Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that we use to recreate a natural look on damaged or stained teeth. These veneers are wafer thin but strong enough to last for years once they’re bonded to the surface of your tooth.
It will take a little time to complete the entire procedure, but in the end, you’ll have a new surface on your tooth (or teeth) that is custom made to fit your mouth. Every case is different, though, so don’t be afraid to ask questions to learn more about the process and whether or not you are a candidate for receiving porcelain veneers.
When Are Veneers the Best Choice?
Veneers aren’t the answer to every dental problem, but they do correct several issues that cause people to hide their smiles.
- Gaps between teeth
- Fractured, chipped, or broken teeth
- Discolored teeth that don’t respond to other treatments
- Teeth that are worn out
- Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or strangely shaped
In order to get your teeth ready to accept the veneer, we will have to remove some of the surface of your tooth. This is usually less than .5 millimeters, just enough to accommodate the standard thickness of the veneer.
From there, we’ll make a mold or impression of the tooth and send it out to a dental lab so they can create the custom veneer that will fit perfectly into place. This process can take a couple of weeks (depending on how many veneers need to be made and other variables), but as soon as they’re ready we’ll bring you back in for the next step.
This is where we bond the veneer to your tooth. This is when we will check the fit and color and make any necessary chances. Then we’ll polish and clean things up and then apply a special cement that creates an extremely strong bond.
In the end, this procedure results in a beautiful finish that is as strong and functional as the rest of your teeth.
Maintaining Your Veneers
Just because the surface of your tooth is now made of porcelain instead of enamel that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require the same level of maintenance and care. You still need to brush and floss regularly, and you should avoid toothpaste that is particularly evasive.
And after the veneers are secured in place, we will have you come back for a follow-up to make sure everything is still in place and that the gums are responding well to the changes.
The average veneers last between 5 and 12 years, but in some cases they might last for a couple decades.
What Else Should You Know?
Veneers are just one of many solutions for good cosmetic dentistry. Before we make any decisions, we’ll always talk it through with you to make sure you know what your alternatives are. For example, veneers are not reversible and could be very hard to repair if they crack or chip. You may also start to notice more sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages since some of your enamel has been removed.
A lot of these problems can be mitigated by avoiding the things that put too much pressure on the veneers. Try not to bite your nails or chew on hard objects. If you grind your teeth at night, we may have to come up with a solution to help you avoid that.
However, veneers are, in general, a good option for people who want to restore their smile stop worrying about unsightly stains or dangerous cracks on their teeth. If you have any more questions about the procedure, come in and talk to us and we’ll show you everything you need to know.