Porcelain veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry option that can be used to correct a wide range of aesthetic imperfections. If you’re considering porcelain veneers to improve your smile, here’s what you should know.
How Porcelain Veneers Work
Porcelain veneers are thin shells that are designed to cover over your natural teeth in order to hide imperfections. They’re made with exacting detail to replicate the appearance of natural teeth—just like teeth have thin layers of enamel, veneers are made with thin layers of porcelain.
The process of getting veneers starts by ensuring that your teeth and gums are healthy and free of disease. Assuming they are, we remove a small amount of enamel from the surfaces of your teeth and take impressions. You’ll be given temporary veneers and the impressions will be sent to a dental laboratory that fabricates your permanent veneers for us.
When your veneers are ready to be placed, you’ll come back to our office and we’ll remove your temporary veneers, clean your teeth, and take off an additional layer of tooth enamel to create a rough surface to help the veneers adhere to your teeth. Then, your veneers are bonded in place and cured.
Porcelain veneers will last an average of 10 to 15 years, but with good care and maintenance, they can last for decades. We’ll provide you with specific instructions to help keep your veneers in good shape, but the most important steps to maximize the lifespan of your veneers is to brush for two minutes twice a day, floss at least once a day, and go to the dentist every three to six months for exams and cleanings. While your porcelain veneers cannot get cavities, the tooth structures under them can, so it’s important to practice good oral hygiene habits to prevent this from occurring.
Cosmetic Issues That Can Be Corrected With Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are only used to correct cosmetic issues. If your teeth have cavities or significant damage to their structure, you may need dental crowns or implants instead. We use porcelain veneers for:
- Teeth that are chipped
- Gaps between two teeth
- Discoloration that cannot be corrected with teeth whitening
- Abnormal wear or small teeth
- Malformed teeth
- Minor misalignments
Even if you only need one veneer to correct a single tooth, it can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of your smile.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Dentist for Veneers
The key to improving your smile with veneers is ensuring that the results look natural. This means your veneers should be designed just for you. At Total Dental Care, we carefully design veneers that are the right proportion for your facial features and that blend in with neighboring teeth. We want your veneers to look like your own teeth—only better!