If you could change part of your smile, would you? Perhaps you have a cracked tooth or stained teeth that don’t seem to get brighter despite your best efforts at whitening. Or maybe you have a large gap between your teeth. Whatever the reason is, if you have been holding back a smile, you should know that doesn’t need to be the case. Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure that fixes discolored, chipped, and crooked teeth. Sound intriguing? If so, read on to learn more about how dental veneers might be the right smile makeover for you.

What are dental veneers?

Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin shells of tooth-colored dental porcelain that are bonded to your teeth and address a wide range of cosmetic complaints. To create the strongest and most natural-looking bond appearance, a small layer of your natural tooth structure has to be permanently removed. But because veneers match the shade and shape of your other teeth, your veneered teeth will not appear any different than the teeth in the rest of your mouth.

Before the Dental Veneer Procedure

Before your dental veneer procedure, you will need to undergo a consultation to determine if you are a candidate for veneers. Most patients with minor cosmetic issues can receive veneers with no problems. However, you may need to wait if you have gum disease, are overdue for a dental cleaning, or need to have any cavities filled. Treating those conditions first will help ensure that the dental veneers are more successful for you.

The long-term success of dental veneers, however, requires patients to have realistic expectations. You will need to have an adequate amount of tooth structure to hold the dental veneers in place. Our Berrien Dental team will take digital X-rays and teeth impressions to fully assess your situation and ensure you are set up for success with your new dental veneers

Once your dental team has established your candidacy, we suggest you plan ahead by shopping for foods that are appropriate to eat while you have your temporary veneers. You can expect to have temporary veneers in place for about one to two weeks before your permanent veneers are placed. The best foods to eat during this period include pasta, mashed potatoes, eggs, chicken, soft canned food, soft bread, and bananas. It is best to avoid tough meats, hard candies, sticky foods such as taffy or caramels, toast or crusty bread, and any items that might stain, such as berries, ketchup, tomatoes, coffee, tea, colas, and red wine.

During the Procedure (Expect Two Appointments)

Suppose you decide to get dental veneers as part of your smile makeover. In that case, you must know in advance that it will take two appointments before completion, not including your initial consultation. During your first appointment after your consultation, you will receive your temporary veneers.

Your dentist will use an injection or spray to numb each affected tooth. Next, a thin layer of the front and bottom of your teeth will be filed away. Any gum reshaping will be done at this time. Fitting, bite, and comfort will be tested. More impressions will be taken as needed so your permanent veneers can be made to the right specifications for your mouth. You can expect to wear your temporary veneers for one to two weeks.

Once your permanent veneers come in, you will return to the office to have them placed. This process will feel fairly similar to the temporary veneer placement. The temporary veneers will be removed while you are under anesthesia. Your natural teeth will be cleaned, dried, and prepped for the porcelain veneers, and they will then be placed, fitted, filed, and tested before being bonded onto your natural teeth.

In most cases, you can anticipate that the porcelain veneers process, from consultation to final placement, will take three to four weeks.

After Permanent Dental Veneer Placement: Caring for Your New Smile

Most patients take about two weeks to adjust to their new veneers. And it is not uncommon for your teeth to be sensitive to hot and cold during the recovery period. To help with this discomfort, try brushing with sensitive toothpaste and avoid consuming exceptionally hot or cold beverages. You may wish to drink through a straw if you are still experiencing sensitivity.

Caring for your veneers is much like caring for your natural teeth. It would be best if you kept up with your brushing and flossing routine by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. And don’t forget to rinse daily with a water-hydrogen peroxide solution. Be sure to thoroughly but gently brush the area where your veneers come into contact with your gumline. But perhaps most important, be sure to keep up with your visits and see your dentist every six months for an oral examination and thorough dental cleaning.

Let the Berrien Dental team show you how dental veneers may be your smile makeover option.

If dental veneers sound like the right artistic dentistry procedure for you and you are looking for cosmetic dental care in Berrien Springs or St. Joseph, MI, then come see us! We’re proud to be a favorite Michigan family dentistry provider, and we are committed to serving our community and neighbors.