What are Veneers?
The conservative alternative to cosmetic crowns
Dental veneers are tooth-colored layers of resin or porcelain permanently cemented over the front surface of your teeth. Their purpose is to correct small defects like chips, small gaps, smaller than normal teeth, and slight misalignments. They are a great alternative to other cosmetic procedures, like crowns, because they involve minimal tooth preparation. Porcelain veneers are created at our lab at unbeatable turnaround times. If you want your smile to look and feel great without sacrificing your tooth this is the best option for you.
Types of Dental Veneers
There are two types of dental veneers and they differ widely from each other.
Traditional veneers are made out of porcelain. After your dentist has prepped the front surface of your tooth and a few millimeters of the incisal surface, he takes an impression that will then be sent to the dental lab. The length, width and color of the veneer are fully customizable. After it has been fabricated, you will come for a second appointment and it will be permanently cemented over your tooth. Generally several veneers will be recommended for the sake of uniformity.
Resin veneers are also an option. These are made of composite resin, instead of porcelain. These are a good option to correct minor esthetic issues. Resin veneers, also known as bondings, are built over the surface of the tooth, which means there is no preparation or grinding involved. Working just like a filling, the dentist creates a layer of tooth-colored resin over your tooth and sculpts it to satisfaction. He then hardens and polishes it for natural look. Since there is no labwork involved, they can be completed in a single appointment.
Pros and Cons of Veneers
- Porcelain veneers match other porcelain crowns. Naturally, they are the same material. If you have many crowns and you want all your teeth to match, veneers can do the trick.
- Composite, or resin veneers, involve no grinding.
- You can correct defects in your smile or achieve whiteness not available with other methods.
- Resin veneers are a reversible procedure.
- Porcelain does not stain.
- At Costa Rica, these are cost-effective procedures.
- Resin veneers can be completed in a single day.
- Due to the necessary grinding, porcelain veneers are a non-reversible procedure. Once the dentist preps for porcelain veneers, you must commit to them for life.
- Resin veneers can stain or fall over the years.
- If a porcelain veneer chips or breaks, the dentist must re prep to make a new one. This, after many years, results in the eventual need of a dental crown (full tooth coverage).
- Veneers are limited by anatomical and dental considerations. They are not meant to substitute more invasive restorations.
- Veneers can only be performed over perfectly healthy teeth. Any tooth that already has a filling, root canal treatment, or that has already been prepped should be restored with a crown.
Candidacy for Veneers
Veneers are not for everyone. Unfortunately, there are some contraindications to the procedure. Although veneers can look very beautiful, they are not known to be the strongest, most resistant restoration. This is due to their limited surface area and the nature of the material. Porcelain is a glass-like material that can chip or break if exposed to large amounts of stress. For this reason, there are bite conditions that indicate that veneers are not for you, or you might end up with a problem more than a solution. Also, every time the veneer is removed and replaced, your tooth must be grinded anew, so constant fractures will lead you into the need of a dental crown in little time. These conditions include but are not limited to
- Inverted bite
- Cross bite
- Vis-à-vis bite
If you have any of these conditions, don’t worry, you can still have a beautiful smile with dental crowns whose full-coverage will provide greater retention and resistance.
Veneers cannot be placed over teeth that have already undergone some kind of restoration. Teeth with fillings, root canal treatments, or crowns must therefore be restored with crowns.
How many veneers do I need?
Grosso modo, there are two types of teeth according to purpose. Front teeth, from canine to canine (also known as eye tooth), have an esthetic purpose because they show when you smile. Back teeth, molars and premolars, have a functional purpose because they are designed to chew food. Since veneers do not have any functional purpose, they should be placed only over front teeth.
Warranty for Veneers
Given your teeth do not have any of the above-mentioned contraindications, porcelain dental veneers enjoy our full 10-year limited warranty!
This means that we will replace your porcelain veneer due to any material malfunction within this period.
Now, resin veneers or bondings are not included in the warranty as they are not considered a permanent restoration.
Taking care of your veneers
Once you have your veneers you can pretty much go back to your normal life. However, there are some minimal considerations that will help you take care of them.
Floss every day in between your veneers and into your gumline. Your dentist prepped the front surface not only to improve retention but also to avoid bulkiness. However, compared to your natural teeth, there generally is a small margin that can accumulate plaque.
Avoid biting off foods. No more biting off apples or large hamburgers or sandwiches.
Avoid biting on nuts, cashews, or corn.
Do not open packages with your teeth or bite your nails.
If you have resin veneers, avoid drinking black tea, black coffee, sodas, and red wine as it may stain them. Smoking will also cause discoloration.
We want to get to know your case!
If you want to make sure you are a candidate for veneers, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to get to know your case. You can send us close up pictures of your smile, one from the front and another from the side and with this information we can give you an idea of what you’ll need for a perfect smile. Make sure to specify what your expectations are!