Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-coloured materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. Patients often have veneers placed to cover permanent stains, restore the look of broken teeth, or to straighten the look of their teeth.
Before the veneers are bonded to the teeth, each tooth is reshaped to accommodate the shell. The way in which the veneers are placed depends on the type of veneer.
A porcelain veneer requires two appointments to complete. At the first appointment, the dentist will prepare your teeth by reshaping them, then take an impression which acts as a template for your custom-made veneers. It will take two weeks for the dental laboratory to create your veneers, so you’ll be outfitted with plastic veneers to protect your teeth in the meantime.
Once your veneers have come back from the lab, we’ll remove your plastic ones and apply your porcelain veneers, bonding them to your teeth. Porcelain veneers are often used because they’re predictable and versatile. This type of veneer is fabricated outside of the mouth, allowing for a more refined result in terms of shape and colour.
Composite veneers are made from a resin material, which is shaped and bonded directly to the tooth in a single step. As composite veneers are not manufactured in a lab, they can usually be completed in one appointment.
The dentist reshapes the tooth the same way they would for porcelain veneers; however, instead of taking an impression of the teeth, the dentist then creates the veneer directly onto the tooth. Next, your veneer is smoothed and polished to match your natural teeth.
Composite veneers are not as strong as porcelain veneers and can be prone to fractures. However, if the veneer does fracture, it can often be repaired using the same composite material. The other disadvantage is that composite’s colour, although stable, is not as stable as porcelain. Over time the veneers may start to yellow due to food and drink stains. Eventually, this change in colour may warrant the replacement of the veneers.
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