What You Should Know About Temporary Veneers
There are two types of temporary veneers. The most common type of temporary is the kind your cosmetic dentist installs while you wait for your real veneers to be created by a lab. The other kind is removable and designed for short-term use (a few years). We’ll look at both kinds here.
What Are Temporary Removable Veneers?
There are a number of brands of removable veneers available. Some, like the Snap-On-Smile brand are ordered through a dentist. Others, like Press On dental veneers are ordered directly from a lab. You simply make the mold at home rather than having the dentist take care of that step. Snap-on and press-on veneers are created to cover up the teeth that show when you smile (usually the upper teeth). They come in an arch with all the veneers connected together in a single piece. These fit over your existing teeth and are designed for daytime wear.
Modern materials and fabrication make these veneers thin enough to be moderately comfortable (although they will be bulkier than real veneers). They are also strong and well fitted so they can be worn during meals. They must be removed for tooth brushing and flossing. There is no tooth preparation required for fitting. No enamel is removed and the surface of the tooth is not etched for bonding. This means the temporary veneers are fully reversible. Your teeth will look the same after you take off the temporaries as they did when you put them on. These veneers are only a fraction of the cost of porcelain veneers. A full arch of press-on veneers may cost about as much as a single ceramic veneer. Snap-on veneers cost more since they require a visit to a dentist. However, removable veneers do not look as realistic as real veneers and will wear out fairly quickly.
Temporary Veneers While You Wait for Finished Dental Veneers
These veneers are placed after your teeth are prepared for ceramic veneers. They are approximately the same size, shape and color as your final veneers. However, they may be somewhat thicker and will not seem as realistic. Some dentists take great care to create temporary veneers that look as much like the permanent veneers as possible. Others save time and money by simply covering up the prepared tooth surfaces with a “good enough” set of veneers that will get you through a few weeks. Getting well-made temporaries is the best option if you want to make absolutely sure that the final veneers will give you the smile you want.
How Are Temporary Veneers Made?
There are a couple of ways a dentist may create temporaries. They may apply a short-term dental bonding resin directly onto the tooth. This is similar to the process for creating direct composite veneers, but these are designed to last only a few weeks rather than five-plus years. They will be cured with a lamp to glue them to the enamel and make them hard enough to withstand short term use.
The second method is to create a set of acrylic veneers. These may be formed directly using a mold of your teeth before the enamel is prepared (shaved or drilled down). However, many cosmetic dentists prefer to do a wax up instead. This is an extra step that leads to more accurate results. The mold of your teeth is taken and used to create a model of your current smile. Each model tooth is prepared just as your real enamel would be and then built back up with tooth colored wax to simulate veneers. Once you approve this wax model, it is used to create your temporary veneers.
This process gives you the chance to approve the look of your veneers before the temporaries are made. Then, you can try out the temporaries for a couple of weeks and see how they feel (especially where the teeth bite together). If you are unsatisfied with the size, shape and feel of the temporaries, adjustments can be made to the mold before it is used to create your final ceramic veneers. Or, a new mold can be made from the adjusted temporaries to send to the lab. Going through this extra step does take more time. However, it is much less expensive to make corrections during the temporary stage than after the ceramic veneers are fabricated. You don’t want to have to pay twice for the ceramics!
Wearing and Caring for Removable Veneers
These veneers may be applied individually; but they are usually installed as an arch with the veneers connected together in a single piece. This means there are no gaps between your teeth in the front. You may notice that your speech is affected for a few days because of the change in the shape of your teeth. You will not be able to floss between the veneers. Instead, you will need to use a curved tip syringe to flush out the spaces between your teeth from inside your mouth.
Eating may be somewhat uncomfortable, and you may find that your teeth are sensitive to heat, cold, air or sweets for the time being. Since temporary veneers are not firmly attached and are not made of strong materials, you must be careful what you eat. Stay away from hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy foods. These may break the veneers or cause them to pop off. If temporary veneers come off, they should be cemented back in place right away. They are designed to protect your prepared enamel from damage and lessen tooth sensitivity while you wait for your final veneers. They also help keep your teeth in proper alignment – especially if tooth structure has been removed from the edges of any teeth.
The material used to create the veneers may stain even in the short time you will be wearing them. Avoid eating foods that contain color additives (such as food dyes or caramel color) that will stain the veneers and the adhesive. The prepared enamel along your gum line will also be very vulnerable to staining at this time since the temporaries don’t create a tight seal where they are bonded to your teeth. You may need to use a brush-tipped syringe filled with hydrogen peroxide to clean along your gum line.
What to Expect While Wearing Temporary Veneers
The temporaries will feel rougher and thicker than the final veneers. You may also have some mouth soreness. This is normal. If you have discomfort while wearing your temporaries, you may want to take an over the counter pain reliever containing ibuprofen. However, if the temporaries feel so thick that they are very uncomfortable and don’t allow your upper and lower teeth to fit together properly, you should mention this to your dentist. The final veneers may need to be made thinner so they don’t interfere with your bite.