If you’re looking to fix the color, shape, or spacing of your teeth, porcelain veneers could be the answer you desire. These ultra-thin layers of super-strong porcelain bond to your teeth to create a beautiful, natural-looking surface that corrects flaws including discoloration, chips, jagged edges, or gaps between teeth.
Dental porcelain technology has made remarkable advances in recent years. Dental porcelain, like natural tooth enamel, is translucent and tough. But it doesn’t stain like tooth enamel does.
Versatility of Porcelain Veneers
We can use veneers to improve any of the following characteristics of your teeth:
Color: Food, beverages, smoking, medication, even just the normal aging process can all stain our teeth. Veneers are available in numerous shades, from natural to bright Hollywood white.
Size & Shape: Veneers can be shaped and sized in whichever way is most flattering for your face. For example, some people consider squarer teeth more masculine and rounder teeth more feminine. Plus, veneers can lengthen teeth that have been worn down by grinding. They can also smooth out teeth that have been chipped.
Alignment & Spacing: Veneers can be used to close small gaps between teeth or make slight corrections in alignment while improving tooth color and shape.
Limitations of Porcelain Veneers
Not everyone is a perfect candidate for veneers. People who have significantly misaligned teeth or a large gap might need orthodontics instead of veneers. People who have lost a lot of tooth structure from decay, trauma, or excessive grinding, might need to restore their teeth with porcelain crowns that cover the entire tooth.
Creating a New Smile with Porcelain Veneers
The first step to creating a new smile with porcelain veneers is to discuss exactly what you don’t like about your smile as it is now. It’s a great idea to bring in pictures of smiles you do like, so we can get an idea of how you would like to look. We can show you how veneers would look on your teeth in one of several ways. We can create a model of your teeth and put wax “veneers” on the model; we can even put acrylic (plastic) or tooth-colored filling material directly on your teeth to demonstrate the visual effect veneers would have.
Once we have agreed to a plan, we will prepare your teeth by removing a small amount of enamel, if necessary. Our dentists will take molds of your teeth and send them to a dental laboratory, which will create the veneers. In the meantime, you’ll receive a temporary set of veneers to wear during the few weeks it takes to create the permanent veneers. When the veneers come back from the lab, we will cement them on to your teeth.
Caring for Your Veneers
Just like natural teeth, porcelain veneers need gentle brushing every day. You’ll also need to floss between the teeth, just like always. This will remove dental plaque and ensure healthy gum tissue around the veneers. Regular checkups at the dental office remain as important as ever. And even though veneers are tough, it’s a good idea to refrain from using your veneer-covered teeth to open packages or bite into very hard foods like candy apples. It’s also a good idea to get a custom-made nightguard to protect your veneers if you’re prone to grinding or clenching your teeth at night.
Many of our dentists use Lumineers, a type of veneer that is ultra-thin and highly translucent, allowing them to replicate the natural appearance of enamel. Lumineers are highly durable; clinical testing has proven Lumineers can last more than 20 years.
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