Dental veneers are custom-made shells that fit over the front surfaces of your teeth. They conceal cracks, chips, stains and other cosmetic imperfections. Veneers are one of the most common cosmetic dentistry treatments. There are several types of veneers available, depending on your specific goals.
Veneers are coverings that fit over the front surfaces of your teeth. Technicians use high-quality dental materials, like tooth-colored composite or porcelain, to create them.
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Veneers cover the front surfaces of your teeth to enhance your smile. They work by camouflaging cosmetic flaws.
Anyone who wants to enhance the appearance of their smile can explore veneers. These dental restorations can camouflage:
It’s important to note that veneers are only an option if you’re free of extensive cavities and gum disease. If you have serious oral health issues, you should address those first before exploring cosmetic treatments.
A porcelain veneer only covers the front surface of a tooth to enhance its appearance. A dental crown, on the other hand, covers the entire tooth structure to add strength and protection.
Dental veneers are a cosmetic treatment. In other words, they improve your smile, but they don’t necessarily strengthen or repair your teeth. While dental crowns can also improve the appearance of your teeth, their main purpose is to restore teeth that are badly damaged by decay or trauma.
Yes. There are a few different types of veneers, including composite veneers, porcelain veneers, no-prep veneers, and removable veneers.
Composite veneers can conceal mild cosmetic issues. Your dentist uses a tooth-colored composite resin — the same material used for dental bonding — to achieve the desired results.
Porcelain veneers can address a number of aesthetic imperfections. These restorations are custom-made to fit your dental anatomy. Before placement, your dentist must remove some enamel from your natural teeth. This roughens your teeth surfaces and helps your new veneers stay in place.
No-prep or minimal-prep veneers are a less invasive option. Like traditional porcelain veneers, no-prep veneers are custom-made for your smile. However, they require less enamel removal than traditional veneers.
It’s important to understand that no-prep veneers still require some enamel removal.
No-prep veneers aren’t right for everyone. Ask your dentist if you’re a candidate.
Removable veneers — also called pop-on veneers or snap-on veneers — cover your natural teeth to hide imperfections. Like retainers, you can take removable veneers out anytime. Removable veneers can enhance your smile — but they can make it difficult to eat, and they could have a negative impact on your speech.
There isn’t a lot of research available on removable veneers because they’ve only been around for a few years. Ask your dentist if this option is safe for you.
During your initial appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums to determine if you’re eligible for veneers. If you’re a candidate, they’ll prepare your teeth by removing small amounts of enamel. Next, they’ll take impressions of your teeth. A dental lab technician will use these impressions to make your custom veneers. (If you choose composite veneers, dental impressions aren’t needed.)
It can take a few weeks for the dental lab to complete your veneers. If necessary, your dentist can place temporary veneers in the meantime. Once the technician finishes your veneers, the lab will ship them to your dentist’s office.
During a second office visit, your dentist will check the shape, color and fit of your veneers, then permanently bond them into place using dental cement. Finally, they’ll check your bite and make any necessary adjustments.
If you want to change something about your veneers, like the shape or color, let your dentist know. They’ll work with you and the dental laboratory to ensure that your results are satisfactory.
There’s no downtime following veneer placement. People who receive dental veneers can return to normal activities the same day. You can also eat or drink immediately after your appointment, as long as the anesthesia has worn off.
Brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly are all you need to do to keep your veneers in good working condition. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste. Avoid whitening products, as they can scratch your veneers.
To make your veneers last, you should also avoid biting directly into hard or crunchy foods like apples, carrots and tough meats. Cut up these foods and chew them with your back teeth.
Porcelain veneers are stain resistant, but it’s still a good idea to avoid dark-colored foods and beverages, such as berries, red wine, coffee and tea. These foods and drinks can stain your veneers over time.
Dental veneers offer a number of benefits. For example:
Veneers also come with certain disadvantages. For example:
No. Veneers don’t actively damage your teeth. However, it’s still possible for the natural tooth structure underneath to decay. Therefore, it’s important to brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings.
Most types of dental veneers are permanent, meaning they aren’t reversible. Some types of veneers, such as no-prep or minimal prep, are reversible.
On average, dental veneers last between 10 to 15 years with proper care and maintenance.
Here are some recommendations for keeping your veneers looking and feeling great:
If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile, dental veneers may be a solution. Talk to your dentist about your cosmetic concerns and find out if veneers could work for you.
If you already have veneers and something doesn’t feel quite right, call your dentist right away.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Veneers are an excellent way to enhance your smile and boost your confidence — and they could be a solution for you. Before you choose treatment, weigh the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision. Talk to your dentist about your specific cosmetic goals and find out if dental veneers are a good option for you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/18/2022.
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