Veneers are very thin (about 0.3millimeters) custom-made “shells” specially prepared to make your teeth look natural. As few or as many of your teeth can be veneered in order to achieve the intended result. The best veneers are made of porcelain and are bonded directly to the teeth. Having teeth veneered is a procedure requiring just a few appointments; however, it is imperative that the patient and the doctor both know exactly what the intended final results are to be achieved. To this end, current photographs and models of the patient’s teeth as well as pictures of other people’s teeth that the patient likes are often used in making sure the final result can be achieved before ever beginning treatment.
To provide room and for the best esthetic result, a small amount of tooth enamel is usually removed in the areas where the veneers will be placed. An impression of the teeth is sent to a dental laboratory where the veneers are made to match the color and shape that you desire. Making the veneers can take a few weeks, so in the meantime, you can wear temporary veneers that mimic your natural teeth. Under certain conditions, no preparation of the teeth is required. In other cases, so little preparation is done that temporary veneers are not necessary.
As with your natural teeth, veneers require good oral hygiene and regular dental visits to keep them looking as good as new. Even with properly placed veneers, a patient’s bite pattern and/or forces generated in the mouth (known or unknown) may cause them to chip or break, so take care and avoid habits such as fingernail biting and chewing on hard objects.
Even the most subtle change in your smile can make a dramatic difference in the way you look and feel. And when you feel and look good, you project a confident self-image. Veneers may help in this endeavor.