Also called dental veneers, porcelain veneers are custom-fit to cover the surface of teeth to improve appearance and strength. Often, patients choose veneers to cover the front of their teeth and improve color or change their shape or size. While generally made from porcelain, some dental veneers are composed of resin composite materials, which are thinner and less invasive than porcelain.
Signs You May Need Veneers
- Tooth discoloration
- Worn, chipped, or broken teeth
- Teeth that are uneven or irregular
- Small gaps between teeth
Veneers are primarily an aesthetic choice and are most commonly used to achieve whiter, smoother, or more even teeth. For this reason, it is important to discuss your personal goals with your dentist and clearly explain the changes you’d like to see. Your dentist may take X-rays or impressions to ensure that your teeth are healthy enough for veneers.
Preparation for a veneer includes trimming back the enamel of the tooth’s surface so that a veneer can be placed. The dentist will then take an impression and construct a custom veneer. Once the veneer has been fitted to your teeth, your dentist will bond it to the tooth’s surface with dental cement and a curing light that activates chemicals that cause the cement to quickly harden. A follow-up visit is often recommended to confirm the fit and comfort of your new veneers.
Benefits of Veneers
- Natural and attractive appearance of teeth
- Non-invasive approach, and are often stronger and more attractive than crowns or bridges
- Porcelain is stain resistant, and different colors of porcelain are available
- Safe for gum tissue
- Very safe for patients with healthy teeth
- Longevity of 5-10 years
Drawbacks of Veneers
- Once a veneer is placed, the process cannot be reversed, repaired, or altered
- In rare cases, veneers can dislodge, crack, or fall off
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
- Not safe for patients with unhealthy teeth
- Often not covered by insurance
Dental veneers don’t require special care once they’ve been placed, making them an easier alternative to bondings or crowns. Proper oral hygiene should still be followed, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. If you think porcelain veneers might be right for you, contact our office today!