Dental Library- Laminate Veneers
When dental patients want to correct crooked misaligned teeth with unsightly spaces without having to undergo orthodontic treatment (wearing braces) laminate veneers are often the treatment of choice. Laminate veneers can also be used to achieve the whitest most cosmetically pleasing smile in a relatively short amount of time. Laminate veneers are needed to affect the most drastic color change possible that is beyond the scope of tooth whitening (bleaching). Laminate veneers can also restore broken down, decayed, chipped or previously restored teeth (teeth with old discolored fillings, crowns or older laminate veneers).Laminate veneers can also change the size, shape and function of teeth as well as their position and can close unsightly spaces called diastemas. This wide range of cosmetic applications makes laminate veneers a very useful treatment option for cosmetically improving patient smiles.
Laminate veneers are very much like their name implies. They are a thin veneer of porcelain that has been fabricated by a dental laboratory to the color, shape and size required to achieve the cosmetic results the patient wants. The laminate veneers are bonded onto the remaining tooth structure and a new cosmetically appealing smile is created. Depending on the severity of the corrections needed laminate veneer treatment can have anywhere from two to five visits. This allows dramatic cosmetic changes in a patient's smile in a relatively short period of time and without unsightly braces, which most patients prefer to avoid if possible.
Initially the doctor and patient must decide what the final cosmetic goals are and what treatment is best to achieve them. The doctor may have the dental laboratory create the proposed final results in wax which is the used as a blue print or road map to follow in getting from the patient's initial appearance to the final laminate veneers. The wax up can also be used as a guide for the laboratory in making the temporary laminate veneers used from the treatment appointment when the teeth are prepared, reshaped to achieve the required space for the laminate veneers, and the treatment appointment when the final laminate veneers are bonded into place. Although the laminate veneers are very thin they still require the dentist to create some space in the patient's mouth. One of the big advantages of laminate veneers is that they require much less space than crowns and therefore need less tooth preparation and consequently preserve more natural tooth structure.
Like all treatment options laminate veneers have their limitations. Severely misaligned teeth or excessive spacing problems will need to be treated orthodontically (with braces) prior to determining the definitive restorative treatment. Often times shifting and redistributing the space more evenly between all six anterior (front) teeth will allow dental laminates to be used. Laminate veneers may not be the treatment of choice if a patient's occlusion (bite) has to be re-established, if there are missing teeth or congenitally malformed teeth. But dental laminate veneers can be a very useful treatment option in many cosmetically driven treatment plans that allows a minimally invasive treatment with outstanding cosmetic results, often enabling an entire smile to be rehabilitated or a new cosmetically pleasing smile to be created within a few weeks.