Porcelain veneers provides a fast and natural looking solution to teeth that have become unsightly for a number of reasons. They give the patients beautiful smiles that improve their self-esteem and they also positively impact their social life.
Porcelain veneers are also known as dental veneers and are constructed from a durable porcelain material. Thin sheets of this material are crafted to attach to each tooth using bonding cement that will hold them in place for a number of years. These thin porcelain shells cover the front surface of the teeth to enhance their look and once bonded to the teeth can alter the teeth’s length, shape, size and color.
The porcelain not only restores the functionality of the teeth, but it also boosts their strength, thus allowing the patient to eat almost anything without the fear of cracking or chipping a tooth.
The following conditions are the top 5 problems porcelain veneers help with:
- Stained or discolored teeth – this may be caused by drugs such as tetracycline, resin fillings that discolor teeth or using too much fluoride.
- Worn down teeth – these cannot be fixed but can be covered with veneers, which are crafted to give greater length.
- Cracks or chips in the teeth – veneers are crafted to lengthen the teeth and conceal chips and cracks.
- Crooked, irregular, misaligned teeth that would normally be straightened with braces.
- Teeth with gaps in them- veneers can be crafted to cover the gap.
The Porcelain Veneer Process
The process of applying porcelain veneers to teeth occurs in three phases and three visits to the dentist:
Diagnosis and Consultation – In this phase you will express what you are hoping to achieve with the process. The dentist who may also take x-rays and impressions of your teeth will examine your teeth. Not everyone is eligible for porcelain veneers and your dentist will discuss your eligibility with you.
Veneers Preparation – The dentist will grind down about ½ millimeter of the surface layer of the teeth enamel to make way for the placement of the veneer. You may be given a local anesthetic before this process to numb the area.
Impressions of the teeth are made and sent to the lab for the making of the veneers. Depending on the appearance of the teeth, you may be given temporary veneers to wear until the labs sends the custom veneers to the dentist’s office, usually within 1-2 weeks.
Veneers Bonding to Teeth – On the final visit to the dentist the veneers are bonded to the teeth with a cement substance. Initially the dentist meticulously fits each veneer for size, trimming where necessary, and will ensure the right color by adjusting the cement color he uses. He will apply a special light on the veneer and the cement will activate and harden quickly. The dentist removed excess cement and tests for correct bite. You will be asked to return for a follow up visit for the dentist to evaluate how well the gums are responding to the veneers and for another evaluation of the positioning of the veneers.