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What Are Veneers & How Do They Work?

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A man sitting in a dentist's chair, holding up a mirror and smiling with his dentist in the background

If you want to improve your smile, veneers may be the solution you’re looking for. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells placed over the front surface of your teeth to improve their appearance. Many dentists in Surrey offer veneers.

Veneers can address many cosmetic concerns. But before you look for veneers in Surrey, you’ll first need a dental exam for an in-depth look at your teeth so proper treatment can support a healthy smile. 

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are thin shells made from either porcelain or composite resin that cover the front surface of your teeth. They’re a cosmetic dental treatment that can be used to address the following teeth concerns:

  • Discoloration
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Worn down teeth
  • Gaps between teeth 
  • Irregularly shaped or sized teeth

Not everyone is a candidate for veneers. Your dentist will examine your teeth to check enamel thickness, gum health, and if veneers can achieve the desired results. 

Types of Veneers

There are 2 types of veneers—porcelain veneers and composite veneers. Porcelain veneers are made from a thin layer of porcelain and custom-made to fit over the front surface of your teeth. Porcelain veneers are known for their durability, resistance to staining, and natural appearance. 

Composite veneers are tooth-coloured composite resin material, the same material used for dental bonding, applied directly to the teeth and sculpted into shape. Composite veneers are ideal for concealing mild cosmetic problems and typically require less tooth preparation. However, they’re not as durable as porcelain veneers and may require more maintenance.

How Are Veneers Applied?

Before you get veneers, your dentist will examine your teeth and discuss your goals for your smile. They may take x-rays and impressions of your teeth to help design your veneers. Preparing your teeth involves a different approach to porcelain and composite veneers. 

Composite Veneers

For composite veneers, your dentist will make the tooth’s surface a little rough to help composite resin stick to your enamel. Composite resin can be applied in layers to achieve the desired results and match the natural colour of your teeth. 

Your dentist will use a bright light to harden the resin. Once hard, they will shape and polish the tooth to give it a smooth and natural look. 

Porcelain Veneers

For porcelain veneers, your dentist will typically numb the area first. They will then remove and thin the enamel, which roughens the surface to help keep the veneers in place and create space to ensure they fit. Now it’s time to take impressions of your prepared teeth. This helps to create your custom-made veneers.

You will wear temporary veneers until your veneers are ready, which usually takes 2 to 4 weeks. At your next appointment, your dentist will check the custom-made veneers for shape, colour, and fit and then carefully bond them to your teeth using an adhesive. 

A curing light hardens the adhesive to cement your veneers securely in place. Finally, your dentist will make any necessary adjustments to ensure they look and feel natural. Once your veneers are in, you can resume normal activities, like eating and drinking. 

What Do Teeth Look Like under Veneers?

The appearance of teeth under veneers can vary depending on the type of veneers used, the thickness of the veneers, and the condition of the underlying teeth. For composite veneers, the teeth typically look much like they did before because not much preparation goes into them for the veneers. 

But for porcelain veneers, the underlying teeth may appear slightly smaller or thinner than before the veneers due to enamel removal. Since enamel can’t grow back, having porcelain veneers is irreversible. 

A young woman sitting in a dental office and smiling at her male dentist

Benefits of Veneers

Veneers offer several benefits for those looking to improve their smile. They can:

  • Drastically improve the appearance of your teeth
  • Cover up stains, chips, and other imperfections
  • Improve the shape and size of your teeth

Another benefit of veneers is that they’re durable and can last for more than a decade. However, their longevity can depend on the type of veneers you get and proper care. Brushing, flossing, and regular visits to your dentist can help keep your veneers in good condition. 

Smile Solutions with Newton Smiles Dental

Veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment that can help perfect your smile. Learn more about veneers and whether they’re right for you when you book an appointment with Newton Smiles Dental.

Written by Dr. Anilkumar Madivalar Gopi

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