What Are Dental Veneers?
By Michael E. Huguet DDS
September 07, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Dental VeneersDental veneers beautify smiles spoiled by cosmetic defects. If your teeth and gums are healthy, but you feel less than confident when you smile, veneers may solve the problem. At Michael E. Huguet DDS and Associates in Pleasant Hill, CA, you and your cosmetic dentist may use these ceramic laminates as part of a makeover suited to your individual goals.

The story of porcelain veneers

They've been around for decades, but because of modern diagnostic and treatment techniques, porcelain veneers have risen in popularity over the past 35 years. Custom-made from high-grade porcelain according to oral impressions and three-dimensional imaging, veneers disguise the front sides of teeth right in what dentists name "the smile zone"--in other words, the teeth which show when you laugh or smile.

What defects do veneers disguise? As a stand-alone cosmetic treatment or as part of a comprehensive makeover, dental veneers cover problems such as:

  • Hairline cracks
  • Large chips
  • Dark, intractable stains which do not lighten with professional teeth whitening
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Teeth malformed during their development (peg-shaped lateral incisors are common ones)
  • Teeth that are too short or uneven in length

To qualify for veneers, you and your dentist will discuss your aesthetic goals at his Pleasant Hill, CA, office. He or she will examine your mouth to make sure your oral health is good, and if all is well, the doctor will take oral impressions.

These negative imprints help the dental lab construct a three-dimensional model of your mouth and to create each veneer with the perfect size and configuration. Veneers are realistically color-matched to your surrounding teeth, too, so photographs often accompany the treatment plan.

Veneers are permanent

Minor dental resurfacing is part of the process. Your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from each tooth. This allows your veneers to function within your mouth and makes the bonding process secure. Note that once you decide on veneers, you will always wear veneers as your teeth are permanently altered.

Placing veneers

Your dentist uses a tooth-colored bonding cement to place your veneers. The cement color may be varied to create a lifelike look which blends in with your other teeth. As a final step, the dentist hardens the cement with a blue curing light, ensuring the veneers stay put.

Caring for them

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that on average veneers last for about ten years, although some people make them last up to 20 years. Key to longevity and attractiveness are:

  • Brushing twice daily
  • Flossing daily
  • Getting semi-annual cleanings and check-ups with your dentist
  • Avoiding hard foods such as taffy or candy apples
  • Using a bite guard at night if you grind your teeth
  • Limiting foods which stain (soda pop, blueberries)
  • Avoiding tobacco

Find out more

If porcelain veneers intrigue you, contact your cosmetic dentists at Michael F. Huguet DDS & Associates in Pleasant Hill, CA, for a consultation. This professional team keeps teeth and gums healthy and enhances the beauty of smiles for people of all ages. Call today at (925) 945-6204.