From movie stars to mechanics, the smiles of people around the world have been amplified by the addition of porcelain veneers. But are they right for you? Here’s what you need to know about porcelain veneers and what they can do for your smile.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Also known as dental veneers or dental porcelain laminates, porcelain veneers are a thin, porcelain or composite shell that is fitted directly on your teeth. They are custom designed to fit your smile and can be used to repair or change a myriad of dental problems.
Why Consider Porcelain Veneers?
Perhaps the principal reason you should consider porcelain veneers is that they restore your teeth to their natural appearance. Also, your surrounding gum tissue typically reacts favourably to the porcelain material used in veneers. Porcelain veneers are also an accelerated solution for correcting your smile, as they are applied to your teeth over just a few visits.
Am I Suitable For Porcelain Veneers?
Although many people may benefit from porcelain veneers, they aren’t for everyone. For the best possible results, you must have healthy teeth and gums, and you must commit to regular care and maintenance, both at home and at periodic visits to your dentist.
Also, as porcelain veneers are permanent and require modification to your existing teeth, you must have a specific amendment to your smile in mind, and you must be prepared to commit to a permanent change. Individual porcelain veneers are expected to last for a decade, but they will likely require replacement at some future date.
What Problems do Porcelain Veneers Solve?
The list of problems porcelain veneers can correct is nearly endless! Among the more common issues veneers are used to correct include:
- Discolouration – sometimes tooth discolouration cannot be corrected by other means, including whitening, so a porcelain veneer may be used to cover the tooth instead.
- Genetic Irregularities – people with gaps between their teeth often benefit from porcelain veneers that are specially formed to close such gaps.
- Uneven Teeth – teeth that are unevenly worn often cause problems with not only the aesthetics of one’s smile but also present practical problems with chewing that can be corrected with veneers.
- Worn enamel – whether due to genetics or habits like smoking or consuming coffee or tea, the enamel on teeth can dull or become otherwise marred, which is a problem often corrected with porcelain veneers.
- General wear and tear – just like any other object that used frequently, teeth wear down with age, but porcelain veneers can be designed to make your worn teeth look healthy and youthful.
Important Things You Need To Know about Porcelain Veneers
While porcelain veneers are a suitable accessory for correcting a wide variety of issues with your smile, it is necessary to understand the possible disadvantages and risks that may come with the procedure.
- Porcelain veneers will require permanent modification to your teeth. A small portion of your tooth is going to be removed to provide a surface for affixing the porcelain veneers, and this removal cannot be reversed.
- Porcelain veneers are more expensive than other methods of smile repair, including composite resin bonding.
- You may experience sensitivity for several weeks or months after your porcelain veneers are affixed, but most people report that such sensitivity eventually fades unless other complications existed prior to receiving the veneers.
- The colour of the veneer cannot be changed once it is made and affixed.
- Porcelain veneers can be damaged, especially when chewing on hard substances. Night time teeth grinding can also permanently damage veneers, so be sure to talk to your dentist about solutions for this if you believe you grind your teeth.
- People with preexisting dental problems may also experience issues with porcelain veneers. Gum disease, advanced decay, significant previous dental work, and other major dental problems may make affixing porcelain veneers extremely difficult or even impossible, so a thorough check of your teeth and gums before moving forward with porcelain veneers is essential.
If you are considering porcelain veneers, your first step in the process is a visit to one of our dentists. He or she will examine your teeth, visually inspecting their surface and checking beneath the surface with an X-ray machine. They will also take digital scans or physical impressions as well as examining your smile as you talk.
A subsequent visit will include a ‘trial smile,’ where your dentist places temporary veneers over your teeth for you to test drive your veers. This also allows the dentist to determine the best way to craft your permanent veneers.
Once the ‘test drive’ is over, you will return for another visit to your dentist. He or she will remove a microscopic layer from your teeth that is identical to the thickness of your veneers. The next step is a digital scan of your smile, which will be used by ceramists to make your veneers. Once the scan is complete, it will be sent to our in-house ceramists, who will go to work on crafting your new veneers. As Orchard Scotts Dental has ceramists on site, the turn-around time is typically only a few days as opposed to traditional week-long wait times.
When your custom porcelain veneers are complete, you’ll be asked to visit your dentist’s office for the fitting. After placing the veneers on your teeth and ensuring a proper fit, he or she will clean and prepare your teeth to receive the cement that will bond your new veneers to your teeth. Your teeth will then be coated with the cement and your custom veneers will be permanently affixed. Your dentist will then use a light to cure the cement and make any minor adjustments to your bite that may be necessary.
Porcelain veneers are one of many tools in Orchard Scotts Dental’s arsenal to develop our patients’ smiles through revised alignment and whitening.
Our dentists and ceramists have utilised porcelain veneers to repair and refresh the smiles of scores of people just like you. Make an appointment today to talk to us if you believe your smile might benefit from a smile makeover with porcelain veneers.