In cases when teeth cannot be repaired by the use of ordinary bonding procedures, Dr. Harry Albers recommends the use of esthetic veneers to cover the imperfection and create a façade that is both pleasing to the eye and structurally sound. Esthetic veneers are thin, shell-like coverings that are placed over the parts of the tooth that show visible signs of deterioration, discoloration, deformity, or crookedness in order to restore the aesthetic appearance of the affected tooth.
Unlike a dental crown that covers the entire tooth, an esthetic veneer is only placed on the surface of the tooth to cover up the imperfections. The procedure for the application of esthetic veneers is a simple and comfortable one that will only take a few visits to the dentist’s office. Another advantage is that they are a great option for restoring the patient’s front teeth, especially discolored ones that are no longer responding to conventional whitening procedures. They have also shown great promise in correcting chipped or worn down teeth that may contribute to an appearance of having shorter teeth. Esthetic veneers are also a good option for closing the gaps in between the upper front teeth.
Ceramic veneers are extremely thin ceramic shells that are applied directly on the surface of the affected tooth. They are stain resistant and resemble the composition of natural teeth very closely. They have virtually the same light reflecting properties as those of the patient’s natural teeth making them hard to differentiate from the existing teeth. On the other hand, resin-based composite veneers are thinner restorations that require less enamel removal prior to installation.
Generally, the first step in getting esthetic veneers is to have a thorough consultation with your dentist to be able to discuss the desired results and the most appropriate type of veneer for your specific requirement. Also, depending on the patient’s preference, a local anesthetic may be administered on the treatment site to lessen the discomfort during the procedure. To prepare the affected tooth or teeth for the veneer, the dentist will have to remove a small portion of outermost layer of the enamel of the tooth to be able to accommodate it without it looking bulky or unnatural in relation to the rest of the existing teeth. This is usually the thickness of a fingernail. An impression of the patient’s teeth will then be made and sent to a dental laboratory to be the basis of the fabrication of the veneers. The patient will wear temporary veneers while the permanent ones are being made. After fabrication, the dentist examines them for fit and color and then, just before cementing the esthetic veneers permanently onto the surface of the teeth, they will be cleaned, polished, and roughened to improve the bonding process. Once the veneer is bonded to the teeth, final adjustments will be made as necessary.