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Dental Veneer: What is a Veneer?

Cosmetic Dentistry at Coquitlam’s Altitude Dental

A dental veneer is an effective way to get the smile you want. Dental veneers are custom-made, thin shells of ceramic or porcelain that are placed over teeth covering the biting surface and front of a tooth.

Cosmetic Veneers are the most effective and long-term solution to smile imperfections. Most often they are used to fill in gaps between the teeth, rebuild tooth structure lost to wear, correct crooked or misshapen teeth and improve whiteness of the teeth visible when you smile. Each case has a different cost, depending on how many teeth are being worked on and the amount of work each tooth needs during the preparation procedure. You and your dental plan will be provided with a detailed cost estimate before the procedure begins.

What is the procedure like?

Fitting and placement of a veneer requires two visits.

On your first visit, we carefully remove a thin layer of enamel from the front surface and the biting surface of the tooth. Then we take impressions of your teeth which the laboratory will use to create your veneers. Temporary veneers made of plastic are used to protect your teeth while the laboratory custom-makes your new teeth.

During the second visit we remove the temporary covering and then check and fit your new permanent restoration. If the new tooth restoration is the right size and color it is bonded to your teeth with special cement that is hardened with a high-intensity light.

What is it like after I get my veneer?

Following the placement of your teeth veneers it is not uncommon for the teeth to be slightly sensitive for one to two weeks. Some patients experience a slight lisp that disappears as the facial muscles adjust to the new restorations. The veneers feel like your natural teeth with the exception of the porcelain being slightly smoother than natural tooth structure.

How long will my veneer last? Will it need any special care?

Veneers can last for many years, however, the remaining natural tooth structure can still break, fracture and decay. We recommend that patients with veneers avoid biting into anything hard, or fruits that have pits, to avoid chipping the veneer. We also recommend the use of a dental night guard, especially if you are prone to clenching or grinding. Brushing, flossing and dental hygiene visits on a regular basis will ensure the health of your natural teeth and help to keep your veneer in good condition for many years to come.

Note: If you have received a veneer from Altitude Dental, we’d love to hear some feedback on your dental veneers before and after our services (the before is prior to work being done, the after is some weeks after you’ve received your veneer). Please use our patient feedback form.

Do I need veneers?

Patients have veneers placed on their teeth for various reasons.

We recommend the placement of veneers:

  • For teeth that are discolored due to medical reasons (use of drugs like tetracycline) or genetics.
  • Teeth that have signs of wear or tiny stress marks on them.
  • To close a space between two teeth.
  • For teeth that are irregular sizes and shapes or that are uneven.
  • For teeth with minor chips or breakage on them.
  • If you desire to change the shape of your teeth without braces.
  • If you desire to brighten the color of your teeth without the use of whitening material.
  • When whitening alone cannot achieve your desired tooth shade.

Find more information on other related dentist services, such as dental implants, bridges, or teeth whitening.

Or return to Coquitlam’s Altitude Dental Home Page.