Dental veneers allows dentists to correct chipped and discoloured teeth. Large gaps can be closed, and teeth that are chipped or broken can be reshaped. Veneers is a procedure that also can help in straightening teeth without braces. This procedure can generally be done in very few visits.
Veneer procedure involves bonding of a thin sheath of porcelain ceramic or composite, called a veneer, to the surface of the tooth. It differs from tooth whitening or bleaching , as bleaching can only alter color and not change shape, size or tooth position.
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of medical-grade ceramic that are attached to the front surfaces of teeth for an immediate smile transformation. Individually crafted for each patient, these cosmetic enhancements are made from advanced material that closely resembles the appearance of natural dental enamel.
In order to have porcelain veneers placed, patients should:
- Have good periodontal and overall oral health
- Be committed to proper oral care and hygiene
- Have specific cosmetic goals, which they can articulate to their dentists at their initial consultations, as well as realistic expectations
- Have a sufficient amount of healthy enamel, as dentists usually remove a thin layer of enamel before placing veneers.
- Those who are considering porcelain veneers should remember that the procedure is typically a permanent one. Because the dentist usually removes a layer of enamel before attaching the porcelain, patients will eventually need to replace their veneers or choose an alternative restoration to take their place. Therefore, no one should receive veneers unless they are certain about their decision. Some patients who habitually grind their teeth and clinch their jaw may be disqualified from receiving veneers. Although dental porcelain is quite strong and durable, the forces of bruxism can put incredible strain on veneers, causing them to break or come off entirely. In many cases, however, a dentist may be able to treat the underlying causes of bruxism, eventually enabling patients to receive veneers.
The only way a patient can fully determine his or her candidacy for veneers is by scheduling an appointment with a skilled cosmetic dentist. After evaluating health history, current dental health, and the condition of a patient’s enamel, a dentist can make an informed decision regarding a patient’s suitability for this treatment. He or she can also recommend alternative treatments for non-qualifying patients.
After the placement of porcelain veneers, patients should commit themselves to good oral hygiene regiments, regular visits to the dentist, and generally healthy lifestyles. This helps to ensure the longevity of the veneers, not to mention good oral health.
With proper care, veneers are much more likely to reach the 20 year mark. Along with making regular visits to a general dentist, routine brushing and flossing is the most important thing that patients can do to protect the longevity of their veneers. Although the porcelain itself is not subject to decay, when the underlying tooth structure is damaged by cavities, this can damage the veneer. In many cases, after the cavity is repaired, the tooth is no longer able to support a new veneer.
Good oral care is also important because it helps prevent gum disease and receding gums, which can compromise the appearance of veneers. Because the porcelain ends at the gum line, if the tissue recedes, the edge of the veneer will become visible, and the entire restoration may need to be replaced. Patients should be diligent about frequent brushing and flossing, but they should also be careful to avoid overly vigorous brushing, as this can also compromise periodontal health.
Habits such as nail biting, chewing ice, and using teeth to open packages are already harmful to teeth, leading to cracks, chips, and dental erosion. Although porcelain is quite strong, it is not quite as tough as natural teeth, so these habits are even more detrimental to patients with veneers. Those with bruxism should also seek treatment before getting veneers or as soon as the condition develops. Although lithium disilicate veneers have proven to be durable even for habitual teeth grinders, treating this condition can further extend their lifespan and protect against related health conditions.
Because porcelain is not porous, dental veneers are highly stain resistant. However, the dental cement that holds them in place is still subject to discoloration. When this becomes stained, the edge of a veneer can appear yellowed and unnatural. To protect the color of their smile, dental patients should avoid stain-producing substances such as coffee, tea, wine, berries, soy sauce, and tomato sauce. Smoking is perhaps the most notorious culprit for dental staining