Porcelain veneers for a radiant smile - why not?
Your confidence drops every time you force a smile as you’re reminded of your mismatched, discolored, cracked teeth? Porcelain veneers are the answer you’ve been looking for.
What are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers (also known as dental porcelain laminates) are thin layers made of porcelain bonded to the front of your teeth. These porcelain layers can be customized to look like your natural tooth color.
They effectively cover up stained teeth, giving off a natural brightness. Moreover, porcelain veneers also protect your teeth from being damaged by external factors and bring you a beautiful and confident smile.
When are porcelain veneers recommended?
Usually, any problem that has to do with the cosmetic appearance of your teeth can be addressed with veneers. Dentists can easily make adjustments to the color, shape, and length of your teeth as well as the gaps in-between. Particularly, dental veneers may help with:
- Worn out, chipped, or broken teeth
- Stained or discolored teeth
- Uneven or misshaped teeth
- Wide gaps between teeth
Veneer bonding procedure
Getting porcelain veneers requires at least 3 dental visits. You will go through:
1. Diagnosis and treatment planning:
In the first visit, you need to tell your dentist what you want to achieve with veneers (improve gaps and stains, or get better smiles, etc.). Your dentist will evaluate your oral condition to make sure veneers are the right choice for you. They will also talk you through potential problems you may have to face after getting veneers. You may need to take a dental X-ray to get an accurate diagnosis.
This is an important step. To prepare for veneer bonding, your dentist will remove around 1/2mm of the enamel layer, then this will be replaced with a veneer having almost the same thickness. After this, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send the model to a lab. Your veneers will be ready in at least 7 days. Meanwhile, temporary veneers will be put in place to protect your real teeth.
3. Veneer bonding:
Once your veneers are good to go, your dentist will put them on your teeth one by one to see if they fit well. If not, the veneers must be trimmed down until they fit. Next, before bonding, your teeth need to be cleaned, polished, and roughened. Adhesive cement is applied on your teeth and veneers. Then, it will be hardened by a special light beam.
Your dentist may ask you to go back for a follow-up after a few weeks.
The purpose of this visit is to monitor how your gums react to the veneers as well as to see if the veneers are properly placed.
What are the drawbacks of dental veneers?
Besides advantages such as improving cosmetic problems and bringing a naturally bright smile, porcelain veneers come with certain drawbacks such as:
- Porcelain veneers are more expensive than those made from resin composite.
- Porcelain veneers can’t be fixed if they are chipped or cracked. Thus, they are quite high maintenance.
- When you get veneers, the enamel layer is removed. As a result, your teeth may become more sensitive with foods, hot and cold beverages.
- In some cases, the veneers may have a different color from that of your real teeth, which is quite difficult to fix.
- Although this is rare, it’s possible for veneers to peel off and fall out. To lower your risk, don’t bite your nails or pens, or chew ice cubes and other hard items.
- After getting veneers, you can still have cavities. So, if possible, you should completely cover your teeth with dental crowns.
- Veneers aren’t a good choice for those with bad dental health (having cavities or gum disease), weak teeth, or insufficient enamel on the tooth surface.
How long do veneers last?
Porcelain veneers may last around 7-15 years. After this time frame, you need to replace them.
Taking care of your oral health after getting veneers
Veneers don’t require any special care. However, you should still practice good oral hygiene (including brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash) after getting veneers.
Besides, although porcelain laminates are anti-stain, you still need to avoid foods and beverages that may stain such as coffee, tea, red wine, etc.