What Are Veneers and How Do They Work?

What Are Veneers and How Do They Work? (Hint: They’re Not Made of Wood)

When you hear the word “veneer,” you might think of a decorative, thin wooden covering that’s used to cover courser, less attractive surfaces. The veneers used in dentistry are thin covers, but they’re not made of wood. (Unless a dentist was going to cover George Washington’s legendary wooden teeth. Then we might recommend a nice mahogany.)

All jokes aside, dental veneers are thin, coverings for teeth, usually made from composite resin or porcelain. They are used to change, improve, or restore the appearance of a person’s teeth and smile. Veneers are a perfect choice for patients who have cosmetic concerns or insecurities regarding the appearance of their smiles, but do not have major structural problems with their teeth (in which cases, crowns or implants might be the better choice).

So, How Do Veneers Work?

Like their wooden counterparts, dental veneers are in fact thin coverings, but they are made to resemble teeth. Veneers attach to and cover the front part of a patient’s teeth, restoring or improving their appearance. They can be used to mask discolorations, cover chips, fill spaces, and lengthen short teeth. Veneers can be placed on one or several teeth, depending on each patient’s individual smile goals. Composed of either composite resin or porcelain, veneers are custom-designed and made to complement a person’s features and neighboring teeth.

To place veneers, a dentist must first prepare the tooth for bonding. This requires the dentist to remove some of the original tooth’s enamel to accommodate a natural fit and appearance for the new veneer. A bonding solution is then painted on the tooth. When the veneer is placed, the dentist uses a special light to set the bonding material, permanently attaching the veneer to the tooth.

Although patients will have the opportunity to discuss their ideal smile with our dentist and view their veneers before placement, patients should keep in mind that getting veneers is a permanent procedure that cannot be reversed.


Caring for Your Veneers

Individuals with veneers can continue brushing and flossing as normal. Veneers can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, when patients take care not to chomp sticky or hard foods, refrain from grinding or clenching teeth, and avoid excessive wear and tear.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Dentist

At Cardinal Dental, we proudly serve patients with comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry services. If you are unhappy with the appearance of one or more of your teeth, feel uncomfortable smiling, or simply want to upgrade to the smile of your dreams, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Michels to discuss the best treatment option for you.