Veneers are excellent restorations that improve color, tooth shape, and smile harmony. Careful planning and design by a dental specialist will ensure attractive, healthy, and long-lasting results.
If you aren’t satisfied with your smile, cosmetic dentistry offers you plenty of options. Not every choice is right for every person, however. Depending on your health, pre-existing conditions, and past dental work, there may be some more effective procedures.
If you need to improve or restore the appearance, brightness, and smoothness of one or more of your teeth, one of the best options available is porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are the solution for unsightly stains, blemishes, chips, or imperfections of the teeth that you don’t want to see in your smile any longer.
Let's begin by understanding what porcelain veneers (also referred to as dental veneers) are. We'll then look at what purpose they serve and the advantages of porcelain veneers over other cosmetic treatments. We'll end by helping you determine the right cosmetic dentistry professional for porcelain veneers.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are a specific type of dental veneers. Veneers are thin, customized porcelain shells that are created to match one of your existing teeth. Each shell is custom-made to match the precise shape and size of the tooth it will be covering. When the shell is complete, it is carefully placed over and bonded to your existing tooth's front surface.
Once the bonding process is complete, the porcelain veneer will be firmly attached to the tooth. There is also a newer type of dental veneer referred to as temporary veneers, which can be placed and removed as needed). The tooth's visible exterior now appears bright and new and unblemished by any stain, crack, imperfection, or chip. The dental veneer also protects the tooth's original front surface and protects from any further damage or enamel loss.
Because of their unique applications, porcelain veneers have a clearly defined purpose, among other types of orthodontic treatments.
What Is The Purpose of Porcelain Veneers?
The purpose of porcelain veneers is to provide a low-impact, highly-compatible solution to various cosmetic problems. Unlike more extensive treatments, such as crowns, porcelain veneers are designed to only fit over the portion of the tooth visible to someone looking at the teeth. Only the enamel at the bonding site needs to be removed. The rest of the tooth doesn’t need to be altered, and neither does the surrounding teeth.
Most cosmetic dentistry issues are only considered problems because they are visible in the first place. Stains created by tobacco use, naturally-occurring discoloration, and evidence of imperfections can be frustrating, primarily when the problem areas are located on the teeth that appear when smiling.
Porcelain veneers solve those problems without presenting any risk to other teeth.
Where Dental Veneers Fit Among Other Dental Treatments
Porcelain veneers are used to cover up imperfections and various cosmetic problems. They are an excellent solution versus dental crowns, which often are more costly and require extensive reshaping.
Instead of one dental veneer, you can have dental veneers for all your teeth. Creating a powerful tooth whitening effect isn’t possible even with the most advanced cleaning and whitening procedures.
Naturally, one of the limits of porcelain veneers is that they are designed to be used when the gums and teeth are still healthy. They cannot treat the pain that comes with severe cavities or gum disease.
That is not to say that porcelain veneers have no role in treating dental pain. They can be an effective treatment for sensitive teeth. In cases where some of the enamel has dissolved, dental veneers can serve as a replacement to the outer surface that will protect the tooth from hot and cold sensations.
If the tooth's damage is beyond cosmetic, a more comprehensive solution may be required, such as dental implants or All On 4 dental implants. Even if you believe that dental veneers are the right option for you, there are choices you should consider before beginning the procedure. There are several options for dental veneers, including resins and porcelain. Most prosthodontists prefer porcelain for several reasons.
"Porcelain does not present oral health risks and has a high level of compatibility with gum tissue."
--- DR. MAMALY RESHAD, DDS, PROSTHODONTIST
Advantages of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain enjoys three primary advantages over other materials that are used for the production of dental veneers.
First, they more accurately mimic the look and function of real teeth than any other material that is currently available. Though porcelain is generally the color of real teeth, dental veneers can be made to match the exact look and feel of your existing teeth.
Another advantage of porcelain is durability. Compared to composite resin, it is more resistant to the wear that happens naturally during chewing or talking. It can also stand up better to the stresses of brushing and flossing. Porcelain tends to last about twice as long as resin veneers and requires less maintenance over that lifespan.
Finally, porcelain does not present oral health risks and has a high level of compatibility with gum tissue. Foreign materials in the mouth can aggravate gum tissue and cause it to become more irritated or prone to infection. Porcelain also does not irritate the gums of most patients.
Should I Go To A Cosmetic Dentist for Porcelain Veneers?
Yes, porcelain veneers are popular and widely available. Most cosmetic dentists prefer porcelain veneers for the reasons we've covered above, but composite resins may also be a worthy consideration.
The porcelain veneer process is usually a simple one that begins with a consultation with a prosthodontist. The prosthodontist will examine the tooth or teeth in question to assess whether porcelain veneers are the ideal option for you.
If your teeth and gums are healthy and ready for porcelain veneers, a prosthodontist will typically proceed with helping you determine the appropriate shade for the veneers. They will also obtain a CT scan of the mouth to determine the exact size of the porcelain veneers.
When your porcelain veneer is ready, your prosthodontist will begin the bonding procedure. A small amount of enamel will be removed, and the porcelain veneer carefully pressed into place. After the bonding agent has hardened, you will be left with a perfect tooth that appears just like you imagined it.
DR. MAMALY RESHAD
Advanced Prosthodontics - USC
Chairman - Fixed Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry