What are porcelain veneers?

Veneers are thin, tooth colored shells of porcelain designed to cover the front surfaces of natural teeth. Dentists use porcelain veneers for cosmetic purposes, often to improve the appearance of a person’s smile. Porcelain veneers can change the color, size, shape and length of teeth. Veneers, while improving the appearance of teeth, provide the same strength and resilience of natural tooth enamel.

What kind of dental issues can porcelain veneers correct?

Dentists use porcelain veneers to correct a number of dental conditions and issues including:

• Broken or chipped teeth
• Discolored teeth
• Misaligned or crooked teeth
• Decayed or worn looking teeth
• Irregularly shaped teeth
• Teeth that have large gaps between them

Porcelain veneers help patients to correct a variety of imperfections within their smile that may have caused them a lifetime of insecurity.

What is the procedure for getting porcelain veneers?

The process of getting dental veneers is usually completed in three visits to the dentist. The first visit involves an examination of your teeth, as well as X-rays and impressions of your mouth and teeth. The dentist will determine if porcelain veneers are the appropriate treatment to correct your concerns.

After the initial consultation, the tooth is prepared for treatment. The dentist will begin by removing a small amount of enamel from the tooth’s front surface. A local anesthetic may be used for this procedure. The dentist will then make an impression of your tooth. The impression is sent to a laboratory, which will construct your veneer. Veneers may take up to 2 weeks to return from the laboratory, so temporary veneers may be used in the interim.

Lastly, the veneer will be prepared for permanent bonding. The dentist will first make sure it is the proper shape, size and fit before permanently attaching it to your tooth. Your tooth will be polished, cleaned and etched to ensure a secure and strong bond of the veneer to your natural tooth. Special cement is used to attach the veneer and then a laser beam is used to activate chemicals in the cement, allowing it to harden quickly. The procedure is finalized with the removal of excess cement and an assessment of your bite. Follow-up appointments are often recommended to evaluate your veneers and determine how they are interacting with you other oral tissues.

Why choose porcelain veneers?

Many individuals choose porcelain veneers as a preferred method of cosmetic dental treatment because:

• Veneers have a natural appearance
• Natural teeth, for the most part, are kept intact
• Patients can choose the color desired for their veneers
• Porcelain veneers are stain resistant
• Gum tissue is not affected by the use of veneers
• Veneers are a conservative and non-surgical method of cosmetic dentistry

Veneers can last up to 10 years before needing replacement and do not require any special care. Practicing good oral hygiene at home will help to keep your veneers looking new.