Porcelain veneers, also called dental veneers or dental porcelain laminates, are very thin shells made out of porcelain or resin composite materials designed to have the same color as a person’s healthy teeth. They are placed over a tooth in order to improve the tooth’s appearance or to protect the surface of the tooth from damage. They can greatly enhance your smile. Veneers are most often fabricated in a dental lab by a dental technician.
Do You Need Porcelain Veneers?
If you have a broken or chipped tooth, a porcelain veneer can make it look whole again. If your teeth are stained or discolored permanently due to a root canal treatment, excessive smoking, or any other reason, porcelain veneers can make them look white again. If your teeth are worn down, porcelain veneers can lengthen them. If your teeth are not shaped regularly or if they are uneven or misaligned or have gaps between them, porcelain veneers can be used to shape them, make them appear straight, and close the gaps.
The first step in getting a porcelain veneer is a consultation with your cosmetic dentist. Your cosmetic dentist will want to know what exactly you are trying to achieve. After getting a thorough idea about what you want, he will examine your teeth to see whether porcelain veneers are suitable for you. The dentist will then take X-rays of your teeth and may even make impressions. The dentist will then trim off the enamel from the surface of your tooth (you will be given a local anesthetic before this to numb the region). He will then make an impression of your tooth, and it will be sent to a dental lab to construct your porcelain veneer.
It usually takes the dental technician one to two weeks to make the porcelain veneer. Once the porcelain veneer is received, your dentist will temporarily place it over your tooth to check the fit. If it is not a proper fit, he will trim the porcelain veneer to achieve the proper fit. Your dentist will then clean, polish, and etch your tooth, and then attach the porcelain veneer permanently to your tooth with a special cement. Your dentist will most probably ask you to return after a week or two to check how your gums are adjusting to the porcelain veneer.
After the Procedure
No special care is required once the procedure is completed – just make sure to maintain good oral hygiene practices. Porcelain veneers have the capacity to resist stains; however, it will be better to avoid beverages and foods that cause stains. Porcelain veneers can last many years. It is important to remember that they are prone to chipping and breaking just like your original teeth. Small breaks or chips can be fixed easily, but larger ones will require the porcelain veneer to be replaced. If you have the habit of grinding your teeth, let your dentist know and he will fabricate a bite guard for you, which will minimize the wear on your porcelain veneer and on your original teeth.
Arrange Your Consultation
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Dan Miller, a precise and experienced cosmetic dentist for more on porcelain veneers and whether they’re right for you. Contact us to set up your consultation.