Dental veneers are custom-designed shells of tooth-like ceramic material that can cover more severe cases of worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment, or spacing, chips and cracks. They create a bright, white smile with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. Advancements in their translucent ceramic quality also provide a more natural look than what has been available in the past. Because dental veneers are so thin, they might require little or no tooth reshaping when bonded onto the tooth, making it a more conservative option to full crowns.
Regardless of what causes unattractive teeth, dental veneers are a great option in the treatment of most cosmetic dental issues.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic that bond directly to the front and top surfaces of the teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. Dental veneers that are bonded over the front surface of a tooth can be used to cover up worn down tooth enamel, slightly crooked teeth (instant orthodontics), gaps between teeth and chips or cracked teeth. Veneers can be fabricated to any shape or colour enabling you to sit down with your dentist and design your smile just the way you want. They can give you a perfectly aligned symmetrical white smile and with the translucent quality of ceramic materials available today, they provide a totally natural look.
With advances in technology, composite veneers have increasingly been used as a less expensive alternative to porcelain veneers.
Will they look like normal teeth?
When bonded to the teeth, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains. Because they are thin, light can shine through them and they take on the natural colour of the underlying tooth.
How Durable Are Porcelain Veneers?
Dental veneers can last for up to 15 years depending on the quality of material used for the veneers and how well you look after them. However, they will eventually need to be replaced. Just like normal teeth, veneers require regular cleaning, flossing and checkups with the hygienist. With proper care, porcelain veneers will brighten your smile for over a decade.
This procedure will require three appointments:
- Diagnosis and treatment planning
1. Diagnosis & Treatment Planning
You will want to take an active role in planning your smile design. Your dentist will discuss all aspects of the procedure with you in detail. Together you can discuss your expectations and help plan your new smile.
The second appointment will take one to two hours. Although the porcelain veneer is very thin, the teeth are lightly shaped to allow for the added thickness. Approximately one half of a millimetre of tooth is removed. This may require some local anaesthesia. Then a mould is taken of the teeth and sent to the laboratory for fabrication. In some cases, a temporary veneer will be placed at this time which will also give you an opportunity to assess what the shape, fit and look of your new teeth will be like. The permanent veneer should be ready in approximately one to two weeks.
At the time of your third appointment, the veneers are first placed on your teeth with water or glycerine to check the fit and colour. At this point, the colour and shape of the veneer can still be adjusted by the laboratory technician. Once the colour is determined and the veneer is ready to be applied, the tooth is cleaned with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Special cement is placed between the teeth and the veneer and a visible light beam is used to harden the cement. This appointment takes approximately one to two hours.
Maintenance of Your New Veneers
Brush and floss as you normally would do. Don’t be afraid that you will damage your veneers by doing so. Non-abrasive toothpaste is recommended. A good home care regimen will insure the best aesthetic success of your veneer. You may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold after placement of your veneer. This is due to the amount of enamel left on the tooth after preparation. Sensitivity is totally normal and should dissipate in one to two weeks. If sensitivity persists, please contact your dentist.