Dental Veneers – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dental veneer? | What types are available? | What are the benefits? | Are There Other Alternative Options? | What Adhesives Are Used? | Is it possible to use them for Receding Gums? | Are They Strong? | How long will they last? | Who can get them? | What Are Possible Risks of Having Laminates? | Where can I get dental veneers near me?

What are Dental Veneers and What are they used for?

Dental veneers, also known as laminates or sheaths, are wafer-thin like shells that are attached to the front surface of the teeth. This can either be made from composites or ceramic, tooth-colored materials. They are used for restoring simple cosmetic  issues like discoloration, gaps, etc.

Some of the most common uses are the following:

  • Restoration of Fractures – used to fix the shape and structure of chipped or broken ones.

  • Hiding Permanent Stains – they also serve as an excellent option for masking stains that cannot be removed using professional whitening procedures.

  • Gaps – they can be used for closing open spaces between the front ones.

  • Smile Makeover – they are the perfect solution for those who’d like to have a gorgeous, picture-perfect smile.

Different Types of Veneers:

There are two types:

  • Porcelain – this type are very thin shells that are made from white-colored porcelains that are manufactured in the dental laboratory and then fitted to the affected tooth. They are the better aesthetic option compared to composite ones. Plus, they last longer than composite sheaths.

  • Composite – this type is prepared using special tooth-colored plastics that are polymerized when they are exposed to a light source. In addition, these can be prepared right at the dental chairside, or they can be sent to the laboratory for preparation.

Benefits

  • Pearly-white perfect smile – They are best used for restoring a person’s smile and facial aesthetics. Thanks to laminates, our patients can now have that perfect white smile that others would envy.

  • Restoring gaps, fractures or chips – Some patients who have gapped, fractured or chipped oneshave experienced some speech and eating issues. With sheaths, you won’t need to worry about this anymore.

  • A less-expensive alternative – the most ideal treatment for fixing gaps is using braces, which is significantly more expensive. Speaking of braces, there are those without metal content, such as ceramic braces or Invisalign aligners. This is also something that patients can consider if their case would require using braces.

Remember that they cannot be used to replace missing front or back ones. Simply put,  laminates act like a wall that ‘hides’ the imperfections of your natural teeth. That’s why it’s suitable for solving common visible problems.

For missing ones, either on the front or in the back, dental implants are the most suitable solution.

Are There Other Alternative Options?

Yes, we also offer different alternative options like the following:

  • Bonding – this cosmetic procedure involves the installation of a polymerizable plastic bonding material that has the same color as the patient’s natural ones. It will be attached to the affected areas. However, bonding is less aesthetic and durable unlike porcelain and composite shells.

  • Micro-abrasion – this process involves using a coarse polishing compound to erode the outer stains and discolorations on the surface. Right after the procedure, a topical fluoride is then applied to prevent having tooth sensitivities.

  • Whitening – this option can also be a good alternative IF the stains are NOT permanent. Remember that all kinds of stains that were accumulated during the development are permanent and they cannot be removed through a simple whitening procedure.

  • Orthodontic Treatment – orthodontic treatments like braces are good alternatives to close excessive gaps between adjacent teeth.

What Adhesives Are Used?

They are installed using adhesive, which ‘glues’ the shells to the tooth. These adhesives are special dental cements that are applied in thin layers between the prepared tooth structure and the sheaths. Sometimes, the prepared ones need to be conditioned and pre-treated before putting the adhesive to successfully retain them.

Is it possible to use them for Receding Gums?

Gum recession refers to the process where the gums would start to fall below their normal position, and become less obvious. There are several reasons why gum recession would occur. First is prolonged gum or periodontal inflammation or disease. Another is excessive brushing (Yes, too  much, forceful brushing can lead to gum recession).

Patients should be advised that they cannot be placed if the person has an active underlying gum or periodontal disease, or while he or she is still recovering from a dental problem. The issue should be treated first with oral hygiene maintenance and scaling. When the healing is done, then it’s time to prepare the laminates. They can cosmetically restore the beauty of your smile even when gum infection has previously caused significant gum recession.

Can You Use Them for Overbite Correction?

