What You Need To Know About Dental Veneers

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Dental veneers from a dentist in Maple Ridge are a quick and economical option for correcting a wide range of cosmetic flaws affecting teeth. But what’s the process and how long do they last?

What is the process of getting veneers?

The first — albeit not the most glamorous for impatient patients — in getting veneers is a careful assessment of your teeth by a dentist in Maple Ridge. Your dentist will examine the health of your gums, teeth and the causes of whatever the issues are that you’re hoping to resolve with veneers. Your dentist wants you to be happy with the condition of your teeth in the long term. Investing in veneers to cover an unhealthy tooth will not just waste your money, but merely hide and defer more important treatment. In some cases, your dentist may recommend treatment to improve the health of your teeth before placing veneers. Let’s think positively, though, and assume that you get the green light and that getting veneers near you does look like a great option. Here’s the process.

Your dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel — really thin; like half a millimetre thin — from the tooth that will receive the veneer. Placing a traditional veneer on top of your original teeth will just add unnatural-looking bulk to your tooth that you’ll notice. (Your dentist will tell you about no-prep veneers that are thinner than traditional veneers and that can be put in place without removing any (or as much) enamel, but they’re not ideal for every situation.)

Once your tooth is prepared, the dentist’s staff will take impressions of your teeth to give technicians the information they need to make veneers to fit your teeth precisely while achieving whatever goal you set in the first place. It usually takes a week or two to have your veneers prepared and sent back to your dentist.

At your final appointment, your dentist will place the veneers on your teeth (without bonding them) to confirm they fit properly and that the colour you chose blends naturally with your other teeth. Your dentist will also confirm the veneer achieves what you wanted, whether that’s to change the shape and size of your teeth, to cover flaws or discolourations, or to close inconsistent gaps between teeth. Once the shape, size, colour and fit of your veneers is confirmed, your dentist will clean your teeth carefully to make sure no bacteria is trapped between your veneer and your tooth. Finally, your teeth will be roughened using a grinding tool or etching agent before your veneer is bonded into place using special dental cement.

All told, having your veneers put in place usually takes less than a couple of hours, though it can take longer if you decide to have a local anesthetic put in place first. Most people find that’s not necessary. 

How long do veneers in Maple Ridge last?

A lot of that depends on you. Assuming you get your veneers from a qualified and trained dentist in Maple Ridge who prepares your teeth properly, you can expect your traditional veneers to last for a decade or even 15 years before needing replacement. No-prep veneers don’t last as long, but will still last for around five to seven years. You preserve and even prolong the lifespan of your veneers in Maple Ridge by following five common-sense suggestions. They seem like obvious precautions, but following them can really pay off in the appearance of your teeth and the health of your pocketbook:

  • Avoid chewing on pens, ice, hard candy, fingernails and other hard objects
  • Don’t open packages with your teeth (Use scissors instead!)
  • Avoid chewing with your front teeth
  • If you have the habit of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw as you sleep, ask a dentist near you to provide you with a custom-fit night guard
  • When playing sports, wear a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth from injury and your dental work from damage

If veneers seem like a good option for achieving your goals, contact a dentist near you to arrange that first essential step.