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What are Dental Veneers and Laminates?
Dental veneers and dental laminates are cosmetic dental products that improve the appearance of a patient’s teeth. Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are a few differences between them, but both can be effective solutions for issues with how teeth look.
Differences informing dental decisions
Veneers can alter the smile’s appearance more than laminates can. Dentists can use these restorations to improve the appearance of crooked teeth or fill in gaps between teeth. For patients with minor issues, like minor discoloration or small chips in teeth, laminates may be the better option. Though they alter the smile less, they are thinner and lighter in weight, and installing them is less invasive. Dentists must remove some tooth enamel to attach both types of restorations, but they need to remove less enamel to attach laminates.
Veneers may be made from porcelain or from composite resin. Porcelain is less prone to staining than the composite. However, getting porcelain veneers entails more preparatory work on teeth, so it may take more than one visit to the dentist. The porcelain type usually lasts longer than the composite resin, so many people choose them for that reason.
Laminates are made of porcelain, but they are only about as thick as a contact lens. Despite their thinness, laminates may feel bulky on teeth since dentists remove less enamel before placing them.
Good candidates for these cosmetic dentistry procedures
Dental veneers and laminates can be a good choice for people who have fairly straight, healthy teeth with cosmetic problems like stains or chips. They can also mask slight crookedness without orthodontic treatment.
People who grind their teeth may not qualify as good patients for either restoration. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can damage the materials veneers and laminates are made from, so people with this problem may not be able to enjoy long-term benefits.
The application procedure
Laminates and veneers must be custom-made for each patient to match the natural tooth shape, size and color. Making these custom restorations requires that the dentist create tooth impressions. Then technicians make the custom products in a laboratory.
Attaching the permanent veneers or laminates
While the lab works on the final veneers or laminates, the dentist will attach temporary ones using removable adhesive and advise the patient on how to care for them until the permanent ones are ready. Once the permanent veneers or laminates are ready, the dentist will remove the temporary ones, clean the teeth and attach each permanent one so that it fits perfectly. The patient’s new smile is ready to show off at this point.
Some patients experience minor soreness at each stage of the fitting process, but over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient to address this. Dentists may advise patients to eat softer foods for the first few days after the procedure to prevent soreness while the teeth heal completely.
Veneers and laminates are both popular options to transform a person’s smile with minimum discomfort and downtime. The end results can look natural and match the natural teeth. Additionally, the materials of these restorations resist stains well, so smiles remain bright with good dental hygiene.
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