Discolored, stained, broken or spaced teeth are common reasons why some people smile less than others. If you’ve been hiding your smile, getting dental veneers is a great solution that can help improve your quality of life by giving you a perfect smile you’ll no longer want to hide.

Dental veneers are a cutting-edge, durable and high-quality solution if you’re conscious about uneven, poorly shaped, stained or chipped front teeth. Here are eight questions and answers that will help you learn more about veneers and decide if you need them.

What are veneers?

Dental veneers are fine thin tooth-colored coverings that are laminated on to the surface of a tooth to improve the look of discolored or stained teeth. Veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment used widely to enhance people’s smiles and increase their self-confidence. They’re also used to repair chipped or cracked teeth and to fill gaps between teeth.

Are there different types of dental veneers?

Yes. The most commonly used veneer materials are porcelain, ceramic and resin (composite bonding). Porcelain veneers cost more than others but they’re considered the gold standard in veneers. They’re more resistant to stains and are a better choice for people with chipped, darkened or broken teeth.

Then there are ultra-thin, no-prep, instant and removable veneers. Most veneer types can be color-customized according to the color of your teeth.

Do veneers require any special daily care?

A good oral care routine with daily brushing and flossing will keep your veneers in good shape. Avoid breaking nut shells or opening beer bottles with veneered teeth and wear a mouth night guard to prevent accidental breakage from biting, clenching or grinding of teeth.

Also, avoid using toothpicks to dig deep into the sides of your veneered teeth as this can damage the veneer. Take a look at this fun and insightful article https://columbiariverdentistry.com/the-great-debate-dental-floss-vs-toothpicks/ to know when to use a toothpick and when to floss.

What precautions need to be taken with dental veneers?

If you have opted for porcelain veneers, you need not worry about staining. For other materials, take care when having tooth-staining foods such as red wine, berries, coffee, herbal teas and so forth.

Veneers must be protected against breakage that can occur from habits such as nail-biting or chewing on a pen or pencil. In addition, you need to be diligent about maintaining good oral hygiene to protect your veneers against decay. If you grind your teeth, wear a night guard to prevent cracks in your veneers.

Is this a permanent treatment?

Porcelain veneers are considered a permanent enhancement as bonding them on to the surface of the tooth requires etching away a small portion (a few millimeters) of the tooth. This is an important step in fixing veneers in order to fit them properly over your teeth and make them look natural. Porcelain veneers can easily last ten years, and even more, if you take good care of them. If they do get damaged, they can be easily replaced with new veneers.

Composite veneers do not require removal of the enamel, which means they can be removed when you want without having to replace them with new veneers.

When is getting veneers not a good idea?

Dental veneers can give you your dream smile. But they are not the right solution if you have tooth decay or gum disease. Have these treated by a competent dentist before going for any type of cosmetic dental treatment?

How many visits does it take to get veneers?

Generally, veneer placement can be done in two or three visits. The first visit to your cosmetic dentist entails a detailed consultation, followed by the shaping and preparation of your teeth for veneers. The doctor then places temporary veneers onto your teeth so that you can go about your life while the permanent ones are being made. The last visit involves permanent fixation of your chosen veneers onto your teeth.

What are the things I should know when choosing a prosthodontist?

Find a trusted and reputable prosthodontist experienced in advanced cosmetic dentistry. Ask for past cases of veneers done by the clinic and any specific examples that match with your situation. Ask how often they do veneers, which lab they use for the preparation of cosmetic veneers and which type of veneers you should choose based on the aesthetic finesse, total cost, durability, advantages, and drawbacks and need for replacement.

Also, request for a demo/ simulation of what your smile will look like after permanent veneers are affixed onto your teeth.