Dental veneers are a popular restorative and cosmetic option that general dentists recommend for teeth that are in bad shape due to staining, chips, cracks or breaks. They are extremely thin and act as a plastic covering that gets cemented directly over the natural teeth. Typically, general dentists recommend them for teeth that are in…
How Veneers Have Changed Over Time
Dental veneers have been around since the first half of the twentieth century when they were first used in film-making. Since then, this dental treatment has been used to improve the appearance of teeth for patients who may have a variety of aesthetically displeasing oral issues. Originally, these thin tooth coverings were made of acrylic and adhered only temporarily, but as demand increased, so did quality.
Not long after Hollywood introduced veneers, dentists brought them to the general public. Veneers could be fashioned out of porcelain or composite, and while they looked great, the issue was getting them to bond.
In 1959, the discovery of dental etching led to a better bond. By applying an acidic solution to the teeth, the enamel could be roughened to create a better surface with which the veneers could adhere to the teeth.
By the early 1980s, it was discovered that by etching the porcelain with hydrofluoric acid, a bond strong enough to hold veneers permanently could be achieved.
Today, veneers are made of either composite or porcelain and are fitted to dental patients with the intent of permanently improving dental issues that have resulted in unattractive teeth.
Since the discovery of permanent bonding techniques, veneers have been used for a variety of dental issues:
- Discolored teeth
- Broken teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Malformed teeth
Veneers look natural and beautiful, and for this reason, people usually get between six and eight at a time so the appearance of their teeth is symmetrical.
Types of veneers
There are two types of veneers that can be used to improve a person's smile. With the traditional version, the dentist uses a grinder to remove some of the enamel from the tooth or teeth in question. The veneers are then crafted to fit the new shape of the treated teeth.
The second type are called no-preparation veneers. With this type, the teeth are not necessarily treated and if they are, the removal of enamel is minimal. The veneers are adhered over the natural teeth.
Both types of treatments achieve the same results. While no-preparation veneers require less work and do not permanently alter the structure of natural teeth, the traditional variety offer more permanency.
Traditional veneers can last between 10 and 15 years, while no-preparation veneers can last up to seven years. For both types, their life can be extended by taking special care.
Patients should be advised to avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice. They should also learn to chew harder foods with their back teeth only. When a patient grinds teeth at night, a retainer should be used to help protect the treatment.
Dental veneers are a good option for a patient who has experienced damage to their teeth. While not replacing the entirely functionality of natural teeth, they make a good option for improving the appearance and with proper care can last for many years.
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