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Want to change your smile? Dental veneers: everything you need to know before you make up your mind
The treatment of dental veneers is one of the most demanded in aesthetic dentistry, as it manages to improve the appearance of a smile in terms of shape, size, position and/or colour. Therefore, this intervention is indicated for all those people who, despite having good oral health, as well as a correct position of the teeth, wish to improve the aesthetics of their smile, in relation to the aspects we have mentioned above.
In the same way, dental veneers are also used in reconstruction treatments, when the patient has suffered a fracture or a pathology, which has irreversibly compromised the aesthetics of their smile. In any case, the implantation of veneers would be the last of the procedures, since we should have previously reconstructed the dental structure or, in the case of illness, have remedied the health problem.
Therefore, dental veneers serve to beautify a smile, but not to improve its functionality. This aspect is decisive, so we cannot consider dental veneers as a substitute for orthodontic treatment, which is indicated to improve many other aspects, usually related to chewing efficiency, as we explained in our post: Ortodoncia invisible vs. Brackets
What are dental veneers, really?
Veneers are thin sheets of porcelain or acrylic resin that are bonded to the surface of the teeth, with the aim of intervening in the visual impact produced when speaking, eating or smiling. It is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure (more on this later), which can significantly improve the appearance of a smile, resulting in an increase in personal confidence.
What types of dental veneers are available on the market?
There are different types of materials for dental veneers, but the most common are porcelain and acrylic resin. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of material will depend on the needs, characteristics and budget of each patient.
__ PORCELAIN VENEERS
Porcelain dental veneers are made in a dental laboratory. They are bonded to the teeth with a special adhesive and look very natural. They generally last longer than resin veneers (5 to 10 years). They are also highly resistant to stains, which makes them ideal for people who drink a lot of coffee, smoke, drink red wine or eat red fruits, among other habits that lead to dental pigmentation.
However, this type of veneers also has some disadvantages: as they are manufactured in a laboratory, they will take more days to produce, so the patient will have to attend a minimum of two sessions at the dentist. They are also thicker, which implies a more invasive procedure for their placement. Finally, they are more expensive and more difficult to repair.
__ ACRYLIC RESIN VENEERS
Resin dental veneers are less expensive than porcelain veneers and can be done in a single day in the dental clinic. Resin has the advantage of having a smaller amount of material bonded to the tooth, making them less invasive, but also less durable.
They tend to change colour over time and are not as stain resistant as porcelain. Even so, they are a good option for those who wish to improve their smile in a more economical way, without having to wait several days for them to be fitted.
How is this treatment done?
Before beginning dental veneer treatment, it is important to have a complete dental evaluation, which provides a diagnosis to ensure that the tooth structure is healthy and compatible with treatment. The dentist may take x-rays, photographs and plaster models of the teeth to plan and design the dental veneers.
Once the diagnosis has been completed and the type of material to be used has been decided, the process begins, which will require between one or two sessions, depending on the type of veneer.
__ It begins with the preparation of the tooth. The dentist will remove a small amount of tooth enamel from the tooth surface to prepare it for the application of the veneer. The amount of enamel removed from the teeth is usually approximately 0.5 to 1.0 mm, depending on the type.
The dentist will then take precise impressions of the teeth in order to plan the design. If porcelain is chosen, the results will be sent to the laboratory for fabrication. In the case of resin, he or she will start moulding the veneer at the same time.
It should be noted that if the porcelain veneer option is chosen, two appointments are required, so the dentist will apply temporary veneers to protect the teeth while the permanent veneers are being fabricated. After placement, an ultraviolet light lamp will be used to set the bonding and then they will be adjusted and polished to fit the smile perfectly.
It is likely that after the dental veneers are placed, patients may experience tooth sensitivity, but this usually disappears within a couple of days. It is important that patients take proper care of the veneers by brushing and flossing daily to maintain good oral hygiene and attending scheduled dental cleaning appointments.
In addition, dental veneers are not for everyone and it is important that each patient is aware of the risks and limitations of the treatment. Like any dental procedure, dental veneers may present some complications, such as permanent tooth sensitivity, the need for cosmetic revision after some time, wear or peeling of the veneer, or the occurrence of post-treatment bruxism. However, in most cases, the benefits of dental veneers far outweigh the risks and complications, which are rare, especially if performed in a well-equipped dental clinic with trained professionals.
In a nutshell
Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic option that can improve the appearance of a person's teeth and smile. There are different types of materials used to fabricate dental veneers, and the choice will depend on each patient's needs and budget.
Before undergoing treatment, it is advisable to undergo detailed diagnosis and planning at a reputable dental clinic. In the meantime, it is important that each patient receives clear and accurate information about the dental veneer procedure, its benefits and risks, as well as the need for good oral hygiene after treatment.
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