A Smile Makeover — Answers to Your Questions about Veneers

Are you unhappy with your smile? The reasons vary widely — from old tooth injuries to an inability to sufficiently whiten teeth — but the solution may be the same: veneers. To help you decide if veneers are right for you, here are a few answers to common questions you may have.

What are Veneers?

Veneers are a slim shell designed to look like regular teeth. Dentists place veneers on top of your actual teeth and hide these behind a more attractive, tailored appearance that replicates the smile you want. The dentist will slim down your original teeth to provide a base for the veneer, which is then color-matched to be indistinguishable from adjacent teeth. 

You may receive a temporary veneer to use while the permanent replacement is molded, allowing you to see how the final product will look. Once satisfied, the dentist will bond it to your tooth and shape it into a pleasing form. 

What are Veneers Made From? 

Veneers today are made from one of two common materials. The first is a composite, similar to the material used to fill cavities and other tooth defects. Composite is widely available and less expensive than other materials, and it is often reversible should you decide to change your smile later. However, it may be a little less hardy as well, having a shorter lifespan. 

The other material is porcelain. These veneers are a more complex process and generally take more time than composite. However, you get more years of service from porcelain in return. The biggest difference between the two is also how much of your own tooth must be altered for the porcelain shell as compared to composites. 

How Long Do Veneers Last?

So, veneers will give you an immediate smile makeover. But will they last? Modern dental technology has extended veneers' lifespans with better quality processes and materials. Composite veneers often last between five and seven years, with porcelain veneers lasting a decade or even longer. 

Aside from veneers' hardness and structure, the length of time they work for you will also depend on how well they resist changes in color. Tooth-staining habits like drinking excessive tea and coffee, smoking, eating soy sauce, and chewing berries can alter the color of the veneers just as it can your natural teeth. If the veneer changes color compared to surrounding teeth, they may need replacement. 

How Do You Care for Veneers?

Once your veneers are set and stable, and you're happy with their look, they function just like your original teeth in most circumstances. In some ways, they'll be even better. If you've been extra cautious with daily activities due to bad teeth or have been trying to whiten yours, you'll no longer struggle with these problems. 

Your dentist may advise you to be a little more careful with very hard foods, such as ice or bones, as the shell of the veneer can be more susceptible to chipping. The dentist can often shave small imperfections during regular visits. You will also continue with proper dental hygiene just as with natural teeth. Failure to keep up with good dental hygiene could result in your gums shrinking to expose the edge of the veneer. 

Where Can You Learn More

Do veneers sound like something that could help you in your everyday life? No matter what tooth appearance problems you want to solve, it could be a great answer. Begin by learning more about how veneers work and what you might expect with yours. 

The team at Airport Road Dental Associates can help. We've assisted many of your Indiana neighbors in improving their teeth through veneers and other modern dental techniques, and we can help you. Call today to make an appointment.