One of the most popular cosmetic dental works available is veneer. Dental veneer is a layer of tooth-colored material attached to and covering surface of a tooth structure. Among the many purposes of veneer are to cover visible spaces in between teeth (diastemas), repair minor imperfections like chipped or slightly crooked tooth, straighten and lengthen teeth, and treat discolored fillings or conceal stained teeth. For some, veneers are also their last resort to whiten their teeth and improve its appearance. Veneers are permanent, custom-shaped, stain proof, natural in appearance, and highly resilient and maybe these are the reasons why even several television shows like reality programs and talk shows promote this dental solution.
There are two types of dental veneers. The first is the more common type called porcelain veneer. Coming for the name itself, porcelain veneer is made of pure porcelain and it tend to last for about 10 to 15 years although porcelain is inherently brittle because once it is bonded in tooth surface, the tooth becomes strong and durable. It is also known as dental porcelain laminates. This type of veneer resists stain and mimics the light reflecting properties of teeth better compared to other type of veneer.
The second type is resin composite veneer. It is made up of two different types of material and generally, the cost to get composite veneers is cheaper because it can be fabricated inside your mouth and does not require complex manufacturing process.
Both types of veneers require your teeth to be prepared before the procedure. The preparation part is the shaping of teeth by removing some of the natural part of it to create space before bonding the material. This will cause you to lose the natural enamel or the protective layer of teeth. If ever you have to remove the veneers, it is expected that your teeth are weak and are more prone to deceay away from the fact that your teeth will never look the same.
As mentioned, dental veneers fall under cosmetic dentistry category as they provide bright "Hollywood" smile with white and beautifully aligned teeth. What's more, latest technology in veneer promises translucent ceramic quality providing a more natural look. Also, this new alternative to traditional veneers is much thinner (as thin as contact lens) and it does not require reshaping the teeth. This kind of veneer is often known as lumineers. With lumineers, the natural enamel of tooth is not lost as it covers the original structure of tooth although it may feel bulkier compared to porcelain or composite veneers. Unlike traditional veneers, they can be removed if desired. However, lumineers are ideal only for minor cosmetic adjustments like changing of teeth color, repairing chipped or damaged tooth, or extending small tooth.
In order to learn the best way to achieve that perfect set of teeth and complete oral health, it is always advisable to get a professional opinion with your dentist. Whether traditional veneers or lumineers are suitable for your teeth, it is for your dentist to find out.