Just like dental bonding, veneers (or laminates as they’re sometimes called) are a restorative cosmetic procedure used to repair cracks, blemishes, and fractures that appear on the tooth. However that’s where the similarities end.
While cosmetic dental bonding involves applying a tooth-colored resin directly onto the affected area, veneers or laminates are super thin shells of porcelain which fit over the tooth just like artificial nails. As such, they can also be used to provide a solution for discolored teeth that for whatever reason don’t respond to teeth whitening treatment. The porcelain material is more durable than the putty-like substance used in dental bonding and as such patients can expect 10-15 years use with proper care.
What’s more, because veneers or laminates are attachments they can also be used to modify teeth to hide unsightly gaps or to straighten the appearance of crooked teeth. Finally, and unlike dental bonding, porcelain is highly resistant to coffee, tea, and red wine staining so the resemblance to natural teeth is striking.
For this reason dental veneers are becoming more popular particularly among celebrities and many of the Hollywood elite including Hillary Duff, Miley Cyrus, and Ben Affleck all have laminates fitted. Fortunately laminate restorations are a cost-effective treatment, so you don’t have to be a Hollywood A-Lister to afford them.
So how does the process work?
Fitting dental veneers is carried out over several sittings spanning a number of weeks and is carried out in 3 main phases.
In a process known as ‘waxing up’ models of the tooth/teeth are made using wax. These are then sent to the lab and using the constructions, your temporary veneers are made.
Your Trial Smile
After 2 -3 weeks the team at Chesterfield Dentistry should have your temporary veneers back from the lab. This is when you get to trial them. The idea is that by testing your temporaries it’s easy to see whether they’re a good fit and are comfortable in terms of bite, before your permanent ones are fitted. This is because once the permanent ones are attached the process isn’t reversible, so it needs to be right. Patients also need to bear in mind that their temporary veneers won’t sit as flush as the permanent ones, but all in all, once you’re happy with the look and feel, Dr Akinwande and the team will go ahead and order your permanent ones.
The first stage of course is to remove your temporary veneers. Then a local anesthetic is administered around the tooth area. Next a 1mm thin layer of tooth enamel is removed from your natural tooth. This is so that the veneer sits perfectly flush with your surrounding teeth. Once removed an etching gel is used to ‘roughen up’ the tooth surface and using a super-strong bonding agent, the permanent veneers are fitted. Once in position a light wand is used to set the bonding agent and any excess cement is removed. Finally your new laminates are buffed and polished to remove any imperfections.
What about after care?
There is no special after care needed for dental veneers and once they’re fitted and hardened them normal activities can resume. This includes brushing and flossing.
Dental veneers not only protect your existing teeth but can cover up a multitude of blemishes, cracks, and fractures, as well as enhance the look of your smile. If you’d like to know more about how dental laminates can help to restore your smile then contact Dr Akinwande and the team today on (314) 469 6429.