What is an overbite? It’s a condition where the upper teeth would excessively overlap the lower front ones. Although the best solution for correcting an overbite would be a full-mouth rehabilitation, they can still be used to lengthen them, and restore minor to moderate cases of overbite. However, an extremely high-quality kind of sheaths would be used, if you’re planning to fix your overbite in this manner.

Can You Use Them for Underbite Correction?

What is an underbite? It’s a condition where the lower jaw would protrude in front of the bottom row. They may be used to correct minor to moderate cases of an underbite. However, severe cases of underbite should be treated using an orthognathic surgical procedure.

Can You Use Them to Correct Gaps?

As previously mentioned, they are primarily used as a cosmetic treatment for correcting diastema. Diastema is a case of having excessive gaps. To treat this condition, wider shells must be prepared. These will hide the gaps, therefore restoring the normal anatomy of the patient’s front ones. Laminates can also be used to correct mild cases of overcrowding. However, in case of severe crowding, braces should be best considered.

Are They Strong?

In general, the strength and durability greatly rely on the kind of material that they were made of. Modern laminates are prepared using excellent quality materials that have boosted their strength and service life. However, this kind has a limited lifespan. This means they need to be replaced after a few years.

How long do they last?

There are various factors that can affect the lifespan of laminates. One factor is the kind of material used in making it. Another is the patient’s oral hygiene, which is the most important factor that determines whether yours would last long or not.

Ceramic shells usually last longer than composite ones. On average, they have a lifespan of 10-15 years. However, this can be reduced if the patient does not maintain good oral hygiene and have underlying gum and bone loss issues.

Furthermore, parafunctional dental habits like excessive grinding, may also affect the durability and longevity. Therefore, if you want them to last longer, you should maintain proper oral hygiene and also watch what you eat.

Who can get them?

They primarily serve as a cosmetic solution. You are qualified to get them if you are suffering from any of these cosmetic or restorative dental problems:

  • Permanently stained

  • Diastema – having overly wide gaps

  • Crooked or chipped ones

  • Misshaped ones

  • Getting a complete smile makeover

  • Wanting to make their teeth look longer or shorter for aesthetic reasons.

When should they be replaced?

As previously mentioned, they have an average lifespan of 10-15 years, given the patient has been taking good care of their oral health. Nevertheless, as soon as you notice that yours are starting to catch stains, or developing cracks on the surface, then it’s time to replace them. Also, if you’re starting to feel any pain around them, then it’s also another sign to visit the dentist and get new ones.

What Are Possible Risks of Having Laminates?

  • Permanent loss of the natural form or structure – one requirement in attaching them is removing a thin layer of enamel from the tooth’s front surface. Unfortunately, the trimmed off enamel layer can no longer be restored.

  • Acquiring secondary tooth cavities – without proper oral hygiene, there is a high chance of developing cavities around veneers. This will weaken the structure of the tooth together with the bonding of the veneers. If left untreated, the cavities would start to cause discomfort and pain to the patient. In worst cases, it may even fall out due to excessive gum disease (acquired when the infection from the cavities has already spread into the patient’s gums) and bone loss.

  • Has a high chance of developing cracks – usually caused by direct impact or sudden temperature changes, they have a high tendency to develop cracks which needs to be repaired immediately. Otherwise, they need to be replaced with a new one.

  • Has a high chance of staining – they, especially those that are made from composites easily stain. Sadly, tooth stains are permanent and cannot be removed using professional tooth whitening procedures.

  • Chipping or dislodging – if not properly glued on they may tend to fall off. Failure to restore the tooth may lead to cavity infection, which can eventually cause pain and discomfort to the patient.

What are they made of?

They can either be made of porcelains or composites. Composite shells are made from polymerizable plastic materials that can be prepared at the dental office or laboratory. Porcelains on the other hand can only be prepared in the lab. However, unlike composites, there are different kinds of porcelain which you can use to create them. Each kind has its own unique longevity feature and aesthetic value.

Where can I get dental veneers in Frisco, TX?

If you’re interested in having a perfectly white smile that would charm everyone who sees you, then don’t hesitate to drop by our clinic located in Frisco, TX. We are in the greater DFW metro Texas, close to The Colony and Prosper, Texas.