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Choosing a Dental Veneer Material
Dental veneers are a popular choice for a brighter, straighter smile. A dental veneer is a thin layer placed over the existing tooth. They disguise damage as an alternative to having the tooth repaired or replaced. Veneers are particularly popular in professions where a bright smile is important.
What are dental veneers?
Crowns, implants and bridgework can be expensive and time-consuming. Dental veneers are cheap and quick and suitable for cosmetic dental work. Veneers do not repair or strengthen the teeth. The veneers merely improve aesthetics. A dental veneer can make teeth appear straighter without resorting to physically realigning the mouth.
The veneer sits over the original tooth and can fix chipped or stained teeth. The veneers are not an alternative to serious dental problems. Veneers are useful where the damage is not enough to require removing the tooth. In some cases, veneers may be an alternative to crowns or dental bridges.
Veneers can also create a straight smile, evening out the appearance of the teeth. Orthodontic treatments involve physically moving the teeth by increments. Orthodontics is a common choice for adolescents but less popular among older people. Dental veneers provide a quick and effective alternative path to a pleasing smile.
What materials are available?
Depending on the materials used, a dental veneer can last up to 20 years. Dental veneers are made either from porcelain or from a resin composite. Porcelain is a ceramic material, sculpted on a thin metal base. The finished veneer is affixed to the tooth at the dentist’s office. Composite resin veneers are applied in the dentist’s chair. The veneer consists of layers of material sculpted to resemble a healthy tooth.
Porcelain has a long history of use in dentistry. Its natural color is very similar to that of a human tooth. It is also durable, lasting decades if properly maintained. It is used not just for veneers but for false teeth and bridgework. Dentists consider porcelain the gold standard material for dental prosthetics.
Porcelain veneers cannot be easily removed. They are effectively permanent once attached. These veneers are resistant to wear and tear and will last 10 to 20 years. Porcelain is the more expensive, long-term option for dental veneers.
Composite veneers are made of a layered resin. The procedure happens in the dentist’s chair, at the regular office. The veneer is an overlay on the natural tooth, rather than a separate attached piece. Composite veneers cover stained teeth with a fresh white layer. They can also fix chips and minor cracks. A composite veneer lasts only 5 to 10 years, but it is easier to repair than porcelain.
Getting a dental veneer
The right choice of veneer depends on the patient’s needs. For a quick aesthetic fix, a composite veneer may be the one. For more extensive long-term good looks, porcelain is the industry preference. Consult with your dentist on which option to choose. Schedule an appointment to discuss getting a dental veneer. Chipped and stained teeth can be easily repaired.
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