Patients are often pleased with the fast results of professional teeth whitening and leave their appointment with an enhanced smile and increased confidence. However, even bleaching sessions that take place in a dental office do not provide permanent effects. While many people desire a perfect, bright white smile, some tooth discoloration is normal, especially with…
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are a type of cosmetic treatment intended to improve the appearance of teeth. Temporary veneers have been available since the 1920s to get movie stars ready for the camera in the early days of Hollywood. Today, dentists are able to apply a veneer permanently. This may be a good option for people who want a lasting improvement. However, not everyone is a good candidate for the treatment.
What do veneers do?
A veneer is a sort of shell or mask that fits around the surface of the tooth and adheres permanently to it. It is usually made of either porcelain or a composite resin that is tooth-colored. A veneer can restore the appearance of a tooth that is severely stained or discolored. A dentist typically matches the veneer to the surrounding teeth.
In addition to improving the color of a tooth, a veneer can also correct defects such as cracks or chips. It can enlarge a tooth, change the shape of a tooth and close unwanted gaps that occur between teeth. Veneers can help improve the appearance of teeth that are slightly misaligned but do not address the underlying cause. Bear in mind that just because a veneer is permanent, this does not mean that it lasts forever. A typical veneer lasts for approximately five to 10 years.
Who is a good candidate?
A veneer will not work well for every patient. Some people have severe or advanced underlying oral conditions that make the placement impossible or impractical. The following are factors that make someone a good candidate.
1. Baseline good oral health
A dentist cannot place a veneer on a tooth that is severely decayed or diseased. Any underlying conditions such as these must be treated before a veneer can even be considered. Similarly, gum disease precludes a patient from getting a veneer.
2. Regular oral hygiene
There is no special care required for a dental veneer. However, a patient should get routine dental cleanings and brush and floss on a regular basis to be a candidate. Good oral hygiene helps preserve the veneer so that it lasts longer.
3. Moderately straight teeth
While veneers can improve the appearance of teeth that are somewhat crooked, people whose teeth are severely misaligned are not good candidates. Orthodontic treatment may be necessary to reposition the teeth. Getting a veneer may be possible once the underlying abnormality has been addressed.
4. Sufficient tooth enamel
To ensure that veneers fit securely and look natural in the mouth, a dentist has to remove a portion of the enamel, i.e., the hard outer surface of the tooth. Though the amount of enamel removed is very small, there must be a sufficient portion remaining to preserve the tooth.
5. Good oral habits
Activities such as biting pens or pencils, chewing on fingernails or grinding one's teeth can do damage to a veneer. Patients should refrain from these habits or modify them before thinking about placement.
Compared to other cosmetic dental treatments, veneers are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. For these reasons, they are popular with patients wanting to improve teeth's appearance.
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