If you’ve heard of dental veneers but aren’t exactly sure what they are, or if you have questions about this cosmetic treatment, we’ll explain everything in this article!
What is a dental veneer? Let’s start with a simple question: what are dental veneers? Custom-made from various materials, dental veneers are thin layers applied to the visible surface of teeth to redesign the smile. Dental veneers are used to create a uniform smile, modify the color, add more brightness, or correct the shape of teeth.
But what can a dental veneer actually do for your smile? The placement of veneers can give patients a natural and harmonious smile by aesthetically concealing imperfections.
Dental veneers: what are they used for and when should they be used? Dental veneers are used to modify the color, shape, whiteness, or size of teeth in various situations: slightly crooked or overlapping teeth, chipped teeth, gaps between teeth, or issues related to color or wear.
In more severe cases, some of these problems may require orthodontic treatment. However, for patients with minor dental imperfections, dental veneers can be used to conceal them. Dental veneers are a cosmetic solution, so they are recommended when there are no issues with oral health or functionality. For example, dental veneers are not suitable for correcting occlusion problems. Here are the cases in which dental veneers can be applied:
Dental veneers and damaged teeth Faced with dental wear caused by factors such as the patient’s age, erosion from bruxism, or abrasion, dental veneers can cover this deterioration, reinforcing the damaged tooth and restoring its original appearance.
Dental veneers and dental overcrowding Dental veneers can be applied when dental overcrowding is minimal. In such cases, dental veneers offer a quick and effective solution for addressing the affected teeth. To apply dental veneers on overlapping teeth, the tooth’s structure needs to be reshaped slightly, meaning the original enamel is modified (without touching the dentin) to correct the teeth’s alignment.
Dental veneers and diastema Dental veneers can be a solution for correcting diastema. In this case, veneers can be used to change the size of the teeth, filling in the existing gaps to create a harmonious smile.
Dental veneers and crooked teeth Dental veneers are an ideal solution for concealing teeth that have grown crooked. However, this solution is reserved for mild cases. In more severe cases, dental veneers may not be suitable as they cannot resolve functional problems resulting from dental misalignment.
Types of dental veneers There are several types of dental veneers based on the material used and the chosen shape. The most common types of dental veneers are as follows:
Types of dental veneers based on shape Different shapes of dental veneers will be offered depending on the desired smile style. The most common styles of dental veneers are:
Natural smile: Incisors have a slightly rounded shape, and lateral incisors are slightly shorter than central incisors. Canines are pointed and a bit longer than incisors. If you dream of a natural smile, this type of dental veneers is perfect for you! Rounded shape: Incisors and canines have a more rounded shape, creating a more authentic smile. Hollywood smile: Characterized by square central incisors and slightly shorter square lateral incisors compared to the central ones.
Types of dental veneers based on material In addition to their specific shape, dental veneers can also be made from various materials. Depending on the material used for dental veneers, the price, durability, or appearance may vary. Let’s take a look at the most well-known types and their specific characteristics:
Composite veneers Composite veneers are made from a malleable resin that combines carbon, glass, and boron fibers.
This type of veneer is applied in a single session and is suitable for correcting minor defects. Furthermore, composite veneers are a reversible treatment (non-permanent). Since the dentist doesn’t touch the tooth’s structure, they can be removed at any time.
Composite veneers have a shorter lifespan than ceramic veneers and are less stain-resistant, so they need to be replaced more often. This is why composite veneers are less expensive than ceramic veneers.
Ceramic or porcelain veneers Ceramic veneers, also known as porcelain veneers, are made from ceramic material. These veneers are the most commonly used as they offer better durability, exceptional strength, and particularly natural-looking results.
Ceramic veneers are completely customizable, perfectly tailored to the patient’s teeth, and nearly invisible. Additionally, porcelain veneers are highly stain-resistant. The combination of these features (durability, strength, perfect adaptation to teeth) accounts for their higher price.
Ceramic veneers come in 3 categories: lithium disilicate veneers, zirconia veneers, and ultra-thin veneers.
Lithium disilicate veneers Lithium disilicate veneers are made from a glass and ceramic alloy, often used for other dental procedures like crowns or bridges. Veneers made from this material are particularly strong and easy to handle. Additionally, lithium disilicate veneers offer better adhesion to dental tissue, making them one of the most durable veneer options.
Ultra-thin veneers Ultra-thin veneers are made from ceramic, providing better durability. Since the shells are very thin, it’s generally unnecessary to trim or modify the original tooth shape to attach them.
Zirconia veneers Zirconia veneers are highly resistant, easily malleable, and provide very good aesthetic results. These dental veneers are slightly thicker than ultra-thin veneers. They are generally used for specific cases, as the results appear less natural, and real tooth preparation is necessary.