Many people understand that veneers are a cosmetic dental treatment used to create beautiful smile makeovers. Some, however, do not understand exactly how they work and what problems they correct. This article will cover the specific cosmetic issues for which veneers are a wonderful treatment option.
What is a Veneer?
A veneer is a covering. Specifically in dentistry, a veneer is a restoration that covers the entire visible surface of a tooth. Typically, we can make veneers from either porcelain (a highly glazed glass) or composite resin (a tooth-colored bonded plastic).
For most veneer restorations, the dentist must remove some of the natural tooth structure to create space for a veneer with a natural shape and appearance. The amount of healthy tooth structure removed depends on the severity of the problem the veneer will “cover”.
Discolored Teeth that Do Not Respond to Teeth Whitening
A very common reason patients choose veneers is to provide a form of “permanent teeth whitening”. There are certain types of teeth discoloration that do not respond to teeth whitening products and procedures. When someone has attempted teeth whitening and does not achieve noticeable results, veneers are a wonderful option to cover and mask the discoloration underneath.
The thickness of the veneer, which determines the amount of tooth structure removal, depends on how dark the discoloration is. The darker the underlying tooth, the thicker you need your veneer to be.
Because veneers do not change color over time, they provide a permanent color change to your teeth.
Sometimes teeth form in an unnatural shape. Teeth can also experience wear or damage that leads to jagged, chipped or uneven edges. These are problems that veneers can fix!
Problems in the development of a tooth can lead to an unusual shape. Instead of having a flat biting edge, it may narrow to a sharp point. Some teeth simply develop undersized. Certain developmental problems can lead to deep crevices and pits that must be covered to prevent cavities. By placing veneers over these teeth, we can re-create the appearance of them and give them a natural shape and contour.
Teeth that Look Too Small
Sometimes the size of the teeth do not match the size of the person. Teeth, just like the other parts of the body, should be of a size relative to the rest of the body. It would look funny to see little tiny teeth in a big man’s face. When teeth appear too small, we can improve the appearance of the smile by using veneers to enlarge the teeth.
We cannot emphasize the word “minor” enough. If the teeth are severely crooked, veneers will not provide the best cosmetic result. But if they have merely minor rotations or overlapping, we can cover those issues with veneers and give the appearance of a straight smile. It is important to understand that there are limitations to the changes we can make with veneers, and the great the change desired, the more tooth structure we must remove.
We place the veneers over the teeth in their present position, so that the outward visible appearance looks perfectly straight, while the underlying teeth remain in their slightly crowded position.
Small Spaces Between the Teeth
The same goes for gaps between the teeth. When they are small, we can easily use the veneers to fill in the gaps and close the spaces. Correcting minor spacing between the teeth with veneers can make such a beautiful difference in a smile.
However, if the spaces are large, filling them in completely would create teeth that are much too wide. They would look unnatural and disproportionate. So we are limited to minor spaces between the teeth.
More Questions about Veneers?
As you can tell from reading this article, veneers don’t fix every cosmetic problem. They take a smile from good to great! Whether you have one of these issues and need more information about veneers, or you have a different issue and want to find out how to correct it, we can help. Call 972-347-1145 today to schedule a cosmetic consultation with Dr. Jill, Dr. Cara and Dr. Summer. We can answer all of your questions and help you choose the best treatment option for your specific goals.