In recent years, cosmetic dentistry has allowed millions of people to improve their smiles, increase their confidence, and change their lives. Improvements in dental materials and techniques make it possible to have a naturally-appearing, durable, and highly functional smile. If you are a good candidate, porcelain veneers are one of the most popular procedures that can help you enhance your smile.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
One of the cosmetic dentistry options that requires less tooth structure removal than full porcelain crowns is dental veneers. While your dentist must remove enamel and dentin around the entire circumference of a tooth to fabricate a porcelain crown, veneers can be made after only a thin layer of enamel removal. This enamel removal is only on the front surface of a tooth, preserving a considerable amount of natural tooth structure.
After enamel removal, a custom-made ceramic or porcelain shell, or veneer, is made that will adhere to a tooth’s front surface. Your veneers are made on models of your teeth in a dental lab by a ceramic specialist. Each veneer is crafted to precisely fit each tooth and match the color of your natural teeth to maximally enhance your smile.
Who Needs Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers may be an option if you have one or more cosmetic dental problems such as:
- Discolored or stained teeth that cannot be treated with teeth whitening.
- Chipped, broken, or misshapen teeth.
- Slightly misaligned teeth.
- Small gaps between your teeth.
- Teeth that are too small or too large compared to your other teeth.
- Teeth that are worn down or have become shorter over time.
What Are The Types of Veneers?
There are two main types of dental veneers: composite veneers and porcelain veneers.
Composite veneers are made of resin and can usually be completed in one visit. Additionally, they can often be placed with minimal or no tooth structure removal. However, they are not as durable and stain-resistant as porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers are made indirectly on models of your teeth, requiring at least a couple of dental visits. Porcelain veneers are more durable and longer-lasting than composite veneers and typically appear more natural. Some studies have shown that long-term patient satisfaction is higher with porcelain than with composite veneers.
Ten Benefits Of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers offer several benefits, including:
- Aesthetics. Porcelain veneers are designed to match the color, shape, and bite of your natural teeth, giving you a more beautiful and natural-looking smile.
- Durability. Porcelain veneers are made from a strong and durable ceramic material that can withstand daily wear and tear. They are also resistant to staining and discoloration, which makes them a great option if you want to improve the appearance of your teeth in the long term.
- Versatility. Porcelain veneers can be used if your goal is to correct a wide range of cosmetic dental issues, including gaps between teeth, chips, cracks, and discoloration.
- Minimal tooth reduction. Unlike dental crowns, which require significant tooth reduction, porcelain veneers typically require only a minimal amount of tooth reduction.
- Long-lasting. With proper care, porcelain veneers can last for many years, making them a cost-effective solution for enhancing the appearance of your teeth.
- Low Maintenance. Porcelain veneers require no special care and can be cleaned just like your natural teeth.
- Comfort. Porcelain veneers are designed to fit comfortably over your natural teeth, with minimal discomfort during and after the procedure.
- Quick results. Unlike orthodontic treatments that can take months or years to produce results, porcelain veneers can be placed in just a few visits to the dentist, giving you an instant smile makeover.
- Improved oral health. By correcting dental issues such as gaps and misalignment, porcelain veneers can improve your oral health and make cleaning and maintaining your teeth easier.
- Increased self-confidence. A beautiful and confident smile can significantly improve your self-esteem and overall quality of life. Porcelain veneers can help you achieve this by giving you a smile that you are proud of.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Porcelain Veneers?
Although porcelain veneers are an excellent option if you want to improve the appearance of your smile, you will need to be evaluated by your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate. The following is a list of characteristics that make someone a good candidate for porcelain veneers.
Good Oral Health Habits
Good oral health habits help ensure that you get the best results from your veneers and minimize the risk of future problems that could jeopardize their longevity. Some of these habits include:
- Brushing your teeth regularly and with the proper technique. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. It is essential to use a gentle, circular brushing motion to minimize possible damage to your natural teeth and veneers.
- Flossing once a day. It is critical to floss between your veneers to prevent cavities from forming between your teeth. A water flosser can also be of benefit if you have porcelain veneers.
- Keeping regular dental visits. Having your teeth professionally cleaned and examined regularly helps prevent oral disease and other problems that can harm your veneers.
- Avoiding chewing on hard objects. Habitually chewing on fingernails, pens, pencils, and ice can damage your natural teeth and porcelain veneers.
- Avoiding smoking. Although porcelain veneers offer excellent stain resistance, smoking is one of the few things that can cause them to discolor.
No Active Gum Disease
One of the early signs of gum disease is bleeding gums, which can interfere with obtaining accurate models of your teeth. Additionally, if your gums bleed during the placement of the veneers, the seal could be compromised. This can lead to cavities forming or the veneers falling off.
While porcelain veneers are permanent restorations, the severe pressure placed on teeth with bruxism can cause them to chip, crack, or fall off. Therefore, it is preferred to treat bruxism before considering porcelain veneers.
No Tooth Decay
Porcelain veneers cannot be placed on teeth that have tooth decay. All decay must be treated to ensure that you have enough sound tooth structure to support veneers. A cavity that appears small on the surface can destroy a substantial amount of tooth structure, making a porcelain crown a better option than a veneer.
Schedule an Appointment
After a comprehensive examination, we can suggest the best cosmetic dentistry option to give you the smile you want. Among the services offered at Palmetto Dental Arts are professional teeth whitening, porcelain crowns, dental implants, and porcelain veneers. For more information, call us or contact us online.