About Dental Veneers
Patients who want to improve the appearance of their smiles may consider dental veneers or laminates. Although people often use the two terms interchangeably, they have some differences. Both procedures can help improve a patient’s smile. Knowing the difference between them can help you choose the best option for you.
From color to size and shape, dental veneers and laminates can provide a solution for people who want a better-looking smile. These procedures are available at Rohan S. Toor, DDS. Call us at (805) 639-3050 to schedule a consultation and learn which option is the best for you.
Understanding Dental Laminates
Both dental laminates, like veneers, can improve the appearance of a patient’s smile. However, they have key differences that patients should consider. Laminates tend to be lighter and less durable than veneers. While dental laminates can improve the whiteness of teeth, they are not appropriate for dental repairs.
Laminates are much thinner than veneers and require less enamel removal. Placing laminates does not require much alteration to the tooth shape or enamel, which can be better for long term tooth health. However, they can be more expensive than veneers and bulky on the teeth when placed without any tooth alteration.
“Laminates are much thinner than veneers and require less enamel removal.”
Understanding Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are thin coatings of porcelain or composite resin covering the teeth to repair minor damage and improve the appearance of stains or discoloration. Some of the common issues that veneers can correct include gaps, misshapen teeth, cracks, chips, staining, and discoloration. Patients must have enamel removal and tooth reshaping to allow the veneer to stay flat without being bulky.
Patients can choose between porcelain veneers or composite resin veneers. Porcelain veneers usually last longer than composite resin ones. They resist staining and tend to be stronger and more durable. Composite resin veneers can be completed in a single dental visit, while porcelain veneers typically require two dental visits. Composite resin also preserves more of the patient's tooth enamel and tends to cost less than porcelain but is more prone to breakage.
“Dental veneers are thin coatings of porcelain or composite resin covering the teeth to repair minor damage and improve the appearance of stains or discoloration.“
Placing Dental Veneers
To place porcelain veneers, the cosmetic dentist must remove enamel from the tooth’s surface so the thin shell can adhere to it. A dental lab technician then creates custom veneers with teeth molds and color-matches them to the patient’s teeth. Then the shells are bonded to the patient's teeth using special dental cement.
For composite resin veneers, we remove the tooth enamel first. The composite resin, which matches the natural enamel, covers and reshapes the teeth to improve the appearance. After, a special light seals the resin to the underlying teeth. Finally, we file the veneers to achieve a natural appearance.
“To place porcelain veneers, the cosmetic dentist must remove enamel from the tooth surface so the thin shell can adhere to the tooth.”
Dental Veneer and Laminate Aftercare
The Canadian Dental Association explains that good dental hygiene is essential to maintain the appearance and function of new veneers. Brushing and flossing after meals and visiting the dentist for regular check-ups are critical aspects of proper maintenance. Skipping these steps can cause decay and cavities to develop between or under the veneer shells.
Veneers and laminates can also crack, break or loosen under pressure. Patients should avoid chewing hard candies, ice, or similar items. During the first few days after the procedure, patients should stick to soft foods and avoid consuming nuts, hard bread, popcorn, and seeds. Wearing a bite guard at night can help prevent grinding that may wear down veneers. Veneers are more prone to staining than laminates, so we also recommend patients avoid substances like tobacco, red wine, and coffee.
“Brushing and flossing after meals and visiting the dentist for regular check-ups are critical aspects of proper maintenance.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are dental laminates and veneers comfortable?
A. Dental laminates and veneers may feel strange at first. Most patients become accustomed to their laminates or veneers a few days after the procedure. Patients should let their cosmetic dentists know about any bite problems as adjustments may be needed.
Q. Should I choose porcelain or composite dental veneers?
A. Patients should make their decision based on their desired results and the current state of their teeth. We usually recommend porcelain for patients with crooked or misshapen teeth, gaps, and cracks. Composite veneers may be a better choice for patients with stained or minorly chipped teeth.
Q. How long do dental veneers last?
A. Most dental veneers last between seven to 15 years. Proper care is necessary to extend the life of veneers. Visiting the dentist regularly and following aftercare instructions can also help veneers last longer.
Q. Can I get dental veneers for my entire mouth?
A. Dental veneers are used only on the front teeth and are not appropriate for molars. The exact number of veneers depends on the state of the teeth and the patient's esthetic goals. Most people opt for an even number of veneers, commonly two, four, eight, 10, or 12.
Q. Will I experience pain when receiving dental veneers?
A. Local anesthetics numb the patient before removing tooth enamel and installing veneers. After the procedure, it is common to experience mild soreness affecting the jawbone and gums. Over-the-counter pain medication can reduce this discomfort.
Q. What should I do if my dental veneers fall off?
A. If damage occurs, the veneer may loosen and eventually come off. Patients should see their cosmetic dentists in these cases. Do not attempt to reattach the veneer at home with glue or any other substance. Avoid hot and cold foods and beverages since the exposed tooth may be sensitive because of the removed enamel.
- An allograft is a graft of tissue from a donor within the same species as the patient that is not a genetic relative.
- Cap Splint
- A cap splint is a plastic or metallic device that professionals may use to treat mandible or maxillary fractures and cover crowns of teeth.
- Crown Lengthening
- Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that increases the extent of a tooth structure for restorative or esthetic purposes.
- Dentin Hypersensitivity
- Dentin hypersensitivity is when the enamel wears down on the tooth enough that the dentin faces exposure and will cause great levels of pain when a person applies pressure to the tooth or drinks hot/cold beverages.
Choose the Right Procedure for Your Needs
Dental laminates and veneers are great options for smile enhancement. Patients should consider different factors like personal needs and costs before making a decision. Our team at Rohan S. Toor, DDS is here to answer your questions and help you choose the right procedure. Call us at (805) 639-3050 to schedule an appointment.