There are a wide range of cosmetic dental procedures that can help to alter your smile. Dental veneers are one of the options that are growing in popularity. Just hearing about them for the first time? Interested in learning more? Here’s an overview.

What Are Dental Veneers?

The word “veneer” usually refers to a thin sheet of nice wood that’s usually applied over a rough or coarse piece of wood to make it look more beautiful and refined. Veneers for your teeth are used for a similar purpose—to cover teeth you want to hide. However, they are obviously not made of wood, but feature porcelain instead.

What Are Porcelain Veneers For?

Porcelain veneers can be used in a variety of circumstances. If you have cracked or discolored teeth, putting on veneers hides those blemishes. Cosmetic dentists also use them to change the shape of your teeth. Generally, only adults get veneers, but in special situations teens or even children may be eligible. Your dentist can let you know if you’re a good candidate.

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Veneers are semi-permanent, and they last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. After that point, you typically have to replace them. However, if your mouth sustains an injury, the veneers can be damaged. For example, if you fall while skateboarding and hit your tooth on cement, it could crack the veneers.

What’s the Difference Between Veneers, Onlays, and Inlays?

There are actually a few different porcelain covers that work for teeth, and you may have also stumbled across the words “inlay” and “onlay”.
Dental inlays are porcelain covers that are used in lieu of fillings. Once dentists remove the decay from a tooth, they attach the inlay to cover the missing enamel. Onlays perform the same function, but they are just a bit bigger. Because of that, onlays are sometimes called partial crowns.
Like veneers, inlays and onlays are also made of porcelain, but you can also choose gold or composite resin inlays and onlays as well. Finally, inlays and onlays are both used in restorative dentistry, while veneers tend to be exclusively cosmetic.

How Do You Prepare for Veneers?

If you think you might want veneers, you should contact a dentist to set up a consultation. It helps to have an idea of your objectives whether you want to fix discoloration, change the shape of your teeth, or address another issue.
If you have a particular “look” that you want to go after, you may want to bring in photographs. If you haven’t had a regular exam for a while, the dentist may do x rays and look over your mouth for decay. Then, you may need to get that work done before you get the veneers.
The dentist will also make a mold of your teeth to send to the lab that is making the veneers. About two to four weeks later, you get a follow up appointment, and during that appointment, the dentist puts the veneers on your teeth. If you are getting multiple veneers, it may take a few appointments to get all the work done.
To prepare the surface of your teeth, the dentist shaves off some enamel. Then, he or she bonds the porcelain veneers to your teeth.

Do You Need Novocaine When You Get Veneers?

Usually, the process is relatively pain free, but patients who are especially sensitive may opt for a local anesthetic. Other patients may even opt to use sedation dentistry.
If you want a new smile, contact Ashley Dental Associates, P.A.to talk about veneers and other cosmetic dentistry options. We also offer bridges, teeth whitening, and a range of other cosmetic and restorative dental procedures.