There are numerous cosmetic procedures to improve someone’s smile, and veneers are a popular option. There are two types of veneers: Porcelain and composite. Both are used for minor cosmetic issues such as discolored teeth, cracks or chips, gaps between teeth, and worn-down enamel.
Porcelain is used more often as there are numerous benefits, but this procedure is considered permanent because the dentist needs to change the natural tooth’s structure. Composite veneers, in comparison, do not change the structure of the teeth and are removable.
Porcelain veneers are a popular option because they are strong, durable, and natural looking. This type does, however, require permanent changes to the underlying teeth.
The process of placing veneers requires two visits to the dentist. During the first appointment, the dentist takes an impression of the teeth. This is used to create temporary veneers and gives a good picture of what the final product will look like.
Next, the dentist prepares the teeth. This is done by removing some of the enamel and shaping it to create room for the veneers. Once the teeth are the right shape and size, a final impression is taken, which is used to fabricate the permanent restoration. Between the first and second appointment, the temporary veneers are placed.
Once the permanent veneers have been made, the patient makes a second appointment for bonding. The dentist removes the temporary shells, cleans the gums, and adjusts the prosthetic to fit. Once it attached correctly, the dentist uses cement to bond the veneers to the natural teeth.
With proper care, porcelain veneers typically last 10 to 20 years. If damaged or deteriorated, replacement is necessary as the structure of the underlying teeth has been altered.
For patients who want a reversible cosmetic option, composite veneers may be the answer.
Composite veneer placement can occur in one or two visits. In both cases, the teeth are first prepared, which includes cleaning and slightly reshaping the teeth. A very small amount of enamel may be removed, which retains the convexity of the tooth, meaning composite veneers are not as permanent as porcelain ones.
If it is a two-visit replacement, an impression is made, and the final veneers are bonded on the second visit, just like with porcelain ones. For one-visit placement, the dentist applies and hardens individual layers of composite material to the teeth.
Composite veneers do not last as long as porcelain ones. The average lifespan is five to seven years. After that time, most people choose to have the procedure redone. However, replacing is not necessary as it is for porcelain since the underlying teeth have not been permanently changed.
If someone wants to fix minor imperfections of the teeth, veneers may be a good option. There are two types of veneers, and one is permanent, so patients should discuss both options with the dentist.
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