People that refrain from smiling due to cracked, chipped, or discolored teeth may find a solution in the form of porcelain veneers. This popular option is chosen by thousands of Americans each year that are in search of a more confident and aesthetically pleasing smile. Let’s explore the reason porcelain veneers are recommended by many dentists, how they work, and if they might be right for you.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Veneers can be a buzz word in the beauty and dental industry, but other than the fact that they are designed to enhance an individual’s smile, few people are familiar with what veneers actually do. Essentially, these dental implements are used to help cover or mask imperfections of the surface of a person’s teeth.
There are two types of veneers most commonly used by dentists:
While both types of veneers serve the same purpose in making smiles appear brighter and more uniform, the main difference is the materials they are made from and how long they last.
Porcelain veneers are made from a porcelain laminate material. They tend to be more popular than their composite counterparts among patients and dentists alike because they are stronger, last longer, and can look more natural.
Porcelain Veneer Candidates
- Masking tooth imperfections – Patients who have visible imperfections such as cracked or chipped teeth, gaps, or minimal misalignment frequently seek out veneers to hide these common cosmetic issues. It is important to note that veneers do not physically correct these often-benign dental problems, but rather help mask them.
- Wanting a brighter smile – Some patients can become frustrated with tooth discoloration that can come from smoking or drinking dark beverages such as tea, coffee, wine or soda. Partaking in any of these can stain tooth enamel over time. While brightening can help with this as well, veneers are generally preferred because they are largely stain-resistant and will better safeguard against future discoloration.
- Creating a line of defense for damaged enamel – The enamel of a tooth helps protect its interior and minimize cavities. Over time, eating highly acidic foods or suffering from acid reflux can cause those acids to gradually wear away the enamel of a tooth. Since tooth enamel does not regenerate, dentists may recommend veneers as a way of protecting against enamel erosion.
How Porcelain Veneers Work
If after a consultation with your dentist you are considered to be a candidate for porcelain veneers, expect the process to take at least two more additional visits.
The first visit to a dentist to prepare for getting porcelain veneers involves wearing down as little of the enamel as possible, but enough to properly support the veneer. Once this step has been completed, a patient may be asked to let dental professionals taken an impression of their teeth. This allows the final veneers to be properly shaped and adhered to the teeth.
A high-quality dentist will also take the color shade of the patient’s other teeth and compare it against available hues for porcelain veneers. This ensures that the new implements will blend in seamlessly with existing teeth so they are not noticeable to others.
From here a laboratory should use the impression and color matching to craft veneers suited specifically for the patient. This can take a week or two, and with the worn enamel now exposed in the interim, a dentist will give the patient temporary veneers to safeguard against further damage until the final veneers arrive.
Once the porcelain veneers from the laboratory are ready, they are sent back to the dentist for application. This application generally occurs during the patient’s next visit and includes bonding the porcelain veneers to the appropriate teeth.
It is worth noting that having veneers is not a process that is considered reversible, primarily because of the wearing down of the enamel that must take place before it can be adhered to a tooth. Although the process generally cannot be undone, it is still possible for a veneer to crack or break and require a replacement. On average, porcelain veneers can last up to fifteen years or longer depending on the care they are given and the dental health of an individual.
Choosing the Right Dentist to Do Your Porcelain Veneers
As porcelain veneers are designed to last up to a decade and a half, it is critical to choose a reputable and experienced dentist for the job, like Meyerland Family Dentistry. If you believe that you are a candidate for porcelain veneers, here are some questions you may want to ask at your next appointment:
We want you to take back your confidence and smile proudly with the polished and fresh look of porcelain veneers from an experienced and reputable dentist you can trust.