Have you ever seen someone with a particularly lovely, bright smile? In some cases, this is a type of cosmetic dentistry called veneers. There are a wide variety of veneers available at most dental offices, and Mountain West Dental Specialists is no exception! Most people are likely surprised to learn there are no less than nine different types of veneers. Each one can serve a different purpose based on a patient’s individual needs. At Mountain West Dental Specialists, we will ensure that the best option is chosen for you!
So, What Exactly Are Veneers?
Veneers are a semi-permanent (five to 15 years) cosmetic method in which a thin, custom-made shell is placed over an existing tooth’s front base. Think about false acrylic nails—a cleaner, shinier cover than the originals! While the surgical application of veneers is relatively consistent regardless of the chosen material, there is a very specific process a patient will undergo, consisting of a few steps:
- Initial consultation (selection of the best method for your treatment)
- Tooth preparation/shade choice (to best match your natural tooth color)
- Impression (in which a mold of your teeth is created)
- Bonding (the actual application)
- Follow-up (allows the doctor to assess how your new smile is doing!)
After all of the questions of your initial consultation have been answered, Dr. Tomlin will start with a step called tooth trimming. This is relatively self-explanatory; the enamel of the teeth being treated are carefully shaved down in preparation. It might sound like it could be painful, but roots and nerves are never handled during the process. A key step of this is also removing any existing fillings. If the filling is brand new, it might not be as much of an issue. Typically, .5 to .7 mm of each tooth is removed during this process.
This is followed by the impression being created and can result in temporary veneers being given to the patient before the final bonding process. The reason behind this is that it can take a couple of weeks for the final porcelain veneers to be created by your dentist.
When the final veneer is ready to go, it will be fitted carefully, with the most minute adjustments being made to ensure an absolutely seamless fit. It may be manipulated a few times in this process before being adhered permanently.
Once Dr. Tomlin is pleased with the fit, the bonding begins. Your natural teeth and the veneer itself will be polished prior to the procedure. In a process called etching, an acidic gel is applied to the tooth’s surface for around 20 seconds. This makes the surface ideal for bonding; it will be rinsed off and then followed by a bonding agent. The veneer is then bonded in the chosen tooth color and attached with the help of a blue light. This is repeated as necessary to your treatment plan—and then you can say hello to your fantastic new smile!
With this general process in mind, we can now discuss all of those different types of veneers and hopefully make the prospect of choosing less overwhelming!
Porcelain veneers are one of the most common options and are popular in that they are excellent copies of the texture of natural teeth. A lot of doctors consider them to have the most natural effect. It is important to note that the gums should be healthy for this choice.
There is also a slight modification that exists to help make this variety more durable, in which porcelain is fused to metal veneers. These can integrate gold alloy or ceramics and considerably extend the life of your veneers while maintaining that natural quality.
If you’ve ever had a composite filling, you might have a decent understanding of this treatment’s appearance. These veneers are a less expensive and intrusive option but are also marginally less durable. They are more susceptible to stains, breaks, and scratches. They do require more maintenance but are still an ideal option for a large number of patients as a more economical alternative to porcelain veneers!
Yes, like the stuff in artificial diamonds. These veneers are a great option for a severely damaged tooth that cannot withstand porcelain or composite treatment. Zirconia (or zirconium dioxide) is a strong composite ceramic material. It is a good counter to porcelain veneers in that it is less affected by acidic substances in food and drink.
This is a newer option that is popular for having especially beautiful results. It is more durable than porcelain and is built up in thinner, natural-looking layers. Lumineers can be used on teeth with existing damage and are advantageous in that they allow for a lot of gum tissue to remain after the procedure, making them a favorable option for those with unhealthy gums.
Resin is notable in that it is one of the most durable options. If you have issues with grinding or clenching your teeth, fear not! This option can take the wear and tear.
Palatal Consonant Veneers
If you want traditional porcelain veneers but don’t have enough tooth surface available, this is an ideal treatment. They are typically a repair for the posterior (back) of the tooth. They can be used in other dental procedures and even for missing teeth. They are generally made of gold, but they can be ordered in composite material, too.
Let Mountain West Dental Specialists Create Your New Smile!
Mountain West Dental Specialists is the perfect destination for an initial consultation if you are curious about veneers. There really isn’t a better option if you’re looking to make a dramatic upgrade to your smile! So give us a call at our Las Vegas office at (702) 707-6897. You can ask as many questions as you want and go into your next cosmetic dental procedure with confidence!