Porcelain veneers are a paper-thin layer of porcelain that a dentist binds to your tooth or teeth permanently. This is done to conceal or change their shape, color, or positioning. Veneers are an aesthetic and serious procedure in dentistry. Your dentist of choice should be someone whose work you like and who has relevant experience and expertise. It’s important to really be happy with the quality because getting veneers taken out is complicated.
Who Should Get Porcelain Veneers?
People who would like to correct an issue with their teeth would benefit from this procedure the most. Issues can include crooked, stained, and chipped teeth. Staining and discoloration can be due to the use of certain medication, smoking, or drinking a lot of coffee or tea. Root canal treatment can cause discoloration too. Veneers are a good option if you want permanently white teeth. Patients who’ve had tooth whitening in the past, but were displeased with the effect being temporary, may opt for veneers.
Veneers are a suitable choice for people who are looking for a natural finish to their teeth. You may have had thicker ones done in the past that failed to yield that result.
Veneers will help with uneven, misaligned, or irregularly shaped teeth (with bulges or craters). They can also close spaces between teeth.
What is the Procedure?
The dentist will start by explaining the possibilities based on what the patient wants. They take the patient’s manner of speech and expression into account. Needless to say, your desired smile should not come at the expense of functionality. In other words, you should still be able to talk, eat, and drink normally with the veneers in.
Some practices offer the option to “test drive” a smile. There are two ways to do this. One is by using technology to render the smile digitally based on images of the patient. The other involves sculpting a composite and placing it on top of their teeth.
Preparing for Porcelain Veneers
The dentist will reshape the surface of the tooth by adding a layer equivalent to the veneer’s thickness. They might administer anesthesia to numb the area if they find this necessary. Then, a model of the tooth is created and sent to the lab, which develops the veneer. This takes about 3 weeks on average. In some cases, dentists insert a temporary veneer in this period. Once the veneer is ready, the dentist bonds it to your tooth.
Porcelain vs. Resin
Some patients opt for resin over porcelain, because it is cheaper. Resin veneers do not resist staining as well as porcelain. Also, they don’t mimic natural tooth features by reflecting light as well.
Dental Veneers: Pros
Porcelain veneers provide a natural appearance, resist stains, and are well tolerated by gum tissue. As you can choose their color, they will make dark teeth appear lighter. They are a more reliable and aesthetic alternative to crowns. At the same time, there is no need for extensive shaping as with crowns.
Dental Veneers: Cons
Dental veneers are practically irreversible, so it’s important to make a decision you won’t regret. They can’t be repaired if they crack or chip. The color might not match the color of your other teeth exactly, but if you discuss this with the dentist in advance, you can avoid it. The dentist can’t change the color of your veneers after setting them. The procedure involves removing enamel, so your teeth might become more sensitive to cold and hot foods and drinks.