Tooth Veneers

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Friday, May 7, 2010

Ceramic and Composite Veneers

Ceramic veneer advantages:

  • Strong and durable
  • Smooth and translucent surface provides a natural appearance
  • Resistant to staining

The steps to place ceramic veneers are:

  1. The dentist removes a small amount of enamel from the front and sides of the tooth, when necessary.  This makes room for the veneer and prevents the restored tooth from feeling or looking bulky or unnatural.
  2. Next, the dentist makes an impression of the prepared teeth so that the shape of the preparations and surrounding teeth can be replicated in the dental laboratory.
  3. The dentist also looks for the veneer shade that will be best for you.
  4. The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory that makes the ceramic veneers to fit your individual teeth.  This may take several days.
  5. At the next visit, the dentist places the veneers on the teeth to check the fit and shape.  After any adjustments, the teeth are cleaned and the ceramic veneers are then bonded to the teeth.
  6. Further adjustments may be done at a subsequent appointment.

Composite resin veneer advantages:

  • May require removal of less tooth enamel than is necessary for ceramic veneers.
  • May mean fewer visits to the dentist (sometimes these veneers take just one visit!)
  • Easy to replace if damaged (although composite veneers are generally not as strong or wear-resistant as ceramic veneers, composite veneers are easily and quickly repaired).

The steps to place direct composite resin veneers are:

  1. After the tooth is prepared or reshaped, the dentist carefully bonds and sculpts the composite material in a shade that is best for you.
  2. A special light is used to harden the composite.
  3. The veneer is smoothed and polished to look like a natural tooth.

As with all your dental care, discuss your expectations and treatment options thoroughly with your dentist.  Regular dental visits are a must for maintaining healthy teeth.

James G. Hood, D.D.S., M.A. © 2010

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