Men and women who are born with naturally beautiful smiles love to share them with others, but individuals who are struggling with the appearance of chipped, crooked, or stained teeth may find themselves laughing or smiling less because of embarrassment. With continued improvements in aesthetic dentistry, there are solutions for these patients who want to build their self-esteem and confidence. Many patients choose porcelain veneers to enhance their smile. Let’s talk about porcelain veneers and what they can do for the smile!
What is a porcelain veneer?
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry describes porcelain veneers as very thin pieces of ceramic custom-made to fit over the front facing of a tooth. Veneers are known for looking completely natural as they are fabricated to match the color and shape of the existing teeth for seamless integration. Veneers are also extremely strong and durable.
The preparation of the smile for porcelain veneers includes the removal of approximately one millimeter of enamel from the front surface of the tooth. Then, impressions are taken of the mouth to form a mold which is sent to a dental laboratory where a dental technician will fabricate your custom veneers. When completed, the dentist bonds the veneer to the tooth with a special bonding cement.
Are veneers right for me?
Patients who are good candidates for porcelain veneers are individuals who have imperfections of the teeth near the front of the smile. This includes problems such as gaps between teeth, poorly shaped teeth, or teeth that are chipped or stained.
Speaking with your dentist is the first step in deciding if porcelain veneers are right for you. If you choose to follow through with the creation of veneers for your smile, you can work directly with your dentist to be a part of the design process. In some cases, dental practices offer cosmetic imaging which allows you to see a preview of the smile you want to achieve.
Pros and cons of porcelain veneers
There are several advantages to using porcelain veneers. The first is quickly and easily achieving a more beautiful smile. Second, veneers require very little structure of the tooth to be removed and can be prepared and placed without anesthetics. The material used for fabrication of these veneers also ensures they are resistant to staining.
Disadvantages are present too, however. The procedure is irreversible because of the removal of natural tooth enamel. The color of the veneers cannot be changed, and many patients experience temperature sensitivity shortly after the placement of their veneers and for the next few days. While strong, porcelain veneers may still become damaged by biting fingernails or chewing ice, so patients should pay close attention to any bad habits such as these.
Caring for your veneers
Patients who have porcelain veneers placed in their smile will want to take good care of them to extend their longevity. Nonabrasive fluoride toothpastes should be used for brushing, and patients should floss between their teeth as well. Patients who grind or clench their teeth should consider the use of a special mouth guard when they sleep to prevent damage to the veneers, and individuals should maintain regular dental visits for cleanings and examinations. The tooth structure underneath the veneer can still develop decay if patients do not maintain proper oral health habits.
If you are interested in learning more about porcelain veneers and whether or not they can improve your smile, now is the time to contact your local dental professional to schedule a consultation appointment and initial evaluation. Enjoy smiling again with the placement of aesthetic veneers!
Disclaimer: Obviously, every patient’s case is different, and needs to be properly diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional. Please see your healthcare professional or contact us for an appointment.