If teeth are stained, chipped, unevenly spaced, or crooked, they can be improved by applying a veneer.
Veneers are thin strips of porcelain or plastic that are cemented over teeth to change their color or shape. Veneers are highly resistant to tooth-staining materials such as coffee and cigarette smoke. Because it’s necessary to remove enamel from your teeth to accommodate the veneer shell, veneers are often irreversible. Typically, veneers require at least 3 appointments: diagnosis, preparation, and bonding. Anesthesia is rarely required for veneer application.
During your preparation visit, your dentist will lightly buff your teeth to prepare for the veneer. About half of a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anesthetic. During this same visit, which typically lasts 1-2 hours, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth to send to the lab for fabrication.
During the bonding visit, veneers are temporarily placed on your teeth with glycerin or water. This is done to test their fit and appearance. The color can be adjusted with cement to match your natural teeth. Once the veneer is adjusted as needed, the tooth is cleaned with chemicals to create a bond. Then a special cement is placed between the tooth and the veneer and a laser is used to harden the cement.
After veneers are applied, you may notice slight changes in the size and shape of your teeth. It is vital to brush and floss daily to protect your veneers. Often, a follow-up appointment will be schedule 2 weeks after application, to ensure that the veneers are setting well.