Some people just don’t like the shape of their teeth, others think their teeth are too yellow. Porcelain veneers can cover a quantity of problems including cracks, chips and gaps to give you that glowing Hollywood smile you’ve always dreamed of.
Even the smallest change to your appearance can make the biggest impact on how you feel about yourself. You may have resisted smiling because you thought your smile wasn’t pretty enough. Or you may have covered your mouth when you laughed because you were self-conscious about your teeth.
Now you can have the smile you envision. With advances in cosmetic dentistry, and porcelain veneers, almost anything is possible.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin laminate dental shells that are made of tooth-colored materials. They are custom created and custom fitted to your particular smile. Once created, they are bonded to the front sides of your front teeth to change their shape, color, size or length.
Veneers can be made of porcelain or a resin material, but porcelain veneers are stain-resistant and reflect light more like your natural teeth. They are often virtually unnoticeable in your mouth, but can make all the difference in your confidence level.
Generally they are applied to the upper front teeth, where they show most often. Your dentist and you can decide how many teeth you would like to cover with porcelain veneers, and what your budget will allow, to create the smile you desire.
How are Porcelain Veneers Created?
Getting porcelain veneers is generally a three-trip process. On your first visit, your dentist will consult with you and take x-rays of your existing teeth to see if you are a good candidate for dental veneers. He or she may also take an impression of your mouth.
On your next visit, you dentist will file down about half a millimeter of tooth enamel from the tooth’s front surface in order to prepare the tooth. This is about the thickness of the veneer itself. Your dentist will then take an impression, or mold, of your teeth and send it off to a dental lab where the veneers will be molded. This will take approximately 2-4 weeks.
On your final visit, your dentist will place your veneer on your tooth to check for size, fit and color. If any adjustments are needed, they will be made. To prepare your tooth for bonding, your dentist will clean, polish and etch your tooth to create channels where the bonding material can attach. This roughing enables a stronger bond.
The dental bonding material is applied to the veneer, which is then attached to the tooth. With a special light tool, the bonding material is cured. Once installed, your dentist will check your fit and bite and make any final adjustments to your satisfaction.
Your dentist may want you to return for a fourth visit to check your progress in wearing your new veneers. And if you have any problems, do not hesitate to contact your dentist.
Care of your Dental Veneers
Since dental veneers are not as hard as your natural teeth, you must take a bit more care with them. Do not bite down on hard objects, or chew on pencils or ice. This may cause them to crack or chip. You must take care if you are apt to clench your jaw or grind your teeth. A custom night guard can help in this area.
Since dental veneers are stain resistant, they are cared for the same as your natural teeth, with regular brushing, flossing and dental rinses. They typically last for between 7 and 15 years before needing to be replaced.