Cosmetic Dentistry: Porcelain & Plastic Teeth Veneers
Veneers are an excellent option for improving smiles of people with stained, crooked, or chipped teeth. Veneers are highly resistant to stains, such as from coffee or cigarettes, and have a longer life expectancy than dental bonding.
It’s a relatively painless procedure, with little to no anesthesia required. Our dentists place thin pieces of porcelain or plastic over the front of your teeth altering their color and shape.
Whereas crowns are used to replace highly damaged teeth, a porcelain veneer is an effective way to cover stained, chipped, or misshapen teeth. The surface of the tooth is covered with a layer of ceramic porcelain which can change the color, shape, length, or even size of the tooth. The porcelain mimics the natural reflection of light and is resistant to stains as well, but can be colored so that they blend in with your other teeth.
Many cosmetic dentists recommend teeth whitening before your veneers are placed so that your dental veneers match the whiter shade of teeth. Veneers are a popular choice because they require only a small amount of enamel to be removed. Veneers can also last for many years, but care must be taken not to chip them on shells or bones, hard candy, crunching ice, and of course do not tear open packages with your teeth.
The Dental Veneer Process
Typically, dental veneers require three appointments, which include diagnosis and planning, preparation, and the bonding itself.
- Preparation Appointment
Your “Preparation” appointment lasts between one and two hours. The dentist lightly buffs your teeth, removing about half a millimeter of enamel, which makes space for the veneer’s thickness. This process may require a local anesthetic. Then the dentist takes a mold of your unique teeth-shape and sends it to the laboratory, where your veneers will be created.
- Bonding Appointment
During your “Bonding” appointment, which will also be between one to two hours, the dentist will place the veneers. Veneers are rested on your teeth with glycerin or water, which allows the dentist to ensure proper fit, check coloring, and adjust accordingly. Once the dentist is satisfied they fit and match, your teeth are cleaned with specific chemicals to promote bonding. Then, a special cement is used to attach the veneer to the tooth, and the dentist uses a laser to harden the cement.
- Follow-up Appointment
In the two weeks following the procedure, it’s possible for your teeth to change slightly in size and shape. It’s extremely important to be vigilant about brushing and flossing. After this adjustment period, we’ll have you come in for a follow-up appointment. Veneers are excellent facsimiles of natural teeth, but they are not perfect. Porcelain veneers may show slight color variations, but it’s important to remember that similar variations occur in natural teeth as well.
Are Dental Veneers Right For Your Teeth?
Because the dentist must buff a small amount of your tooth’s enamel away to ensure room for the veneer shell, this procedure is usually considered irreversible. However, veneers are excellent for masking defects in teeth, such as stains from tetracycline, injury, root canals, or discolored fillings. Veneers can also be used to fill gaps between teeth and mask chipped teeth.
The friendly staff at Hamby Family Dental Center can help you determine whether or not dental veneers will benefit your smile. Porcelain veneers hide stains and chips, providing brighter, straighter teeth!