Dental veneers are often categorized as cosmetic dentistry – capable of giving well-proportioned teeth, more aligned teeth and a whiter smile. Although they can give you a great smile, veneers may also act as a protective shield for the front surface of damaged teeth and help repair these damaged teeth.
Dental veneers are thin customized tooth coloured porcelain shells, that are bonded to the front surface of teeth. Porcelain veneers require the use of specialized laboratory equipment and are usually created over a series of 2 to 3 visits to the dental office and as a result carry more cost in fabrication.
Veneers have a very natural appearance, don’t need the extensive work on your existing teeth required for the fitting of crowns, plus porcelain veneers are both stain resistant and generally well tolerated by the gum tissue. However, it should be pointed out that the fitting of veneers is unable to be reversed. Veneers will need to be replaced in the future, but should they chip or crack in the meantime, they cannot be repaired. Once enamel has been removed in order to apply the veneer, you may also experience increased sensitivity to heat and cold with food and drinks. Although veneers do indeed look natural, they may still not exactly match the colour of your teeth. If you intend to use tooth whiteners later, these will not affect the colour of the veneer.
Consultation with your dentist and your insurance provider will help to determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental veneers.
Similar to veneers, this procedure using composite filling material to alter the shape and proportions of the front teeth. This procedure can be completed in one visit, however it should be noted that composite bonding is more susceptible to staining than porcelain veneers and typically cannot achieve the same esthetic outcome that veneers are able to.
Professional tooth whitening can be done in the dental office or with a take home kit. Both of these approaches typically use a peroxide-based bleach solution to whiten your teeth. Tooth whitening done in the dental office involves applying a strong peroxide material to your teeth for a period of time. This bleach solution is removed at the end of your dental appointment. During the appointment, a laser or other light may be used to increase the effect of in-office bleaching. Regardless of whether the light is used or not, you will leave the dental office with notably whiter teeth. Some dental offices prefer to send you home with a professional take home tooth whitening kit. This includes your own custom made teeth trays plus a supply of peroxide-based tooth bleaching solution. The trays are worn for a period of time each day according to your dentist’s instructions. Generally the take home kit lasts a few weeks and your teeth become notably whiter over this time.
It should be noted that all teeth whiten differently and some colours of teeth are more receptive to whitening. Talk to one of our dentists about your options for whitening and which may be best for you.