Our Basic Guide to Porcelain Veneers

Let’s face it – lots of people want a nicer smile. And while there are many ways to correct the look of a person’s teeth, one such option is porcelain veneers.

What are porcelain veneers?

Long used by celebrities to create the perfect smile, porcelain veneers are very thin pieces of porcelain that are permanently attached to the front of teeth to improve appearance. Veneers are customized for each patient, and they’re able to change the look of a person’s smile, from the color to the shape of the teeth and even the size. While other materials can be used for veneers, porcelain is unique in that it is better suited to imitate the appearance of natural teeth. Also, porcelain withstands stains better than other materials, giving a brighter, whiter smile for longer.

The Procedure

Getting veneers is not something that’s done quickly. Usually, a patient can expect at least three dental visits before having a complete set of veneers. The first is for a consultation to understand if he or she is a good candidate for the procedure. The second visit involves preparing the teeth for veneers, and the third is reserved for actually bonding the veneers to the teeth.

First Visit

Before your first visit, spend some time being able to articulate what it is about your smile you want to change. Your dentist needs to understand exactly what it is that you’re trying to correct. Is it shape? Color? Maybe there are some chips you’re trying to smooth out. During your first visit, talk with your dentist about your vision for your smile. Then, your dentist will examine your teeth to see if veneers are a good solution for you and talk with you about what is possible with veneers.

Second Visit

Once you’ve decided to move forward, your second visit will involve preparing your teeth for the veneers. This requires a small portion of enamel to be removed to make room for the veneer so they are not bulky and follow the proper contour of the natural teeth. You may or may not need anesthesia for this part of the procedure, but it something to discuss with your dentist in advance. After removing the enamel, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth. This impression is very important for creating veneers that are the right fit for you, as it is what is used to form your veneers. This usually takes between two and four weeks to produce.

Third Visit

When your veneers are ready, it will be time for your third appointment. Your dentist will ensure that the veneer fits the tooth and is able to adjust size and color there during your visit. He or she is able to place the veneer on the tooth temporarily to ensure proper fit. When it’s time to permanently bond the veneer, the tooth will be cleaned, polished and etched to reinforce the bonding process. A particular dental cement is required for attaching veneers to teeth, and that is applied directly to the veneer before the veneer is placed on the appropriate tooth. Once the veneer is placed, a special light beam is directed at the veneer, causing the cement to harden quickly and then permanently attaching the veneer to the tooth. Your dentist will check the comfort of your veneers and make any necessary adjustments. Some dentists may ask you to come back in a few weeks to check the reaction of your gums to the veneers and to make sure you feel good about your smile.

What You Need to Know

While well-done veneers can create magnetic smiles, they are not a fix-it for everyone. For example, people with unhealthy or weakened teeth due active gum disease or tooth decay would not be candidates for veneers. Some people with large fillings or fractures are also not eligible for veneers, and people with a severe loss of tooth enamel can’t consider veneers either. Even people with healthy teeth but who grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers.

And there can be other issues with veneers. They’re not typically repairable if the chip or crack, and because applying veneers removes the enamel from your teeth, some people report that their teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold than before they got veneers. The color of a veneer can’t be changed once it is placed on the tooth, so sometimes the colors of veneers don’t match the natural teeth without veneers. Teeth with veneers aren’t immune from decay. And rarely, veneers fall off. It’s best to avoid biting nails, chewing hard objects or putting a lot of pressure on your teeth.

Porcelain veneers don’t require special care beyond what is recommended for natural teeth. It’s always important to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing and using an antiseptic mouthwash as directed.

Veneers can make teeth appear straighter, whiter and more uniform. People often choose veneers to improve chipped teeth or to correct minor alignment issues. Others consider veneers because their natural enamel has diminished due to acidic foods and drinks or even simply genetics. Veneers are a good option for people who want a brighter, straighter smile in a short amount of time.

Let Admira Give You a Beautiful Smile!

Here at Admira Dentistry, we would be glad to talk with you about veneers and to determine if you are a candidate. Call our office at (904) 733-9144 or email us at info@admiradentistry.com and set up an appointment to learn if veneers may be right for you.