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How to Enhance Your Smile With Dental Veneers

Dental mirror with zircon dentures
Dental veneers are like tooth-sized masks or shields for your teeth. Composite or porcelain laminate veneers fit over existing teeth and can transform your smile in a few dental visits. Learn what you need to know about having dental veneers installed in your mouth.
Schedule a Dental Exam
Start your journey to a new smile with a comprehensive exam at your dentist's office. Your dentist will tell you if your tooth or teeth are good candidates for dental veneers. Not all teeth are strong or healthy enough for dental veneers. If you have multiple cosmetic issues, your smile may be easier to restore with dental implants or bridges.
If your dentist believes that your underlying teeth are strong enough, the following dental issues can be addressed with veneers:
  • Stained teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Crooked teeth
You can choose between direct and indirect veneers to solve your cosmetic tooth issues. The best choice for your teeth depends on how much you want to spend, how long you want your veneers to last, and how well your dentist believes your teeth will respond to direct or indirect veneers.
Dental veneers can't fix serious orthodontic or tooth-decay issues. Your dentist may recommend other restorative treatments instead of - or in addition to - the application of dental veneers.
Understand the Direct Veneer Procedure
Direct dental veneers are also called composite dental veneers. Direct dental veneers are made of tooth-colored composite resin. Expect a composite dental veneer to last five to seven years. Composite veneers stain more easily than indirect veneers, and they aren't as durable.
Before applying the resin, the dentist lightly shapes and roughens your tooth. Next, the dentist mixes the resin in the office and applies it directly to your prepared tooth.
After applying the resin, the dentist sculpts the material to match the shape and size of the adjacent teeth. An ultraviolet light hardens the composite resin. After the direct veneer hardens, the dentist shapes, polishes, and buffs it.
Composite or direct veneers are generally applied to the teeth in one office visit. Composite veneer procedures are quick and efficient ways to enhance your teeth before an event or job interview. When you have direct veneers installed, you pay about one-fourth the cost of indirect veneers installed on the same teeth.
Understand the Indirect Veneer Procedure
Indirect dental veneers are actually custom-milled, thin shells made of porcelain or porcelain laminate material. Porcelain laminate veneers are highly stain-resistant and may last 10 to 15 years or longer.
Expect to visit your dentist several times over the course of your indirect veneer treatment. After your initial exam, your dentist will schedule an office visit to prepare your teeth. The dentist trims the enamel of the teeth that will receive the veneers. They also take an impression or mold of your teeth at this visit.
The molds or impressions are sent to a professional lab where your veneers are created. In a week or so, your veneers are delivered to your dentist and you return to the office for your veneer fitting.
Before and while placing your indirect veneers, your dentist does the following:
  • Checks color-match of veneers
  • Checks fit and appearance of veneers
  • Cleans veneers and your teeth
  • Roughens teeth for better adhesion
  • Applies veneer to teeth with cement
  • Uses ultraviolet light to harden the bond
Schedule a post-veneer checkup several weeks after you have your indirect veneers installed. During your post-procedure office visit, your dentist will check the integrity, comfort, and appearance of your porcelain laminate veneers and answer any questions you have about caring for your new teeth.
Learn more about direct and indirect dental veneers in Villa Rica, Georgia, by contacting the dental office of Dr. M. Dawn Harvey, DMD, PC, today. We offer a full range of cosmetic and restorative dental procedures, including porcelain laminate veneers.