Dental veneers ( veneers ) are special prostheses applied directly to the individual tooth to improve its aesthetic appearance. These are very thin porcelain, ceramic or resin lamellas that are permanently cemented onto the tooth, to correct small imperfections such as chipping, slightly crooked teeth, diastema and yellow teeth or disfigured by untreatable stains by scaling or professional whitening.
The so-called "restoration" through the application of ceramic or porcelain dental veneers requires both a specific preventive programming and the intervention of the dental technician.
Generally, the application of the most precious dental veneers requires two sessions at the dentist:
- The first phase involves the filing of the tooth, the execution of the dental impression and the choice of the most suitable color for the facet;
- The second phase consists in applying the facet to the tooth (s).
Fundamental steps of the intervention:
- Control visit
- Tooth filings
- Dental impression
- Choice of color for the dental veneer
- Tooth treatment with hydrofluoric acid and silane
- Cementation of the aesthetic facet on the tooth
- Polishing of the dental veneer
First of all it is essential to "prepare" the tooth for surgery: this first step, which is very important, includes the filing of a part of the tooth enamel. The amount of enamel to be removed must be equal to the thickness of the dental veneer that will be cemented: the purpose is to favor the fixing of the veneer permanently and safely, minimizing the risk of dissection.
This operation can be performed with or without local anesthesia (with lidocaine injection): very often the anesthetic is not necessary because the discomfort perceived during the filing of the tooth is more than bearable. However, to calm the patient, many doctors prefer to lightly anesthetize the tooth with a minimal dose of anesthetic.
After the tooth has been filed, the doctor proceeds by carrying out the patient's impression, indispensable for preparing a model on which to study the perfect size of the teeth.
At this point, with the help of a colorimetric scale, the dentist chooses the color of the facet most appropriate for the patient: the prosthesis, in fact, must have the same color scheme as the other teeth because it would not make sense to apply a glossy and candid facet on yellow or stained teeth.
The second session involves applying the aesthetic facet to the tooth. Before "sticking" it, the prosthesis must be tested directly on the patient, in order to ascertain that color and size are those required. If this were not the case, the facet can be retouched or modified before it is permanently fixed.
- After cementing, no changes or color corrections to the ceramic veneer are possible.
The cementing phase is then performed at a later time, when the dental facets are ready. This stage is extremely delicate because it requires the use of composite cements and adhesive systems; moreover, the tooth to be restored must be perfectly isolated with a dam, a small patch of latex which, fixed on a tooth, prevents the accumulation of saliva and separates it from the other teeth.
Before the cementation of the veneer, the tooth must be treated with hydrofluoric acid and covered with a special adhesive (silane): this intermediate phase is indispensable to obtain a good adhesion to enamel and dentin through the composite cement. At this point, the veneer can be cemented onto the tooth.
After placing the dental veneer, the prosthesis can be slightly polished (without however making major changes) with discs, cutters and rubbers to define the margins.
Taking care of teeth restored with dental veneers does not require special care, especially if the cemented lamellas are made of porcelain or ceramic.
To maintain the structural integrity of these prostheses for as long as possible, it is sufficient to follow some general rules:
- Avoid chewing hard or crunchy foods such as nougat, ice and hard candies: to avoid chipping the ceramic with which the facet is made, the advice is to pay particular attention during chewing food. Although porcelain veneers are very resistant, resin veneers have the disadvantage of scratching and cracking much more easily. If this happens, the patient will have to undergo reprocessing.
- For the same reason above, it is advisable to abandon the habit of biting the nails or gnawing pens and pencils.
- Regularly perform multi-daily dental cleaning even on teeth restored with dental veneers, in order to prevent plaque and tartar deposits. It is therefore recommended to use a toothbrush and toothpaste after meals and to complete interdental cleaning (with a brush or dental floss) at least once a day. We remember, in fact, that dental infections (caries, in particular) can also affect the restored tooth: more precisely, the infection can affect the tooth in a portion that has not been treated with the facet (caries cannot infect porcelain, resin and ceramic).
- To prevent dental infections, professional dental cleaning is recommended once every 6-12 months.
- For those suffering from bruxism (involuntary teeth grinding), the danger of ruining the dental veneers is quite high: to protect the surface of the teeth, it is recommended to use specific remedies (bite). Before undergoing restorative surgery with veneers, it is important to always keep the doctor in mind if you suffer from bruxism: some dentists advise against these restorations because they would require reprocessing 5-10 years after surgery.
- For fans of sports of violence, it is strongly recommended to always safeguard the teeth (both those restored with veneers and the natural ones) with specific protections to prevent the fists or blows on the teeth from traumatizing teeth and veneers.
- Do not smoke: the bad smoking habit can stain both the restored teeth with the veneers and can damage the natural teeth.
- Pay attention to the consumption of soft drinks and foods that can stain your teeth: in this regard, it is advisable to limit the consumption of tea, coffee and wine to avoid damaging the hue of dental veneers.