Your teeth are so visible that even one small imperfection can ruin your smile. Fortunately, the cosmetic branch of dentistry is designed to hide imperfections like stains, chips, and minor misalignment.
Although cosmetic dentistry applies various different approaches, one of the most common ways of disguising tooth or gum imperfections is with veneers. Several types of tooth and gum veneer are available for dental patients that wish to improve their smile.
1. Removable and non-removable gum veneers
Gum recession, which occurs when gum tissue suffers a trauma of some kind, such as gum disease, can make teeth look longer than is normal. This is a common issue with the lower front teeth.
And gum recession can leave the vulnerable necks of teeth exposed. As a result, tooth decay can attack the exposed roots of the teeth. Gum veneers can cover up these exposed areas and take on the appearance of natural gum tissue.
You can choose from either fixed ceramic gum veneers or removable acrylic veneers. Removable gum veneers are more common than fixed veneers, and they are easier to clean.
2. Porcelain veneers
The best thing about porcelain veneers is that they can last a lifetime if a patient cares for them. Porcelain has a similar appearance to tooth enamel, especially after polishing, which means that porcelain veneers can fit seamlessly into your smile. This is useful if you only need to cover one tooth.
The downside to porcelain veneers is the placement process involves the removal of some tooth enamel. This is necessary because otherwise, with the addition of veneers, teeth would appear bulky without the removal of some enamel.
Like porcelain veneers, Lumineers cover the frontal surface of teeth to hide imperfections like staining. Lumineers are a good option for patients that don't want to sacrifice too much of their enamel. This is because they are thinner than porcelain veneers and thus don't require you to sacrifice as much enamel.
The major downside of Lumineers is that they are weaker than porcelain veneers. This means they are more prone to breaking than porcelain veneers are.
4. Composite bonding
The fastest and cheapest veneer in cosmetic dentistry is the composite veneer. Composite veneers start out as a paste that covers teeth, unlike porcelain veneers or Lumineers, which start out as thin shells. Patients that want a cheap and fast alternative to Lumineers or porcelain veneers can opt for composite veneers instead. Because they are reversible, other options can be explored later.
The downside of composite veneers is that they pick up stains more easily than the other options. They are also more prone to breaking and may need replacing in just a few years.
Contact a local cosmetic dentist if you have questions.