A Guide to Getting Dental Veneers for a Nicer, Brighter Smile

In recent years, veneers have surged in popularity – particularly amongst celebrities – due to their ability to give you the near-perfect smile you’ve always dreamed of.

But the procedure itself is not something to be taken lightly, as there are many important factors to consider before deciding to get veneers.

So to help you to understand dental veneers better, here is a guide to getting veneers, including important information that patients considering this cosmetic dentistry procedure should know.

What Are Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin artificial teeth covers that are bonded to the surface of an existing tooth to hide any cosmetic imperfections. Veneers can be placed on a single tooth or multiple teeth, such as full set of veneers applied to all the visible front teeth.

What Are They Made From?

Veneers are often made of porcelain or composite materials that are designed to match the size and colour of your teeth for a natural look.

Why Get Veneers?

If you are not happy with the look of your teeth, and you’re afraid to smile, veneers can transform the appearance of your teeth, giving you a smile you’ll be proud of.

Veneers are often used to:

  • Change tooth shape—for example, if your teeth are too small or short, veneers can remodel the shape of your teeth and smile.
  • Change tooth colour—tooth discolouration is a common concern. And for those with sensitive teeth, tooth whitening isn’t always the best option. So, veneers are often used to transform stained and discoloured teeth into pearly white teeth.
  • Improve tooth alignment—veneers are an alternative option for those who want straight teeth without braces. Veneers can remove gaps and correct irregular and misaligned teeth.
  • Repair chipped teeth—veneers can cover and repair chips in teeth, restoring the tooth to become whole again.
  • Repair damage from bruxism—bruxism (tooth grinding) can wear out the enamel on teeth, making teeth extra sensitive to hot and cold. Veneers act as a protective cover to reduce this sensitivity and improve the look of damaged teeth.

How do Veneers Compare to Crowns or Implants?

When comparing veneers vs implants vs crowns, keep in mind that veneers are for restoring the cosmetic appearance of teeth, while crowns and implants are used for restoring decayed and heavily damaged teeth.

Veneers cover cosmetic imperfections, while implants replace missing teeth that have been lost due to decay or trauma. And crowns restore teeth that have been damaged due to decay or trauma.

What Is the Process Like?

The process of getting veneers involves an initial consultation with your dentist to go over your concerns and the results you’d like to see.

Your dentist might take photos and create a dental impression of your teeth. They may also take an x-ray to check the condition of your existing teeth and check for problems, such as gum disease, that may need to be addressed first.

When it’s time to place the veneers, your dentist will shave off a thin amount of tooth enamel to prepare the surface of the tooth for bonding and allow enough space for the dental veneer.

Is it Painful?

Getting dental veneers shouldn’t be painful since there are no nerves in the enamel. But if you have sensitive teeth and are concerned about discomfort, your dentist might administer an anesthetic.

How Long Does the Process Take?

For composite veneers, the process is usually completed in one visit. Your dentist will roughen the tooth surface, apply a bonding agent on the tooth, and then build up and shape the composite material in thin layers until it is formed into the desired tooth shape.

After each layer is applied and formed, your dentist will use a special light to harden the composite material. And when you are happy with the look of the tooth, your dentist will polish it.

For porcelain veneers, the process takes longer since a lab technician needs to create the porcelain veneers first. So it will take one to three weeks for the veneers to be ready. Once they are ready, you will go back to your dentist.

They will clean your teeth and roughen the surface of your tooth and the veneer. Then they will use a strong dental adhesive to secure the caps in place.

Depending on the number of teeth being treated, fitting the veneers may take one or two hours.

Who is a Good Candidate for Veneers?

Almost anyone is a good candidate for veneers—whether you have discoloured teeth, small teeth, narrow teeth, or teeth with other imperfections. But what qualifies someone as a good candidate also depends on other factors. For instance, your dentist may not recommend veneers if you are always grinding and clenching your teeth, or if your teeth are severely decayed, damaged, or weak.

Aftercare and Recovery

Though getting veneers is not an invasive treatment, you may still have some discomfort in your mouth for a few days after treatment. Your gums might be sore, and you may experience some tooth sensitivity from the bonding cement.

If this happens, take ibuprofen and be gentle when brushing your teeth. Once your gums feel better, you can continue with your regular oral health routine.

How to Care for Veneers

Follow a regular oral health care routine to maintain your veneers and have them look great for many years to come.

Here are some additional tips to help ensure the longevity of your veneers:

  • Use a soft, quality toothbrush and change it regularly—every three months or so
  • Floss daily
  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Visit your dentist every six months for a professional tooth cleaning and tartar removal
  • When drinking tea, coffee, or red wine be sure to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after so you don’t stain your veneers
  • Quit smoking to protect your veneers from stains and to maintain good oral and overall health
  • Avoid chewing on hard food and objects that can chip your teeth

How Long do Veneers Last?

Veneers can last for 20 years or more, depending on the type and material used and how well you take care of your teeth.

If you’re self-conscious about your smile, and you’re looking for a non-invasive cosmetic dentistry procedure, speak with your dentist about dental veneers.

Veneers can give you the big, bright smile you’ve always dreamed of so you can finally be confident with your teeth.