One of the most exciting developments in cosmetic dental technology over the past few decades is the development of dental veneers. While they are primarily used for the cosmetic purpose of improving a patient's smile, there are also functional aspects of dental health which also can be improved through their use, which has made veneers one of the most sought-after procedures in all of dentistry. The concept began years ago with the desire to improve the appearance, shape and color of teeth without completely removing them and opting for a full implant or cap. In a cap procedure, the majority of the tooth was removed, leaving essentially the same amount of natural material as is involved in the post which is sued for a dental implant. This area served as an anchor that holds in place a full prosthetic tooth, cemented onto it. With the advent of veneer technology, only the front facing portion of the tooth is of concern, allowing the dentist to remove only small amounts of material and leaving the majority of the tooth intact. Over this prepared surface a thin prosthetic is adhered, accurately matched to the patient's surrounding teeth as far as shape and color.
There are several different types of veneers, each preferable in different patient situations. Typically, the thinner that the veneer can be made while still remaining strong, the more natural it will appear. Gone are the days of the "chicklet teeth look" that sets of caps produced in the past, and today many people have had veneers put on that are so natural looking that people cannot tell they are not natural teeth. This is primarily due to the thinner materials being able to more accurately match the natural look and color of a tooth, which has a certain amount of translucent color to it. Once materials were improved to the point of being able to recreate this more natural look, veneers became the primary choice for those who wished to improve their smiles without removing much of their natural teeth. This combination of natural, functional teeth with an improved front-facing appearance provides hundreds of thousands of patients every year with the smile they have always dreamed of.
Cost is another factor that makes dental veneers so attractive to patients. Because there is less invasiveness to the procedure than cases involving caps, as well as having less material necessary to produce the veneer in a lab, the costs associated with the procedure are more affordable to many patients. This is usually a large consideration as most cosmetic dental procedures are not covered by dental insurance, and will need to be paid for out of pocket. A lower cost, combined with an improved appearance and less visits necessary in order to complete the procedure all make the veneer procedure one of the best decisions a patient can make.
If you are interested in dental veneers in order to improve your appearance, or potentially to correct an oral health issue you may possess, talk to your dentist today.