Not everyone has a perfect smile. In fact, most of us don’t. Sometimes this is the result of stains from acidic foods, coffee or nicotine, and sometimes it is the result of the natural shape of our teeth.
In cases where the enamel has worn off the front of a tooth or when a smile is misshapen, crooked or stained, one popular fix is to have porcelain veneers installed. Porcelain veneers are thin strips of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth while also providing teeth with some degree of strength and resilience.
What do Porcelain Veneers Do?
For those with chipped or crooked teeth, stains or minor gaps in their teeth, porcelain veneers can restore a bright, good-looking smile that will last quite a long time. Porcelain veneers are one of many ways that dentistry can bring self-confidence back to people with stained, chipped, or crooked teeth.
How Do Porcelain Veneers Work?
Every set of porcelain veneers is custom-made for the patient according to their specific needs and desired changes in shape, size, color, or length. In order to make room for the veneer, a small amount of the original tooth (usually less than a millimeter) is removed. The veneer will then be applied to this surface, creating a new surface which is attached to the rest of the tooth.
In addition to the cosmetic layers, there is also an adhesive layer necessary, which is made up of light-sensitive resin. Once the veneer is put in place, a curing light is used which causes the resin to harden. As you can imagine, the bond between the original tooth and the veneer must be very strong, as the veneer is not just there to be seen, but will also be functioning as part of the tooth on a daily basis.
What Are the Benefits Of Adding Veneers?
Instant whitening. Years of smoking, coffee, or enamel damage can disappear with the addition of porcelain veneers, in a way which even the most effective enamel-whitening systems can’t achieve.
Stain resistance. Veneers are made of porcelain, which is essentially stain-resistant, so once your veneers have been installed, they won’t ever have to be whitened.
Easier than braces. For minor gaps and straightening issues, veneers are a fix that isn’t nearly as time-consuming as having braces or other orthodontic solutions.
Simple. Aside from some minor discomfort in the days following, the process is quite simple and there are rarely complications.
Are There Any Negative Effects of Adding Veneers?
Because part of your original tooth is removed in the process of adding a veneer, the process is not reversible. There may be some sensitivity to hot and cold in the days following the procedure, but other than that, adding veneers is perfectly safe and poses no lasting discomforting.
What Are Prep-less Veneers?
You may have heard of prep-less veneers, which use the same technique as veneers, but do not require the removal of enamel before they are applied. As a result, they are only applicable in certain cases, such as when a tooth is small enough to take a veneer without looking bulky, or when there is not severe discoloration.
How Do Porcelain Veneers Differ from Dental Bonding?
Dental Bonding is a similar process wherein tooth-colored resin is bonded to the teeth as a way of fixing chips, gaps, and discoloration. Unlike veneers which are prepared beforehand, the resin is applied directly to the tooth and then shaped inside the mouth.
Some advantages of dental bonding over porcelain veneers include the following:
- Bonding is less expensive
- Bonding can be completed in one visit
- Bonding can be done without anesthesia
Some advantages of porcelain veneers include these:
- Veneers last significantly longer than bonding
- Bonding is not as stain-resistant as porcelain
- Results achieved through bonding will often be less-perfect results than with veneers
How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?
With proper maintenance and care, porcelain veneers can last anywhere from 10-30 years. Veneers don’t require special care other than generally suggested oral hygiene (flossing regularly, brushing daily). With that said, chips and cracks can occur with misuse, including teeth-grinding, nail-biting, chewing on ice, and other stresses.
Are Porcelain Veneers Right for You?
For some of us, having a great smile is fundamental to our sense of self-esteem. If you are bothered by discoloration, gaps, chips, crooked or cracked teeth, porcelain veneers might be an ideal solution for you. But as the process is irreversible, it is important to think about it thoroughly before making your decision. If you are considering veneers, contact Ideal Dental Solutions and we can help you decide whether they might be right for you.