Dental veneers are wafer-thin, tooth-colored coverings that are bonded to the front of one's teeth to improve their appearance. They are custom-made to perfectly match the shape, size, and color of your surrounding teeth for a beautiful yet natural result.
Veneers are a convenient, minimally-invasive way to reverse the appearance of discolored or imperfect front teeth in as little as 3 dental appointments.
While having one dental veneer placed on a single damaged tooth is possible, most people get 4-10 veneers placed at one time in order to achieve an even, symmetrical smile. Dental veneers can be created using a variety of materials, but most are made from porcelain.
At Palmetto Dental Arts, we are proud to offer porcelain veneers that are known for their natural appearance and strength. They also tend to be more stain-resistant than resin and mimic the light-reflecting qualities of your natural teeth. With porcelain veneers, no one will know that you've undergone a cosmetic dental procedure.
What Conditions Can Porcelain Veneers Treat?
Dental imperfections shouldn't hold you back from living your best life. If you want to achieve a movie star smile that is sure to help you feel more comfortable in your personal and professional life, porcelain veneers could be for you. Porcelain veneers are effective at treating a number of dental imperfections, including:
- Worn-down teeth
- Broken, chipped, or cracked teeth
- Irregularly shaped, uneven, or misaligned teeth
- Spaces between teeth
- Discolored teeth caused by root canal treatment, large resin fillings, or excessive fluoride
What Are the Benefits of Porcelain Veneers?
Living with an imperfect smile can be unpleasant. Fortunately, porcelain veneers can help you improve your quality of life by giving you a smile you'll be proud to share with others. Here are some of the many ways porcelain veneers could benefit you:
- Enhance the color/shade of discolored teeth
- Give your teeth a more even, symmetrical appearance
- Improve the shape and size of misshapen teeth
- Boost your self-esteem
- Improve your oral health
- Provide you with a natural-looking, stain-resistant and durable smile
What Are the Disadvantages of Porcelain Veneers?
While porcelain veneers are an effective cosmetic dental solution for many people, they do come with disadvantages. These include:
- They cannot be repaired if they chip or crack.
- They may not be a good option for people who clench their jaw or grind their teeth.
- Their color cannot be altered, so teeth whitening is not recommended if you have veneers.
- The process cannot be undone.
- Teeth with veneers can still become decayed. If this happens, a dental crown will likely be needed.
Porcelain Veneer Procedure
Having one or more dental veneers placed in your mouth will require three visits to the dentist. Here's what you can expect from each porcelain veneer appointment:
- Initial Consultation: At your first dental appointment, the dentist will examine your teeth to see if you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers. If you're interested in having one or more dental veneers placed, it's important for your teeth and gums to be in overall good condition. The dentist will also discuss your cosmetic dentistry goals and go over any potential concerns he may have.
- Preparation: If the dentist determines that you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers, your second appointment will be necessary to prepare your mouth for the veneers and collect the information necessary to create them to suit your mouth's unique specifications.
First, he will numb the surrounding area of your mouth using a local anesthetic to ensure you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure. Then, he will lightly roughen the surface of your teeth, around the thickness that the veneers will be. Next, he will take a digital scan of each tooth that will require a veneer.
These impressions will be sent to a dental laboratory where they will be made. It usually takes 3-4 weeks for your veneers to be created. While you are waiting for your custom porcelain veneers to be complete, temporary veneers will be placed in your mouth.
- Delivery: After your permanent veneers are ready, you will return to the dentist for your final appointment. The dentist will begin by removing your temporary veneers, then ensuring your permanent veneers are the correct size, shape, and color. He may adjust it and/or trim it several times before using a special cement to bond it to the surface of your tooth.
Immediately after the veneer is cemented to your tooth, ultraviolet light will be used to activate the chemicals in the cement and cause it to quickly harden. When each of your porcelain veneers is in place, the dentist will make sure no excess cement is left behind, your bite looks and feel good, and no adjustments need to be made. If necessary, the dentist may recommend a follow-up appointment to make sure your gums and veneers are in good condition a few weeks later.
How to Care for Your Porcelain Veneers
Taking the time to care for your porcelain veneers on a daily basis is the best way to ensure they stay white, bright, and intact for many years. Here are some tips to help you keep your porcelain veneers in the best condition possible:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss and use mouth rinse every day
- Avoid clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth (use a mouth guard at night, if necessary)
- Don't bite down on hard items, such as fingernails, pens, and ice
How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?
The lifespan of your porcelain veneers will depend on how well you care for them. By practicing good oral hygiene habits, avoiding activities that could damage your veneers, such as chewing ice, and visiting the dentist for routine check-ups, porcelain veneers have been known to last up to 30 years without being replaced.