Cosmetic Dentistry

Gaps in your teeth or teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked can now be fix. Today a veneer, or a laminate, placed on top of your teeth can correct nature's mistake or the results of an injury and help you have a beautiful smile. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. You should know that this is usually an irreversible process, because it's necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.

Porcelain Veneers
A porcelain veneer requires a longer treatment time. At the first appointment, your teeth are prepared and an impression is made of them. Temporary veneers are made out of plastic and placed on your teeth. They are used to protect your teeth while the real veneers are being fabricated. You can also use them to evaluate the look and feel of your teeth so that any changes you desire can be incorporated into your real veneers. At the second appointment, the temporary veneers are removed and the porcelain veneers are bonded to your teeth. Although they are thin, porcelain veneers are much stronger than composite veneers, so the risk of fracture as compared with composite veneers is much less. In general, porcelain veneers can be used in a greater variety of situations with a higher level of predictability. Since they are made outside the mouth, the shape and color can be easier to control, thus enhancing the final result.

Composite Veneers
The major advantage of composite veneers is treatment time. If composite is used, the veneers can be done in one appointment. The dentist will actually make the veneer directly on the prepared tooth. The veneer is then smoothed and polished to look like your natural teeth. Since it takes only one appointment, you can leave your dentist's office with a brand new smile. One of the disadvantages of composite veneers is that they are not as strong as those made of porcelain and therefore are more prone to fracture. However, if a fracture does occur, they can be easily repaired because the same material that was used initially to make the veneer can be added in the same manner to fix it. Another disadvantage is that the color, although stable, is not as stable as the same restoration made with porcelain. This means that over time the veneers may get darker or turn yellow. Eventually, this change in color can warrant the replacement of the veneers.