Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are attached to the front surface of the teeth to improve their appearance. They are made to resemble the appearance of teeth and are used for a wide range of dental corrections. This makes them one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in dentistry.
Why should I get porcelain veneers?
Veneers can change the teeth’s color, size, shape and even the entire appearance of your smile. If you have a worn, chipped, cracked, misshapen, stained or discolored tooth, you can get a porcelain veneer to fix it. Misaligned teeth or those that have gaps in between can also be solved using porcelain veneers. This has earned porcelain veneers the nickname, instant orthodontics, because they do not require a lengthy period of time like traditional orthodontics.
How are porcelain veneers attached to the teeth?
The attachment of porcelain veneers involves several steps that will require around two to three trips to the dentist.
- Consult with a dentist to discuss your goals and desired outcome. Be actively involved in planning how to make your smile perfect. Point out what you want to fix or enhance. Your dentist will also determine whether porcelain veneers are the best solution for your objectives.
- A small layer, usually less than a millimeter, of the tooth’s enamel will be removed by buffing to make room for the veneer. The amount needed will be based on the patient’s needs as discussed during the consultation. This step may require a local anesthetic.
- The dentist will then make a mold out of your teeth. This will be sent to the laboratory that will make the veneers and it may take them a few weeks.
- Once the veneers are ready, you will go back to your dentist to have them attached. But before that, the veneers are checked against your teeth. Their color, fit and overall appearance will be checked. Minor modifications may be done by the dentist to make sure that there are no problems with them and to make sure that you get your desired outcome.
- Before attaching the veneer to your tooth, a chemical is used to create a rough surface. This is where a bonding agent will be applied to create the base for the veneers.
- The veneers are then finally attached to the teeth using cement. A curing light is used to make the cement harden.
How do I maintain my porcelain veneers?
Veneers can last up to around ten years, maybe even up to twenty years with proper care. However, they can still break or fall off. It is important to maintain good oral health through proper hygiene. Just like caring for regular teeth, brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups will help your porcelain veneers last longer. Do not use your teeth to bite or chew very hard food or things. If you are a teeth grinder, mention this during the initial consultation so that your dentist may take this into consideration when he draws up a treatment plan.
If you think porcelain veneers may be the answer to your dental woes, consult one of our dentists immediately.