Have you ever wanted to ask about veneers while at the dental office but dismissed the idea thinking they might be too pricey or the process too complex? While now there is a new option available for you to get the smile that you once thought was out of your reach. While most people have heard of veneers, few know exactly what a veneer is.
A veneer is a very thin shell of porcelain that is bonded to the front teeth to enhance the shape, color and overall appearance of the teeth. In the past, most veneers were made by a dental laboratory after the dentist prepared your teeth (by removing a very small amount of enamel from the front of your tooth) and then made you temporary veneers while waiting for the finished product. These porcelain veneers were considered to be “indirect”, meaning that they were not directly made in the dental office in one visit.
Now, there is a direct, in-office, technique for veneers that is considerably less expensive, that involves almost no drilling, and that can be done while the patient is in the office. A new product called U Veneers allows dentists to close small spaces between teeth, fix chipped teeth, cover over stained teeth and reshape teeth that are slightly turned or rotated. It also can be used to recreate a normal shape and size tooth for patients who are born with a very small front tooth.
How does it work? The U Veneer system consists of plastic templates that are made to fit over the front teeth and that are formed to mimic the ideal tooth shape and size that most patients are looking for. The dentist picks the set that best fits your teeth. Your teeth are then lightly roughened, and the template is filled with a tooth colored bonding material that is then pressed over the teeth and hardened. The template is then popped off to reveal a smooth, glossy veneer that has the ideal shape, size and symmetry that we all want in our front teeth. There is very little drilling and there is no time spent waiting for the veneer to be returned from the lab. The U Veneers are likely to be affordable for most patients who are looking to enhance their smile. And although they are not made of porcelain, the technique used creates a restoration that is highly polished and shiny and able to bounce light off the front of the teeth the same way that porcelain does.