentist for a diagnosis and treatment-planning session. This is when you and your dentist will discuss your specific needs and goals. Next return for a preparation session. This time your dentist will buff about half a millimeter off your teeth to create room for the veneer. (This part of the procedure can be done under local anesthetic if you wish.) He or she will also create a mold of your teeth and send it to a laboratory. You will leave this appointment wearing temporary veneers over your shaved-down teeth. Within two weeks the laboratory will send back the veneers based on the mold. Finally return for the bonding session. Your dentist will first give you a ﾓtrial fittingﾔ of your veneers; he or she will use water or glycerine to attach them to your teeth. This fitting is your chance to comment on the fit and colour of the veneers and to request any final changes or adjustments. Once you are satisfied with the look of the veneers your dentist will clean your teeth with bond-aiding chemicals and cement the veneers to your teeth. Finally he or she will flash a blue light on the veneers to speed up the hardening of the cement.
The number of veneers you get depends on what results you are hoping to achieve. Usually at least six veneers are neededﾗfrom the right canine to the left canine on the top teeth. However as veneers do not always match the colour of the existing teeth you may choose to have your bottom teeth covered as well. Whatever you choose dentists recommend having veneers done in ﾓsetsﾔﾗall six top teeth for example. Sets allow dentists and technicians to create a smile with consistent shape and colour. If the veneers are placed individually then matching their shape and colour to the surrounding teeth can prove difficult.
Resin veneers are thinner and require less of the original tooth to be shaved off. However these veneers are much less resistant to future stains. As well not all dentists offer this option.
Veneers are only recommended for healthy teeth. Teeth with large fillings may better benefit from crowns.