The facts about dental veneers
Veneers, usually fabricated from porcelain, are a thin, semi-translucent "shell," custom made to fit precisely over an existing tooth. They are permanently bonded, held in place by a special resin that adheres the back of the veneer to the front of the tooth. The finished result is extremely strong and durable. Though veneers are not suitable for every patient, they are a cosmetic alternative for a variety of dental conditions affecting the front teeth, including:
- Closing diastemas (spaces between the teeth)
- Restoring broken or chipped teeth
- Covering unsightly, stained or washed-out fillings
- Whitening permanently stained or discolored teeth
- Correcting uneven or crooked teeth
The advantages and benefits of veneers
When your smile is disfigured by decay, abrasion, chipping, breakage, or imperfect development, our goal is to restore its natural beauty, so you can smile with confidence. At one time, resin fillings or crowns were the only available treatment for the above types of conditions. Today, a third alternative is available - one with proven results!
There are many benefits and advantages to having porcelain veneers applied to your front teeth. These may include any or all of the following considerations:
- Only a small amount of natural tooth structure (if any) is removed during the procedure.
- A healthy, natural look is achieved with little or no discomfort.
- Veneers are often less expensive than alternative procedures.
- Veneers are strong, durable and color-stable.
Veneers are a thin but strong porcelain "shell" permanently bonded to the tooth's surface with a strong resin adhesive. Veneers resist stains and maintain their excellent appearance for many years.
How are veneers different from fillings and crowns?
A composite resin filling is used when only a small amount of tooth structure needs replacing or repair. A full crown is indicated when a tooth has had root canal treatment or when a substantial amount of the entire tooth structure (enamel) has been lost. A porcelain veneer is indicated when a portion of the front surface of a tooth needs a "face lift".
How are porcelain veneers created?
Similar to a resin bonding procedure, veneers are attached directly to the existing tooth structure. We take an impression of your tooth to make an exact replica. During your appointment, we treat your tooth with a mild conditioning solution. Before the veneer is placed, we apply a tooth-colored liquid bonding material, which helps the veneer adhere to your natural tooth.
What can you expect from your veneers?
Veneers can last for years, depending on how well you take care of them. Because veneers are stronger than simple bonding, they are also more resistant to stains and chipping. However, it is important to maintain regular oral hygiene, to avoid bad habits such as biting nails or chewing ice and to visit us regularly for routine cleaning and exams. These precautions will help ensure that your veneers will last a long time and keep looking as good as new.
A Final Word
The decision to enhance your smile with porcelain veneers is a personal one. Even a subtle change in your smile can make an exceptional difference in the way you look and feel and on your social outlook. There's no question that a beautiful smile goes a long way toward improving your self confidence in both personal and professional circles.
Take a moment to evaluate the appearance of your teeth. If you're not completely happy with what you see, ask us what options we can recommend for a more satisfying smile. We'll be glad to show you how veneers or other restorative techniques fit into your total oral health program.