Dental Veneers Explained

Veneers are very thin shells custom-made to cover cosmetic flaws in your teeth and smile. They can last from 10 to 30 years, depending on the material and how well you care for them.


During the first visit, the dentist will trim and shape your teeth and make a mold (impression) of the area to create your veneers. They may also apply temporary veneers to protect your tooth in the meantime.

Tooth Color

Many people are not completely satisfied with their smile because of tooth damage or discoloration. This can lead to a lack of confidence and self-esteem, which may also affect how they interact with other people. However, dental veneers are a great solution to this issue because they can cover up the problem without actually affecting the teeth themselves.

The first step of the procedure involves trimming a small amount of the tooth’s surface, and then using molds to send away for professional fabrication. Often, this takes several weeks to complete. In the meantime, the patient will wear a temporary set of veneers.

Once the veneers are ready, the dentist will place them on the patient’s teeth. A special bonding agent is then used to bind them in place. After the dentist is sure that they are in the proper position, they will use a light to harden the bonding agent. Finally, the dentist will make any adjustments they feel are necessary to ensure that they look perfect and fit comfortably into the bite.

When choosing a cosmetic dentist to work with on your dental veneers, it is important to choose one who has extensive experience with the procedure. A reputable cosmetic dentist will be able to listen to your aspirations and goals for your smile, but they will also be realistic about what can and cannot be achieved.

Tooth Shape

Unlike other dental procedures such as porcelain crowns or teeth caps that are designed to alter the entire structure of a tooth, veneers only cover the exterior surface of a tooth. This makes them a more conservative option and less likely to cause damage or pain. They are also semi-permanent and can be removed or replaced at a later date if needed.

When choosing a dentist to create and apply your veneers, it’s important to vet them carefully. Make sure to see before and after pictures of their work and ask about their techniques. This will help you find a cosmetic dentist whose style and ambitions mesh with your own.

After a consultation, the dentist will trim a small portion of the surface of the tooth to create room for the veneer. They will then take an impression of the tooth that will be used to craft your dental veneers. Once the veneers are ready, they’ll be attached to the teeth with a special cement. During this process, the dentist will remove any excess cement and double-check the fit of the veneers.

Dental veneers can correct a variety of aesthetic issues, such as making smaller teeth appear bigger, closing in gaps, fixing any crooked or uneven teeth, and smoothing over chips or craters in the enamel. Because they only cover the front of the tooth, they are a great option for patients who don’t want to undergo a more involved procedure like dental implants or crowns.

Tooth Length

In many cases, veneers are the best way to lengthen short teeth. Unfortunately, this also makes teeth that are too long appear imbalanced, especially when the two pointy front teeth (central incisors) are slightly longer than the other teeth.

Teeth that are too long may also be a result of damaged enamel. This can occur from overzealous tooth brushing or acidic foods and drinks, as well as the clenching and grinding of bruxism. Unlike natural tooth enamel, the enamel that is lost during this process does not grow back, so a veneer may be the only way to repair the damage and improve the appearance of the teeth.

Mild to moderate tooth stains can often be corrected with in-office professional teeth whitening. However, if the stains are more severe, a patient might need porcelain veneers.

To place dental veneers, your dentist removes about half of a millimeter from each tooth to which they will attach the veneer. They then take a mold of your teeth and send the mold to a lab to create your new veneers. At a follow-up appointment, your dentist checks the fit, color, and shape of the veneers before bonding them into place using dental cement. This appointment typically takes about 2 hours. After the procedure, you can enjoy your new smile for years to come if you take care of your teeth. This includes eating a healthy diet, brushing twice daily, and using a mouth guard when grinding and clenching at night.

Tooth Bite

One of the biggest concerns that patients have is how to care for their veneers. The good news is that the care needed to keep them looking great is not much different than that for natural teeth. Patients will still want to brush and floss daily, use a mouthwash, and attend regular dental cleanings. Patients should avoid clenching and grinding their teeth at night, and also try to avoid foods and beverages that may stain them.

The other thing that patients should keep in mind is that their dentist will take a lot of time to make sure that their smile veneers look great and work well with their teeth, mouth, and jaw. They will make various impressions and pictures of the patient, study their face and smile from all angles, and even ask them to pose with various expressions in order to make sure that the new veneers are not only appealing but functional as well.

The process to get your veneers will usually require at least three separate visits to the dentist. The first visit will be for a consultation and examination, the second will be to prepare the tooth, and the third will be to apply them. In some cases, such as with lumineers, the dentist may not have to remove any of the tooth enamel at all.