A dental veneer is a shell, or wafer-thin layer of tooth-coloured porcelain or composite that is placed over the facial (labial) surfaces of your teeth to correct worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment or spacing, discoloration, chips or cracks. These bespoke shells are bonded to the front of the teeth, effectively changing their colour, shape, size, or length and can effect an instant and dramatic smile makeover.
Although veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create bright, white smiles with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth, they also protect the surface of damaged teeth and may eliminate the need for more extensive treatments. Other benefits include durability, an improved smile appearance, and the minimal removal of the existing tooth structure compared to crowns.
Dental veneers may solve most or even all of your cosmetic dental issues, including:
- Worn enamel: Over time, your tooth enamel may become worn, dulled or discoloured. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or result from a genetic predisposition. However, it often results from consuming soft drinks, tea or coffee, smoking and certain medications.
- Wear and tear: Teeth naturally wear down as people age. Aged teeth are more likely to have chips, cracks or a generally uneven appearance.
- Genetics: Certain people are born with abnormal spacing between their teeth that widen with age.
- Uneven teeth: Uneven teeth can result from tooth grinding or general wear and tear.
Are You A Candidate?
As the removal of any natural tooth structure is permanent, at QRDC we prefer to offer patients the most minimally invasive options first. If your natural teeth are functionally and aesthetically adequate, you may consider opting for tooth reshaping and contouring instead.
Combining bonding with reshaping can effectively fill in chips and gaps between teeth, add pleasing shape and improve overall tooth colour. Bonding involves applying a puttylike resin, which adheres to the tooth and hardens. The resin is coloured to provide the best result, either to match or improve the natural tooth colour. If more than one tooth requires reshaping and you have extensive staining or discolouration, it may be prudent to consider whitening your teeth first, as once bonding is applied it will not respond to whitening.
To determine if you are a candidate for dental veneers or tooth reshaping, we will schedule a preliminary consultation during which your oral health will be evaluated and all available treatment options discussed. Treatment involving tooth preparation is irreversible, so it is important that your dentist discuss any alternatives that provide the same results but with minimal to no removal of tooth structure.