If you are unhappy with the shape, color or overall appearance of your smile, consider investing in dental veneers and dental laminates. Veneers — often also called porcelain laminates — are extremely thin shells made of tooth-colored material. These shells slip over the surface of the tooth and drastically change its overall appearance. Veneers can…
Dental Veneers Are a Solution for Chipped Teeth
A severely chipped tooth needs a more robust solution like dental veneers. A severely chipped and cracked tooth is not just aesthetically unpleasant. It also makes the tooth more prone to cavities and infection. It exposes the tooth nerve, causing extreme sensitivity to cold, hot, sweet, and slightly acidic food.
What are the types of dental veneers?
Dental veneers are often used to cover a chipped, cracked, or worn tooth. They are also used in cosmetic dentistry for covering a severely stained tooth. Veneers are thin coverings that look like natural teeth. Below are their different types and how long they will last.
Porcelain veneers are the most preferred type because their material is strong and long-lasting. The porcelain laminate does not injure the gum tissues in the mouth. Aesthetically, it is the most natural-looking, and people will hardly notice the difference from the other teeth. Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, have little plaque buildup, and have a smooth texture. However, they can be costly, but considering that these will last for eight to 15 years, their cost will be worth it.
Composite veneers are made from the same material used for dental fillings — composite resin. It is a mix of organic and inorganic materials. It will look natural, but unlike porcelain veneers, it can stain after some time. These are the less expensive option to get teeth fixed. It can last for around five to seven years before needing replacement.
Lumineers is a brand of dental veneers that are digitally designed and customized to each patient’s tooth requirements. These are porcelain veneers as thin as contact lenses, unlike traditional porcelain veneers, which are thicker. Lumineers are easy to attach through a painless procedure without the need for anesthesia. But because it is thin and slightly luminous, it’s not recommended for those with tooth discoloration. These can last for 10 to 20 years before possible replacement.
Removable veneers or snap-on veneers come in two types — instant and custom clip-on. Instant veneers are very affordable products that can be bought in specialty stores and online. These are used by placing the veneers in warm water to soften, then fitting them into the patient’s teeth. These are temporary solutions and not recommended for long-term use. Custom clip-on veneers are customized removable veneers. The teeth get fitted in a dental clinic, and the measurements are sent to a lab that customizes a set of veneers.
Caring for dental veneers
Veneers can give a dramatic improvement to teeth. These thin porcelain shells may be durable, but each shell can still break. Knowing how to care for these shells can help make them last for decades. Bruxism or teeth grinding is a common cause of veneer damage. Treating this by wearing a nightguard can prevent cracks or chipping while the patient sleeps.
Practicing good oral hygiene every day can also keep veneers and teeth in top form. Using a non-abrasive toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush can clean the veneers without abrading them. This must be a practice after every meal. Flossing after each meal can also help remove food particles and bacteria between teeth. Rinsing with an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouthwash can rinse the mouth and keep the veneers intact at the same time.
Wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports is an effective way to protect the veneers. Trauma can crack the thin shells and even the natural teeth underneath. Hard and chewy foods can break or dislodge thin shells. Being mindful of chewing can help keep the shells intact.
Regular dental visits allow the dentist to inspect and clean the teeth thoroughly. This will remove plaque and tartar. Routine visits enable the dentist to treat any cavities or brewing infections. The dentist can also clean and polish the veneers. This will keep them looking new.
Staying away from staining foods and drinks can help keep the shells in top condition. Most patients prefer stain-resistant porcelain veneers. Even so, skipping dark-colored foods and drinks can help keep the shells stain-free. Choosing clear foods and drinks can help keep the shells bright all the time.
How long do veneers last?
Veneers can last for a minimum of five years for composite veneers, while porcelain can last up to 20 years. Proper mouth cleansing and a healthy eating habit can maximize and extend the durability of veneers. A good dentist will try to save the last bit of tooth to prevent extraction, thus recommending veneers. But, there is still a chance that the remaining tooth will decay underneath the veneers. Then, the veneers will need replacement.
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