Dentists,  Long Island

Understanding Veneers and Cosmetic Dentistry

Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. At 3V Dental Associates, our Port Washington dental office is fully equipped and staffed to give you that bright veneer smile!

The veneer procedure can be direct or indirect:

  • The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.

  • The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic.

  •  The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.

People who have front teeth that are chipped, cracked, worn down, discolored or have unattractive gaps between them should consider veneers. This type of cosmetic dentistry is used to correct these imperfections and give the patient a bright, even and welcoming smile.

Veneers are custom-made for individual patients. They are very thin shells that are placed over prepared teeth by a cosmetic dentist.

Types of veneers are porcelain or resin. Many dentists prefer porcelain because they resist the stains that appear on the patient’s natural teeth from smoking, coffee or tea, and they reflect light in a more natural way than resin. They are also very tough. A resin veneer is thinner than one made of porcelain, but they have the advantage of needing less of the surface enamel of the tooth removed before they’re placed.

Veneers Made Simple at 3V Dental

First, the patient has a consultation with once of our dentists at our convenient Port Washington office. The patient tells the dentist what they want done to improve the look of their teeth, and the dentist examines the teeth to make sure that the patient’s a good candidate for the procedure. The dentist may order X-rays and make impressions of the patient’s mouth.

The patient will need to make three trips to the dentist. During the appointment, the dentist gives the patient a local anesthetic then removes a half a millimeter of enamel from each tooth that is to receive a veneer. The half a millimeter is how thick the shell is. When the teeth are prepared, the dentist makes an impression of them to send to a dental lab. If the patient’s natural teeth are very unattractive after the enamel is removed, the dentist places temporary shells on them. The permanent shells are usually ready after a week or two.

Before the shells are permanently bonded to the teeth, the cosmetic dentist places them on the teeth, trims them and replaces them until they are perfect. When the shells are ready, the dentist cleans, polishes and etches the patient’s natural teeth. Etching roughens the surface of the tooth to give the veneer a strong grip. The dentist applies dental cement the exact color of the patient’s tooth to the surface then places the veneer. The dentist aims a special light at the teeth that causes the cement to cure, cleans away any excess dental cement and makes adjustments. The patient leaves after being given instructions for self-care, then comes back in two weeks for a follow-up appointment to make sure that all is well.

To schedule your veneer consultation, contact our office today. Our friendly staff is standing by to assist you.