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What Are Veneers?

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A dentist is holding up veneer colour options against the smile of a woman who sits in a dental chair.

When it comes to fixing cosmetic concerns with your teeth, there are several options available. In recent years, one of the more common options are veneers—a permanent solution to cosmetic imperfections on your teeth. 

Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin that are applied to the front face of your teeth to cover chips, gaps, or other cosmetic concerns. They can be permanently bonded to the surface of your teeth, and offer a long-term solution to aesthetic problems with your smile.

Understanding Veneers

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted from materials that match the colour of your natural teeth. Designed to cover and protect your teeth, they’re tailored to match the shape of your natural smile for a seamless appearance.

Veneers are an excellent option for people looking to address imperfections with their natural teeth, including:

  • Chips
  • Gaps
  • Stains
  • Discolouration
  • Minor misalignments
  • Misshapen teeth

How Are Veneers Applied?

The process of applying veneers is typically spread across 2 or more dental visits, and varies depending on which type of veneer you’ll be getting. 

In your initial visit, the dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam to determine whether or not veneers are a suitable solution to your situation. During this visit, your dentist may discuss your smile goals with you and share what you can expect following your treatment. 

Porcelain Veneers

A small amount of enamel will be prepared from the front surface of your teeth to create space for your future veneers. This is done so you can avoid feeling like your mouth is overcrowded when the extra material is placed. Then the dentist will take a digital scan of your teeth to send to a lab so they can fabricate your veneers.

While waiting for fabrication of your veneers, a dentist may apply temporary veneers to your teeth if necessary. Once the permanent veneers are made, the dentist will clean and polish your teeth, before applying a special dental adhesive to bond your veneers to your teeth. They’ll then use a special light to harden the adhesive and permanently bond the veneers with your natural smile.

Composite Veneers

Typically, the process for receiving composite veneers is simpler than porcelain. Very little, if any, preparation is needed for your teeth. The dentist will work with you to select a shade of composite material that either matches your natural teeth.

They will then apply the composite material directly to your teeth, shaping and sculpting it to create the desired appearance. They’ll bond it to your teeth and use a special light to harden the bonding agent, keeping the composite material securely attached to your teeth. Then the dentist may trim, shape, and polish the veneers as needed so you can maintain a natural smile.

Are Veneers Permanent?

Veneers are designed to be a long-lasting solution to cosmetic imperfections and are considered permanent, however, they may need to be replaced if they experience wear and tear as time passes.

Veneers can be replaced or repaired. It’s important to regularly schedule dental checkups and practice proper oral hygiene to maximize the lifespan of your veneers, similar to caring for your natural teeth.

How to Care for Veneers

A man with curly hair in a white shirt brushing his teeth in front of a mirror.

Caring for veneers is much more straightforward than may be expected—you can treat them like your natural teeth. It’s important to practice proper oral hygiene, including:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing once a day to remove food particles from between your teeth
  • Using an antibacterial mouthwash at least once per day to kill leftover bacteria in your mouth

Like your natural teeth, veneers can be damaged by excessive force or grinding your teeth. It’s also best not to use your teeth as tools (like opening bottles or prying things) to avoid damaging both the veneers and your natural teeth.

You can also increase the lifespan of your veneers by limiting foods and beverages that can stain or damage your teeth, like:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Acidic fruits

If you often play contact sports or work in an environment where you might be at risk of experiencing dental trauma, we recommend wearing a mouthguard. This can protect your veneers and natural teeth, and reduce the risk of shifting or damage from outside forces.

Should I Get Veneers?

At the end of the day, the decision to get veneers depends on your specific needs. The first step to making this decision is scheduling an appointment and speaking with your dentist. Your dentist can examine your teeth and make a recommendation for treating your unique needs.

At Pristine Dental, we know how important a smile is to your quality of life. Our experienced team is happy to answer any questions you may have about veneers. To speak with one of our caring and educated staff members, schedule an appointment with us today.

Written by Dr. Navneet Sandhu

Dr. Sandhu obtained her bachelors degree in dentistry from Baba Farid University, Faridkot, India. She worked in India for about 6 years as a tutor in Guru Nanak Dev Dental College and Research Institute and in a private practice as well before moving to Canada where she settled down in Winnipeg with her family. She completed the Canadian equivalency process in 2018 and worked in a private practice in Winnipeg since then.

Over the years, she gained valuable experience in extractions, crowns and bridges, root canal therapy and managing soft tissue lesions. Dr. Sandhu believes in building long lasting and trustworthy relationships with her patients. Her main goal is to make you comfortable, listen to your needs and help you achieve a happy, healthy and long lasting smile.
Dr. Sandhu is keen on constantly updating her knowledge and skills through various courses and seminars. She is a very detail oriented professional and is a very kind and caring person. Her main interests are in cosmetic dentistry and oral surgery.
Apart from dentistry, she loves travelling and exploring new cultures and enjoys her free time relaxing at home with her family. She avidly enjoys going to yoga.
She is fluent in Hindi and Punjabi apart from English and looks forward to helping you with all your dental needs.
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