Over the past 30 years, developing dental technology has made veneers more lifelike and convenient than ever before. New types of porcelain are stronger and reflect light similarly to natural dental enamel. Digital imaging systems enable many dentists to create same-day restorations that are a near-perfect match to the natural shape and color of patient’s’ teeth. Additionally, other advanced dental treatments such as teeth whitening and dental crowns can be combined with veneers to provide patients with comprehensive cosmetic results and truly stunning smiles.
What are veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of medical-grade ceramic that are attached to the front surfaces of teeth for an immediate smile transformation. Individually crafted for each patient, these cosmetic enhancements are made from advanced material that closely resembles the appearance of natural dental enamel.
Are Veneers a Good Option for You?
Teeth that are discolored, chipped, decayed or poorly shaped are good candidates for veneers. They’re also beneficial in situations involving a slight gap between two teeth, as well as for minor crowding and bite-related problems.
Let your dentist know what you want corrected and what you’re looking for in your new smile. With cosmetic imaging, you may even be able to see a preview of the new you.
What Can Veneers Do?
- Change the color of badly stained teeth
- Cover minor cracks in teeth
- Restore chipped teeth
- Close minor to moderate spaces
- Correct minor bite problems
- Build up teeth that have been worn down by grinding habits
- Compensate for excessive gum tissue
What Is the Process of Restoring Teeth with Veneers?
The best way for your dentist to begin the process of designing your new smile is to create a model of your teeth, and then use it to make a provisional set of veneers out of plastic. You can actually wear these for up to two weeks to see if you like the effect. Once you and your dentist agree on the form and the shade of your veneers, specifications are sent to a dental laboratory. There, skilled technicians will mix porcelain powder with water, form it around a mold of your teeth, and bake it in an oven. Several layers are built up to mimic the translucency of real enamel.
Before the veneer is bonded to the tooth, a small amount of the tooth’s surface, (1 mm or less) is usually removed in a process known as reduction. This often requires local anesthetic. There is, however, a relatively new procedure requiring no tooth reduction, referred to as the no-drill or prepless porcelain veneer. While veneers are most effective with minimal reduction (also called minimal prep), prepless veneers have the advantage of being reversible. But they are not appropriate in all situations.
How Do You Care for Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are strong enough to withstand normal flossing and brushing with any non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste; they should be cared for in the same manner as completely natural teeth. However, porcelain is a glass and like all glass, veneers can shatter if bent.