Porcelain veneers also known as dental veneers are thin layers of restorative material placed over the teeth surface, either to improve the aesthetics of the teeth, or to protect damaged teeth surface. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer, composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed in the mouth, or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory, and later bonded to the tooth using resin cement. A porcelain veneer can only be indirectly fabricated, porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and have properties like light reflecting, similar to natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement.

This type of dental cosmetic procedure is used to fix discolored teeth for people who may be having stained teeth from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth; or either because of root canal treatment. Veneers are also used to close the space between teeth that are having gaps in-between. Other than that, they can also be used for teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped, teeth that are chipped or broken down and teeth that are worn down.

The placement of porcelain veneers involves three stages; during the first appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure that dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations, after which a treatment plan will be developed. During the second phase, the dentist will prepare your teeth for the veneer by trimming off some enamel using local anesthetic to make it painless. A model or impression of your teeth will be made which will be sent to the laboratory for construction, this takes 1 to 2 weeks.

Ultimately, before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color, he or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit and color. The teeth will then be cleaned, polished, and etched; this roughens the teeth to allow for a strong bonding process, the veneer is then placed with the use of special cement. Once fitted, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the teeth veneers, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden or cure very quickly.

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