Porcelain veneers are a popular option for many patients because they provide a dramatic smile makeover in a relatively short amount of time. If your overall dental health is good but you’re unhappy with aesthetic imperfections, porcelain veneers are a fantastic solution.
Here’s what you should know about getting porcelain veneers.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin shells that cover your natural teeth to improve the appearance of your smile. Although there are a few different materials used for veneers, porcelain is the best option for most patients because it looks natural, lasts a long time, and is resistant to staining. Veneers are fabricated in a laboratory by skilled dental technicians who painstakingly match the color and size of your adjacent teeth so they blend in perfectly with the rest of your smile. Once your veneers are made, they’re bonded to your teeth permanently.
We use porcelain veneers to correct:
- Gaps between two teeth
- Teeth that are gray, yellow, “dead,” or have other discoloration and stains
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Teeth that have been worn down by grinding (bruxism) or jaw clenching
- Minor tooth misalignment and malocclusion
- Teeth that are shaped irregularly or uneven in size
What Happens When You Get Porcelain Veneers?
We use digital imaging technology to take impressions and create a three-dimensional model of your teeth. With this model, we can project how your smile will look with your new veneers and predict how your veneers will interact with your other teeth when you bite and chew. Based on these models, we’ll work with you to design your veneers.
When we’ve received your veneers from the dental lab, you’ll come back to our office for placement. Your teeth are cleaned to prevent decay from forming under your veneers, then a thin layer of tooth enamel is removed to allow your veneers to attach securely. Dental cement or bonding agent is used to affix the porcelain veneers to your teeth. After an ultraviolet light cures this material, you’ll be ready to leave your office and show the world your beautiful new smile.
How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?
Assuming you come in for regular dental exams and cleanings and practice good oral hygiene at home, you can expect your veneers to last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Brush for two minutes twice a day and floss at least once a day to keep them in good condition.
Are There Alternatives to Veneers?
When you come to our office for your initial consultation, we’ll listen to your concerns about your smile and talk to you about your treatment goals. Taking into account your dental history and the condition of your teeth, we’ll help you decide if porcelain veneers are right for you or if other options might be a better fit. Alternatives to veneers include dental crowns, teeth whitening, Invisalign, cosmetic bonding, teeth shaping, and gum recontouring.