WHAT ARE PORCELAIN VENEERS? Porcelain veneers cover the front surface of one or more teeth with a thin shell of tooth-like material. Serving both a functional and aesthetic role, dental veneers protect the surface of damaged teeth while also reshaping and whitening your smile. Whether you have cracks, chips, worn enamel, or other tooth damage, porcelain veneers offer a convenient all-in-one solution that can solve one or more dental problems simultaneously. You may cover up one damaged tooth or revamp your entire smile with a set of porcelain veneers.
Because the porcelain materials used in dental veneers imitate the translucent look of your natural teeth, you can expect a more youthful, confident smile. Keep in mind that receiving a porcelain veneer is often a non-reversible process since your dentist usually shaves down part of your natural tooth in preparation for the added thickness of the porcelain veneer.
Porcelain Veneer Procedure
Initial Consultation: At an initial consultation, you will visit with your general or cosmetic dentist to discuss your goals for your smile. Your dentist will assess your teeth and help you decide whether porcelain veneers are the best treatment option.
Preparation: For traditional dental veneers, your dentist will prepare your teeth for the slight added thickness of the dental veneers by shaving off a small layer of the tooth structure. The amount of tooth preparation necessary varies. Although each porcelain veneer is paper-thin, this tooth preparation helps it naturally blend in with your other teeth.
Porcelain Veneers Manufactured: After the tooth preparation, images and impressions will be taken of your teeth and sent to a lab where they make custom dental veneers to match the shape and color of your smile.
Porcelain Veneer Application: When your dental veneers are ready, your dentist will carefully bond each porcelain veneer to the tooth surface with a strong adhesive and check for color and comfortable fit.
Are Dental Veneers Right For Me?
Because every mouth is different, visiting your general or cosmetic dentist is the best way to assess whether porcelain veneers are the best treatment for enhancing your smile. Usually, porcelain veneers are used for teeth that are beyond the repair of smaller restoration techniques such as bonding. Teeth that have lost most of their functionality or are severely decayed require the support of dental crowns. The list below explains several ways that porcelain veneers can give your smile a lift:
- Close gaps between teeth
- Repair chips or cracks
- Reshape distorted or misshapen teeth
- Lengthen short or uneven teeth
- Hide worn enamel
- Straighten slightly crooked or overlapping teeth
- Cover slightly dark or discolored teeth with a whiter surface
Prepless Dental Veneers
Prepless veneers such as Lumineers and DURAthin veneers offer a less invasive alternative to traditional porcelain veneers. Designed to be much thinner than traditional dental veneers, prepless veneers require little to no removal of tooth enamel. Because the natural tooth structure is left in place, the prepless veneer process is often reversible if you ever desire to have the veneers removed. Patients are often drawn to prepless veneers because they offer many of the same benefits as traditional porcelain veneers without any drilling or shots.
Not everyone qualifies for prepless veneers. To find out if prepless veneers will work with your smile, your general or cosmetic dentist will have to assess your tooth structure and stability. DURAthin Veneers and Lumineers are two of the most widespread brands of prepless veneers.
Living With and Caring For Porcelain Veneers
While porcelain veneers are designed with quality materials to ensure longevity, they are not indestructible. In order to maintain your beautiful smile, avoid chewing or tearing hard materials that might damage the porcelain veneers—such as nutshells, bones, or ice. If you habitually grind your teeth at night, your dentist may give you a protective appliance to keep your dental veneers from chipping. In all cases, good oral hygiene habits of brushing, flossing, and regular dentist visits will help maintain your oral health and extend the life of the dental veneers.
Contact a Crown Council Dentist
To learn more about dental veneers or other general or cosmetic dentistry procedures, search for and contact a Crown Council member dentist in your area.