Going to the dentist is not exactly anyone’s favorite activity. Yet, it is a necessity for most of us (or at least it should be). With all the available online information, it can be a challenge to get the information that you are looking for. I started this blog to help patients make educated decisions about their dental care.
Porcelain veneers have been used in dentistry for many years as a quick way to restore patients’ smiles. A quick consultation appointment can determine if porcelain veneers are right for you. If you have chipped, crooked, discolored or uneven teeth, you might be a candidate for porcelain veneers.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE PORCELAIN VENEERS?
They are thin, tooth-shaped shells that are placed on the front of your teeth after they have been slightly re-contoured. Porcelain veneers are chemically bonded using strong adhesive material and become part of the tooth itself. The result is a beautiful smile that can be seen right away.
CAN PORCELAIN VENEERS IMPROVE MY SMILE?
While porcelain veneers can be used to replace a small missing portion of your teeth, they are not indicated to restore large defects. They can also be used for correction of minor misalignment of teeth in lieu of orthodontics. This can significantly shorten the treatment time associated with orthodontics.
Although teeth whitening can be used to improve teeth shade, porcelain veneers provide the added benefit of modifying the size and shape of teeth. If you have small teeth, spaces between them or would like to improve the shape and/or dimensions of your teeth, porcelain veneers might be right for you. This is especially true if you have permanent teeth that are shaped like “baby” teeth. Veneers can be used to restore teeth to their natural appearance and give you the great smile you’ve always wanted.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET VENEERS?
During the initial consultation appointment, a thorough evaluation of your teeth and gums is completed. An aesthetic try-in (“mock-up”) serves as a blueprint for the final product. It allows you to evaluate the appearance of the planned restoration prior to performing any dental work, and help you decide if further modifications are needed.
Porcelain veneers can be completed in 2-3 visits. The first visit typically involves making final impressions (molds) of the teeth after they have been lightly prepared. Temporary veneers are made and attached to your teeth during the same visit and the shade of the teeth is recorded. At the second visit, the temporary veneers are removed, and the final veneers are tried in and evaluated for any adjustments before final cementation.
WHAT CAN I DO TO MAINTAIN MY VENEERS?
After your new veneers are in place, how do you maintain them? Well, here are a few things you can do:
- Get professional cleanings: remember to schedule your dental hygiene appointments bi-annually to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
- Wear your night guard: if you clench or grind your teeth (especially during sleep), it’s a good idea to protect your veneers and teeth with a custom-made night guard.
- Avoid hard foods: although they are made from strong porcelain material, care should be taken while chewing. Hard foods should be avoided be avoided to minimize the possibility of chipping. While you may experience some sensitivity, especially to cold and hot foods or liquids, this usually subsides in the first two weeks.
- Continue to brush and floss your teeth: twice a day, with a fluoride-containing toothpaste and mouthwash. Avoid any abrasive toothpaste that may cause the polished surface of your veneers to become rough.
WHO SHOULD PLACE MY VENEERS?
Although porcelain veneers have become a routine dental procedure, their placement remains a relatively technique-sensitive procedure. A dentist with advanced training and extensive experience in aesthetic procedures is recommended to ensure a predictable outcome and longevity for your restorations.
Call us today to schedule your consultation and find out how veneers can help improve your smile.